Florida Senate - 2020                      CS for CS for SB 1024
       By the Committees on Governmental Oversight and Accountability;
       and Criminal Justice; and Senator Bean
       585-03395-20                                          20201024c2
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public records; amending s.
    3         119.071, F.S.; defining the term “postconviction
    4         reinvestigative information”; providing an exemption
    5         from public records requirements for certain
    6         postconviction reinvestigative information; providing
    7         for future review and repeal of the exemption;
    8         providing a statement of public necessity; providing
    9         an effective date.
   11  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   13         Section 1. Paragraph (q) is added to subsection (2) of
   14  section 119.071, Florida Statutes, to read:
   15         119.071 General exemptions from inspection or copying of
   16  public records.—
   17         (2) AGENCY INVESTIGATIONS.—
   18         (q)1.As used in this paragraph, the term “postconviction
   19  reinvestigative information” means information compiled by a
   20  state attorney, or any other criminal justice agency at the
   21  request of the state attorney, for the purpose of making an
   22  evidence-based determination as to whether a person is innocent
   23  of a crime for which he or she was convicted.
   24         2.Postconviction reinvestigative information is exempt
   25  from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution
   26  if it is related to an ongoing, good faith investigation of a
   27  claim of actual innocence and remains exempt until the claim is
   28  no longer capable of further reasonable investigation or the
   29  relief sought is granted. This paragraph is subject to the Open
   30  Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and
   31  shall stand repealed on October 2, 2025, unless reviewed and
   32  saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
   33         Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public
   34  necessity that postconviction reinvestigative information be
   35  made exempt from s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and s. 24(a),
   36  Article I of the State Constitution if it is related to an
   37  ongoing, good faith investigation of a claim of actual innocence
   38  and remains exempt until the claim is no longer capable of
   39  further reasonable investigation or the relief sought is
   40  granted. Public release of postconviction reinvestigative
   41  information could result in the disclosure of sensitive
   42  information, such as the identity or location of an alternate
   43  suspect, a witness, or other evidence needed to exonerate a
   44  wrongfully convicted person, which could compromise the
   45  reinvestigation of a wrongfully convicted person’s case. The
   46  Legislature further finds that it is necessary to protect this
   47  information in order to encourage witnesses, who might otherwise
   48  be reluctant to come forward, to be forthcoming with evidence of
   49  a crime. It is in the interest of pursuing justice for persons
   50  who may have been wrongfully convicted that all postconviction
   51  reinvestigative information be protected until investigation of
   52  the claim of actual innocence is concluded. The Legislature
   53  finds that the harm that may result from the release of such
   54  information outweighs any public benefit that may be derived
   55  from its disclosure, and it is in the interest of the public to
   56  safeguard, preserve, and protect information relating to a claim
   57  of actual innocence by a person who may have been convicted of a
   58  crime he or she did not commit.
   59         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.