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Clock Ticking on Bill to Block Release of Newtown Crime Scene Photos

The families of Sandy Hook Elementary School victims want lawmakers to vote for a bill that would block the release of crime scene photos.

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    AFP/Getty Images
    Police stand guard at the entrance to the Sandy School on December 15, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. The residents of an idyllic Connecticut town were reeling in horror from the massacre of 20 small children and six adults in one of the worst school shootings in US history. The heavily armed gunman shot dead 18 children inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, said Connecticut State Police spokesman Lieutenant Paul Vance. Two more died of their wounds in hospital. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

    In the final days of the legislative session, families who lost loved ones inside Sandy Hook Elementary are trying to persuade state lawmakers to vote for a bill which would block the release of crime scene photos.

    "I am hopeful they will be able to work it out because as a parent this is already incredibly painful," said Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose 6-year-old daughter Ana died in the massacre.

    The Greenes and other families were at the State Capitol on Tuesday.

    The bill, which has been criticized for being put together in secret, is still being crafted. The legislation will not block 911 calls from being made public, but it will block crime scene photos.

    "Primarily, we're trying to exclude the photographs of the victims from being disclosed to the public," said Sen. John McKinney, who represents Newtown. "I think right now we're not looking at 911 calls."

    Sen. McKinney also indicated that the bill could also include all crimes, not just the mass shooting at Sandy Hook.

    The families are concerned if the grisly photos of their loved ones are made public, they could wind up on the Internet.

    "We deserve the right as parents to remember Ana as we wish to remember her, without those grisly images out there," Greene said.

    Getting the support of fellow lawmakers has not been easy. Some have told NBC Connecticut that they won't vote for the bill because it erodes the Freedom of Information Law.

    There are also concerns about the secretive process. The bill did not go through the normal public hearing process.

    "I think everyone understands and sympathizes with the situation but there needs to be some public comment and debate," Colleen Murphy, FOI Commission Executive Director, said.

    The state's FOI Commission said there are reasons why police records are made public.

    "We want to make sure police response was appropriate, and we can judge for ourselves what happened," Murphy said.

    The Greene family said they are satisfied with how police responded. They say the photos will only traumatize their family.

    Gov. Dannel Malloy supports the move to keep photos sealed. 
    Lawmakers have just one day left to get the bill through both the Senate and House.
    The police investigation into the Sandy Hook shooting won't be complete until late summer or early fall.