Enforce The Victims’ Bill Of Rights: Pass The Victim Life Photo Bill

District Attorney General JARED EFFLER

District Attorney General
JARED EFFLER

By Joan Berry and District Attorney General Jared Effler

For decades, it was a common practice for prosecutors to introduce into evidence a reasonable likeness of the victim prior to his or her murder, in addition to crime scene photos.  However, due to recent high-court rulings, trial judges now do not allow the practice for fear of having a verdict overturned.

The result of this trend is murder trials in which the only “presence” allowed for the victim is the image of his or her body – or remaining portions of it – at the crime scene.

An image of the mortally damaged and broken form of a murder victim is not an acceptable substitution for that individual’s presence in the courtroom.  It cannot effectively communicate that individual’s personhood to the judge and jury.

That is why Tennessee Voices for Victms, HOPE for Victims and District Attorney General Jared Effler have joined together with other victim activists and members of the law enforcement community to support the Victim Life Photo Bill (House Bill 1324, Senate Bill 933) to seek a law guaranteeing that an appropriate photograph of a murder victim be admissible in Tennessee’s murder trials.

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier.