Marcy's Law throws curve ball to legal community

- TV star Kelsey Grammar helped make the case for it, and voters approved it.

But the amendment, also called Marsy's Law, will change the way law enforcement agencies do their work.

There's just one issue.

"There's a different interpretation from every lawyer I've talked to as to what Marsy's Law means," said Sasha Lohn, the General Counsel for the St. Pete Police Department.

General Counsels across the state like Lohn are looking at section five of the law, which reads, “Victims have the right to prevent the disclosure of information or records that could be used to locate or harass the victim or the victim’s family, or which could disclose confidential or privileged information of the victim."

St. Pete Police Department interprets that to mean victims can request their information be withheld. Tampa's interpretation is more conservative.
"We're saying that the victim does not have to request that their information not be released,” said Steve Hegarty with the Tampa PD. “They can waive it if they want to.”

Before Marsy’s Law, Chapter 119, Florida Public Records Law require police departments to provide information to the public.

"That's what's neat about Florida is we're an open records state, and we do that very broadly," Lohn said.

Now, Marsy’s law comes into conflict with it.

“The sort of information I could have given you last year, or a couple of weeks ago, I will not be able to give you now, which has to do with the victim, the victim's phone number, the victim's address," Hegarty said.

They’re just looking to Tallahassee to set one standard for all agencies.

"We're looking for consistency,” Lohn said. “Because that's how we keep victims safe."

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