Crime Scene Cleanup >> Crime Scene Photos

This report describes states' laws that directly address the disclosure of crime scene photographs, autopsy reports, and 911 tapes and transcripts. We conducted a 50-state survey and found (1) nine states that have laws directly addressing the disclosure of Crime Scene Photos scene photos, (2) 26 states with laws directly addressing the disclosure of autopsy reports, and (3) 16 states with laws directly addressing the disclosure of 911 tapes, seven of which directly address the disclosure of 911 transcripts. 

Generally, the laws restrict the disclosure of the above records to certain entities (e.g., next of kin), but in some cases, particularly for autopsy reports and 911 transcripts, they specify that the records, or Crime Scene Photos certain information in the records, are available to the public. 

Additionally, some laws give an agency discretion to release the record to entities other than those specified in the statute. While this report identifies statutes that directly address these particular records, Crime Scene Photos their disclosure may also be limited by provisions in state law that apply to general categories of records. 

For example, most states exempt from disclosure law enforcement investigatory records, and Crime Scene Photos some have statutes prohibiting disclosure of a record when disclosure would invade a person's privacy. Whether a particular document can be withheld under these exemptions in a particular state will depend on the circumstances. 

Similarly, the disclosure of these records in other states may also be governed by case law, which we do not address in this report. The report covers only statutes that directly address access to Crime Scene Photos scene photographs, autopsy reports, and 911 tapes and transcripts. 

In some cases, these statutes specifically address access by law enforcement, prosecutors, and Crime Scene Photos emergency responders. But even if these entities do not derive authority to access these records under the statutes this report covers, they presumably derive it under other statutes when necessary to perform their duties. 

CRIME SCENE PHOTOS SCENE PHOTOGRAPHS We found nine states that have laws directly addressing the disclosure of Crime Scene Photos scene photographs (see Table 1). Generally, all nine restrict access to these photos or exempt them from disclosure, with certain exceptions. 

For example, some states, such as Florida, Georgia, and Texas, allow the release of the photos to a decedent's close family members or Crime Scene Photos people they designate. In all but two of the states (Minnesota and Montana), the laws apply to photographs of deceased people. Some laws specify, in detail, the types of photos that they cover. 

Texas' law, for example, applies to "sensitive crime scene photos scene images,” including those depicting dismemberment and other types of mutilation. Georgia has a similar restriction. And North Dakota exempts from disclosure images of homicide and sex crime scene photos victims and of minor victims of any Crime Scene Photos.

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