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Gov. Scott Signs Murder Witness Protections Bill Into Law

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Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill into law aimed at getting more murder witnesses to come forward.

Rep. Cynthia Stafford (D-Miami)—the bill’s House sponsor—says she’s proud to have a new law on the books that keeps a murder witness’s personal information confidential two years after the homicide. She says too often, cases go unsolved because witnesses are too scared to come forward. Sen. Randolph Bracy (D-Orlando)—the bill's Senate sponsor—agrees.

“There have been numerous murders in communities where detectives have no leads,” he said. “Someone knows what happened, but they’re afraid to come forward out of fear of retaliation. This provides a way to help law enforcement solve murders in communities across the state.”

Still, some continue to raise constitutional concerns and have called the public records exemption unnecessary. It’s slated to take effect July 1st.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.