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07/15/2024 04:28 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20230&cosponId=41030
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: June 15, 2023 10:32 AM
From: Senator Jarrett Coleman
To: All Senate members
Subject: Amending the Crime Victims Act for Next of Kin Notification
 
Imagine finding out on the evening news that your child was murdered.

In Pennsylvania, that is a real possibility and it happened to one of my constituents. To spare other families this heartache, I will be introducing legislation that amends the Crime Victims Act. This will be an reintroduction of SB 1040 from 2022, which passed the Senate unanimously but was not voted on in the House.

The legislation will require law enforcement to make reasonable efforts to ensure the victim's next-of-kin has been notified of the death before publicly releasing the murder victim's identity.  Communication with the public where law enforcement is attempting to identify the victim will be permitted. Medical personnel will be prohibited from releasing the victim's identity within 24-hours from when the next-of-kin was notified of the death by either medical personnel or law enforcement.

The victims’ families need time to process their loss and deserve the opportunity to notify loved ones in the case of such a tragic event. My legislation will strike a balance between public interest and privacy.

I hope that you will join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Sponsors of SB 1040 were: K. WARD, COSTA, PITTMAN, SCHWANK, MARTIN, LAUGHLIN, ARGALL, GEBHARD, MASTRIANO, J. WARD, AND STEFANO
 



Introduced as SB893