House passes victims' photo bill

Thursday, February 14th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Photographs of murder victims as they appeared in life would be shown to jurors during the trial of their assailants under a bill approved by the Oklahoma House Wednesday.

The bill's author, Minority Leader Fred Morgan, R-Oklahoma City, said Oklahoma case law frowns on presenting a photograph of a murder victim before that person was harmed.

``Every other victim has a right to be present at trial except a murder victim,'' Morgan said.

The measure passed 97-1. Rep. Opio Toure, D-Oklahoma City, cast the no vote. Toure told the House Criminal Justice Committee last week that he believes showing a photo to jurors could create prejudice against the defendant.

The measure is named for Kristie LaGrange, who was beaten to death in her home in Oklahoma City in July 2000. Members of Lagrange's family were in the House gallery during the vote and applauded when the measure passed.

The bill, House Bill 2216, now goes to the Senate for action.