MADD TN Victims, Volunteers, and Staff Attend Victim Photo Life Bill Signing
MADD Tennessee victims, volunteers, and staff celebrated a very important event on Wednesday, June 10, 2015, as Governor Bill Haslam signed the long-awaited Victim Photo Life Bill into law. Until now, in trials where a defendant faced any form of homicide charge, including vehicular homicide, prosecutors were not allowed to show photos of the deceased, except in crash/murder scenes or autoposy photos. Victims and prosecutors had argued for years that it was unfair that a defendant could sit and face the jury, but the deceased victim was not allowed to be represented in the courtroom as they had lived. The bill, which goes into effect on July 1, 2015, will now ensure the rights of a victim’s family to display photos of their loved one that depict how they looked when they were alive, not just how they looked when they died. Prosecutors and victims’ families argue that juries should be able to see those killed as more than a victim. They should see them as a life that was full, a life that was loved, a life that was taken.
MADD Tennessee wishes to thank all our legislators and supporters who had a part in seeing this bill come to pass!