Thursday, June 11, 2015

Victim Life Photo Bill becomes law

Allen, left, with Haslam
District Attorney General Charme Allen was with Governor Bill Haslam today in Nashville as he signed the Victim Life Photo Bill into law, according to a release from the DA's office. The signing ceremony was the culmination a yearlong effort by victims' families, General Allen, and other elected DAs from across the state.

General Allen and her staff visited with state legislators multiple times throughout this legislative session to stress the importance of this bill. Victims' rights groups such as HOPE for Victims, which was co-founded by Joan Berry, zealously advocated for the passage of this important legislation.

The new law, which will take effect July 1, allows prosecutors in murder trials to show the jury a photograph of the victim while they were still alive.

“Murderers are present in murder trials. Tragically, murder victims are not," Allen said. "The jury should have the opportunity to see murder victims as they lived, not as they appeared in crime scene or autopsy photos. Prior to the passage of this law, many courts prohibited prosecutors from displaying photographs of the victim taken during their life. From this point forward, jurors will now be able to see the victim as they judge the fate of the accused.”

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