Florida passes bill to protect murder witness identities


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida would conceal the identities of people who witness murders under a bill going to Gov. Rick Scott.

The Senate passed the bill on a 34-3 vote on Thursday. The measure would keep witnesses' identities confidential for two years after a murder in an effort to encourage people to come forward such cases.

The bill language states that witnesses could be subject to intimidation and threats from murder suspects if their identities were made public.

While the information of a witness would be concealed in the discovery given to a suspect in the case, investigating agencies and prosecutors would still have access to it.

The law will take effect July 1 if Gov. Rick Scott signs the bill.