Crime Victims Suffer Unfortunate Loss of Rights in Florida

December 4, 2023

Kim Hawkes

SHALIMAR, Fla. – Last week, the Florida Supreme Court stripped crime victims of any right to privacy under Marsy’s Law. The Supreme Court’s decision effectively allows the media to publish crime victims’ names, despite their constitutional protection provided by Marsy’s Law, exposing crime victims to harassment and potential harm.

The Florida Supreme Court originally sought to decide whether law enforcement officers’ names could be disclosed in instances of the use of deadly force. A dispute then arose over the “right to prevent the disclosure of information or records that could be used to locate or harass the victim or the victim’s family.” The Supreme Court went beyond the question concerning law enforcement officers’ names and stated that a crime victim’s name was not “information that could be used to locate or harass the victim.”

“Common sense dictates that a person’s name is often the first piece of information used to locate and potentially harass them. Harassment is much easier to accomplish when you know the name of the individual you wish to harass, especially in the digital age. For five hard-fought years, victims of crime in Florida have enjoyed their constitutional right to privacy, allowing them to not be re-victimized,” said State Representative Patt Maney. “Crime victims are the only participants in our criminal justice system who did not volunteer to participate. They didn’t ask for this. As a state representative and former judge, I am disappointed in our Florida Supreme Court’s decision to leave the names of victims vulnerable and unprotected. I am resolved to protect this critical right for both our victims of crime and their families.”

In 2018, Marsy’s Law solidified into the Florida Constitution a variety of rights for victims of crime in Florida, including “the right to prevent the disclosure of information of records that could be used to locate or harass the victim or the victim’s family, or which could disclose confidential or privileged information of the victim.” For more information about Marsy’s Law in Florida, visit