FRANKFORT – The Kentucky House of Representatives passed a bill amending the Open Records Act to exclude photographs and videos of victims of violent crimes from public access.
This measure is sponsored by Rep. Chris Freeland, a graduate of Marshall County High School who currently represents Marshall County in the 6th District.
“I am honored to bring forward this matter on behalf of the Holt and Cope families as well as county and commonwealth attorneys of Marshall County,” Freeland said. “Those affected by the tragedy in Marshall County have already been victimized. These victims should not have to view these videos and images again in the public eye.”
“This bill is critical to protecting the innocent victims of crimes from being victimized further. It is disheartening that we need legislation like this, but clearly we do and I appreciate Rep. Freeland’s commitment to protecting not only his constituents, but all Kentuckians,” Speaker David Osborne added.
House Bill 273, otherwise known as the Bailey Holt-Preston Cope Privacy Act, protects photographs and videos of a person’s death, killing, rape, or assault used in court proceedings from being available to the public after their use in court.
Named after the two 15-year-old victims of the shooting at Marshall County High School in 2018, HB 273 would protect the privacy of the family members and victims of both the Marshall County tragedy and other traumatic events.
HB 273 now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Full text of the bill can be found on the Legislative Research Commission’s website at legislature.ky.gov.