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Old 08-31-2012, 07:25 AM
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Complaints Over Death Photo Posting

Complaints pour in over public postings of Roane County death photos
August 30, 2012 7:09 PM


KINGSTON (WATE) - The Roane County district attorney general is responding to numerous complaints about crime scene photos posted online of a deputy and his friend killed in a shootout in May 2006.

Deputy Bill Jones and Mike Brown, a former police officer friend who was with him, were slain in a shootout with Rocky Houston and his brother, Leon Houston, at Leon's home.

The brothers were charged with first degree murder. Rocky Houston's first trial ended in a hung jury on one charge and a not guilty verdict on the other charge in December 2008. Leon's first trial also ended in a mistrial in July 2008.

Leon Houston was acquitted in his second trial in November 2009.

The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed the charges against Rocky Houston in March 2010.

Brown's family was awarded $5 million in damages in April 2012 in a wrongful death suit against the Houstons.

District Attorney General Russell Johnson said Thursday in a press release that his office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have received several calls about Facebook postings of Jones and Brown's dead bodies.

"Evidently the photos are also posted on a sign located on the Houston property in Roane County," Johnson said in the release.

While Tennessee statute makes the contents of a TBI investigative file confidential, when its contents were introduced in the Houston brothers' trials the material became public record, Johnson explained.

He says he has talked to TBI about this, along with court officials and the families of both victims.

Johnson said he has asked TBI to assist in an investigation to determine if any laws have been violated.

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Old 08-31-2012, 01:34 PM
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Re: Complaints Over Death Photo Posting

Think of all who is posted on here

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Old 08-31-2012, 05:46 PM
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Are they official crime scene photos? Or just ones taken by a witness/passerby? I've always wondered if you could get in legal trouble for posting photos of a crime scene if you're just a everyday person.

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Old 08-31-2012, 06:57 PM
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Re: Complaints Over Death Photo Posting

they are the offical ones. if anybody can find them that would be way awesum.

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Old 09-01-2012, 12:36 AM
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Re: Complaints Over Death Photo Posting

People are silly to freak out over dead photos. With any luck... those photos will be the ONLY Reason an average dead person will be remembered in a couple hundred years or so

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Old 09-01-2012, 12:59 AM
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Re: Complaints Over Death Photo Posting

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Originally Posted by r0tten View Post
Are they official crime scene photos? Or just ones taken by a witness/passerby? I've always wondered if you could get in legal trouble for posting photos of a crime scene if you're just a everyday person.

They'd have to find you first ;)

I don't know legally, but, I think they could accuse you of being a heartless, mean person with no respect for the deceased or their families, but, I don't believe it is illegal, unless you were the murderer, too.

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Old 09-01-2012, 05:08 AM
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Re: Complaints Over Death Photo Posting

If you don't wanna be filmed, don't die near a fucking camera. Simple.

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Old 09-01-2012, 08:40 AM
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Re: Complaints Over Death Photo Posting

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Originally Posted by r0tten View Post
Are they official crime scene photos? Or just ones taken by a witness/passerby? I've always wondered if you could get in legal trouble for posting photos of a crime scene if you're just a everyday person.
No, you cannot. Unless the photos contain material evidence in an ongoing criminal case and a law enforcement officer specifically orders you not to leak them, anyway. Failure to comply with that request can get you nailed with obstruction/interference. Of course, once the case is closed you are free to do whatever you like with any photos obtained in your capacity as a free, private citizen.

Bear in mind, however, that if the photos are 'bad' enough, and the families of the victims ask you to take them down and you refuse, they could sue you in civil court and walk away with some hefty damages if the wrong judge was involved.

Also, you must always be cognizant of state and local obscenity laws which are infamously widely varied in this country. In some locales, it can be illegal (under obscenity statutes) to publicly post photos of a woman in lingerie. Some will jail you for pics of golden showers or scat porn. And some will certainly smack you with a violation for showing graphic crime scene images on a public board. The main problem with Obscenity laws is that they are often deliberately over-broad, thereby giving courts a huge degree of latitude to determine 'obscenity' on a case-by-case basis.

As an interesting anecdote, there was a video of a car accident in Joplin MO floating around a year or two ago. Not sure if it made it here or not. Anyway, there was a scene of total carnage in front of some guy's house and he came out filming with his digital camera. Body parts strewn about, twisted metal, mangled humanity....and some ex-football player beat cop with a buzz cut flexed all up in his shit about how he wasn't allowed to have the camera there and he needed to gtfo, etc. Less than 5 seconds later, a superior officer on the scene showed up, told the beat cop off, and specifically told the guy filming that he had every legal right to be there (so long as he stayed out of the way) and could film anything he wished on a public street and do whatever he pleased with the footage.

Unfortunately, the guy was a pussy and stopped filming anyway 'so as not to offend anyone', but the officer was very clear that he could film if he wanted to.

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Old 09-01-2012, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banedon View Post
No, you cannot. Unless the photos contain material evidence in an ongoing criminal case and a law enforcement officer specifically orders you not to leak them, anyway. Failure to comply with that request can get you nailed with obstruction/interference. Of course, once the case is closed you are free to do whatever you like with any photos obtained in your capacity as a free, private citizen.

Bear in mind, however, that if the photos are 'bad' enough, and the families of the victims ask you to take them down and you refuse, they could sue you in civil court and walk away with some hefty damages if the wrong judge was involved.

Also, you must always be cognizant of state and local obscenity laws which are infamously widely varied in this country. In some locales, it can be illegal (under obscenity statutes) to publicly post photos of a woman in lingerie. Some will jail you for pics of golden showers or scat porn. And some will certainly smack you with a violation for showing graphic crime scene images on a public board. The main problem with Obscenity laws is that they are often deliberately over-broad, thereby giving courts a huge degree of latitude to determine 'obscenity' on a case-by-case basis.

As an interesting anecdote, there was a video of a car accident in Joplin MO floating around a year or two ago. Not sure if it made it here or not. Anyway, there was a scene of total carnage in front of some guy's house and he came out filming with his digital camera. Body parts strewn about, twisted metal, mangled humanity....and some ex-football player beat cop with a buzz cut flexed all up in his shit about how he wasn't allowed to have the camera there and he needed to gtfo, etc. Less than 5 seconds later, a superior officer on the scene showed up, told the beat cop off, and specifically told the guy filming that he had every legal right to be there (so long as he stayed out of the way) and could film anything he wished on a public street and do whatever he pleased with the footage.

Unfortunately, the guy was a pussy and stopped filming anyway 'so as not to offend anyone', but the officer was very clear that he could film if he wanted to.
You always have answers for me. I love it. I'm not too sure about Indiana's obscenity laws, but I'm sure they're either horribly strict or they're super lax. Nothing in between for this state. I think as long as you don't post a bloody dead body or a naked persons photo on the church bulletin board, you're fine. I'm going to go check it out.

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Old 09-01-2012, 11:19 AM
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IC 35-49-3-2
Obscene performance
Sec. 2. A person who knowingly or intentionally engages in, participates in, manages, produces, sponsors, presents, exhibits, photographs, films, or videotapes any obscene performance commits a Class A misdemeanor. However, the offense is a Class D felony if the obscene performance depicts or describes sexual conduct involving any person who is or appears to be under sixteen (16) years of age.
As added by P.L.311-1983, SEC.33.


Well I found that, but it seems to relate to pornography. Nothing about what is constituted as "obscene". I'd take a Class A misdemeanor for a badass death photo or video.

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