Are Gruesome Crime Scene Photos Protected by the First Amendment? Should they be?

Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 07:27 pm
Here is part of a story from CNN that helps to focus the issue.

Photos of the nude and decapitated body of a murdered hiker, sought by a writer on assignment for Hustler magazine, will not be released, a judge in Georgia ordered Wednesday.

The decision came as state lawmakers considered legislation that would ban public release of graphic photos of crime victims. First Amendment lawyers say the legislation could have a chilling effect on open records requests.

DeKalb Superior Court Judge Daniel Coursey issued a temporary order restraining the Georgia Bureau of Investigation from releasing "any and all photographs, visual images or depictions of Meredith Emerson which show Emerson in an unclothed or dismembered state.

Emerson's family sought the order after learning of the request for copies of crime scene photos of the 24-year-old, attorney Lindsay Haigh said. Emerson's admitted killer, Gary Michael Hilton, received a life sentence in exchange for leading investigators to her body in the north Georgia mountains on January 7, 2008, six days after Emerson disappeared.

The judge's order came on the same day the Georgia House Governmental Affairs Committee unanimously passed "The Meredith Emerson Memorial Privacy Act," which would prevent gruesome crime scene photos from being publicly released or disseminated, according to Rep. Jill Chambers, the bill's principal sponsor.

House Bill 1322 would prevent the release of photographs of the bodies of crime victims that are "nude, bruised, bloodied or in a broken state with open wounds, a state of dismemberment or decapitation," said Chambers.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 3,441 • Replies: 4
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Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 08:34 pm
Some people are going to get off on them... Now they will have to make their own...
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Diogenes phil
Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 09:22 pm
Are pictures more private than words?
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Reply Thu 11 Mar, 2010 10:42 pm
They don't realize that doing this will create a black market for those who like seeing crime scene photos that are graphic. What will happen is, those people who are in charge of handling the photos will sell them secretly to those who want to buy them. They will make a lot of money and the problem wont be solved because they will just leak out anyways.
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Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2010 10:47 am
On the 1 side, it would probaly inspire mentally ill people to commit more bestial murdiers, on the other hand we should know what life is about, that everything isn't nice and dandy.
Doctors study such pictures, why shouldn't mortal people too?
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