In response to the Orlando Sentinel’s attempt to gain access to the photographs from the autopsy performed on NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt, members of the Florida Legislature are trying to push through emergency legislation restricting access to autopsy photos.
This legislation is moving through the Florida Legislature at high speed. It will take effect immediately upon the governor’s signature, and there is every reason to believe that Gov. Jeb Bush will sign it.
Meanwhile, a potential compromise is in the works that might allow the Sentinel to access the photographs while appeasing Earnhardt fans who fear the photos will be published.
NASCAR fans have been very vocal in opposing the Sentinel’s attempt to have an independent expert examine the photos and offer a second opinion about the causes and circumstances of Earnhardt’s death.
SPJ has come out strongly in favor of the Sentinel’s position and in opposition to the effort to alter Florida’s enlightened laws on public records.