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. 10 11 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 12 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 This paragraph is subject to the Open 30 Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and 31 shall stand repealed on October 2, 2025, unless reviewed and 32 saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature. 33 Section 2.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.