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Florida House Passes Murder Witness Protections Bill


A bill seeking to help protect the identity of murder witnesses who come forward has passed the Florida House.

Rep. Cynthia Stafford’s (D-Miami) bill creates a public records exemption and keeps confidential the personal information of a witness to a murder for two years after the homicide occurred. Stafford says her goal is simple: allow witnesses who fear retaliation to come forward.

“I have in my district headlines like this: ‘Ten Shootings In Ten Days, ’ ‘A 10-Year-Old Retrieving His Basketball in His Front Yard Shot And Killed,’ An Eight-Year-Old Girl Shot And Killed Walking Out Of Her Front Yard,’ A Straight-A Student On Her Way To College, The Valedictorian Of Her Class With A Full Scholarship Shot And Killed Riding In Her Car.’ In each of these instances, someone knows what happened, but they’re afraid to come forward.”

While her bill passed the House Thursday 113-3, the Senate measure has one more stop before heading to the floor.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.