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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-5774

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For Immediate Release: May 2, 2007

Senate Gives Final Okay to ‘Taylor’s Law’

The full Senate has given final approval to a bill allowing relatives of murder victims to wear buttons displaying a picture of their loved one in the courtroom. Sen. Jim Reynolds is principal author of Senate Bill 868, known as “Taylor’s Law.” Reynolds said it was a victim’s rights issue.

“Usually, the only images seen of the victim in court are the crime scene photos,” Reynolds said. “Their families want to be able to remember them as they were in life—not just homicide victims. They should have that right.”

SB 868 would require courts to allow immediate family members of a murder victim to wear photo buttons. Those buttons could be up to four inches in diameter. Reynolds said as the result of a case out of California, the U.S. Supreme Court had previously ruled unanimously in favor of allowing families to wear such buttons in court.

One of the biggest proponents of this measure is LaDonna Heintzelman of Oklahoma City. Her son, Taylor, was murdered in 2005. Reynolds said since that time, Heintzelman has become a strong victim’s rights advocate.

“The man accused of killing her son is expected to stand trial in June. LaDonna wants the right to honor her son’s life by wearing a button with his picture on it,” Reynolds said.

The measure now goes to Gov. Brad Henry for his consideration. The bill would become law immediately upon the governor’s signature.

For more information contact:
Senator Reynold's Office:  (405) 521-5522

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