Abstract

REVEALING THE CONSTITUTIONAL INFIRMITIES OF THE "CRIME VICTIMS PROTECTION ACT," FLORIDA'S NEW PRIVACY STATUTE FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS

BRETT JARAD BERLIN

1996 Florida State University Law Review

This Comment attempts to organize the relevant issues surrounding Florida's new privacy statute for sexual assault victims. This Comment will also focus mainly on the legal aspects of privacy and press, but, in part II, it will preface that analysis with a cursory overview of some important sociological concerns related to victims and the press. The intent of part II is to recognize those arguments rather than to analyze, approve, or disapprove them. Part III reviews Florida's original legislative answer to the identity-disclosure debate and identifies victim privacy statutes from other jurisdictions. Part IV outlines the United States Supreme Court's warnings about the constitutionality of Florida's original victim-privacy statute. It then focuses on the climate in Florida that caused section 794.03 to resurface and eventually to fail constitutional muster in the state supreme court. Part V summarizes the facts surrounding the publication of the name of William Kennedy Smith's alleged victim; these facts formed the basis for the Globe Communications decisions. Subsections of part V analyze the Florida court opinions in Globe Communications that unanimously held section 794.03 unconstitutional. Finally, part VI describes and critiques the replacement statute passed by the Florida Legislature six months after the Globe decision. This Comment concludes that Florida's new Crime Victims Protection Act is no more constitutional than the original statute.


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