The Arizona House of Representatives has approved a bill that would ban the release of autopsy photos without a court order. House Bill 2225 was sponsored by Representative Karen Fann of Prescott. She proposed the bill after the Yavapai County Medical Examiner and the sheriff's office refused to release photos of the autopsies of 19 firefighters killed in June 2013 fighting the Yarnell Hill fire.
Some news organizations sued but eventually dropped the case. An attorney who represents those organizations worked with Fann to craft the bill. The House voted 55-1 on Tuesday to approve Fann's bill. It now goes to the Senate for action.
Prosecutors, law enforcement, surviving loved ones, representatives of the estate of the deceased, and research universities would be permitted to obtain autopsy photos.