Thursday, July 15, 2010
A California lawmaker is responding to a recent series of slayings by trying to seal the autopsy reports of murdered children.
The bill by Republican state Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth of Murrieta was approved unanimously Thursday by a Senate committee.
It would let family members request that autopsy reports and other evidence be sealed permanently if their child was killed during a crime. The records also would not be subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act.
Family members of murdered girls in Northern California and San Diego County testified and said releasing the reports would add to their emotional pain.
Media organizations oppose SB982, saying it would restrict the public's right to know details of crimes. They say autopsies are conducted by public employees at taxpayers' expense.