Following unanimous support in the Florida House and Senate, the Rex and Brody Act will continue to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk for final approval.
The bill blocks access to autopsy photos and reports of minors killed through domestic violence currently allowed under Florida’s public records law. The bill passed the House in 2022 but never made it to a vote in the Senate before the end of session.
Rep. Chuck Clemons, R-Newberry, and state Senator Keith Perry, R-District 9, sponsored the bill and named it in honor of Rex and Brody Reinhart, two Alachua County residents.
The boys, aged 14 and 11, were murdered by their father, Paul Reinhart, in May 2021.
“News outlets from across the country immediately ran stories upon the release of the medical examiner’s report,” Clemons told the House on Thursday. “Some of which included those descriptive details about how the boys died.”
The boys’ mother, Minde O’Sullivan, determined not to learn how her son’s died and asked media not to publish the information. She testified to this when the bill began its passage last year. (Editor’s note: Mainstreet Daily News made the editorial decision not to post the details of the autopsy report.)
“And I found out—just from reading the headline—way too much that I never wanted to know about my sons’ deaths,” O’Sullivan said at a 2022 committee vote. “It was an awful experience.”
The bill allows the release of the information if a parent not responsible for death releases the report. Clemons said the bill will sunset in 2028 unless the Legislature reaffirms it.
“We can send a message to future families and guarantee them that they will never ever experience a piling on of heartache for the rest of their life because we will close this loophole,” Clemons said on Thursday. “I’ll ask for your favorable support.”