Bill Stopping Release Of Mugshots Before Conviction Wins Introduction

in News/Legislature

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

A measure that would prohibit the release of mugshots from arrests until the person arrested has been convicted of a crime won initial approval from Wyoming’s House on Thursday.

Representatives agreed with Rep. Chad Banks, D-Rock Springs, that there is no reason to release a person’s mugshot until he or she has been convicted.

“It’s just gratuitous shaming that’s done for clicks and views and publicity,” he said. “There’s no newsworthy … reason to share the mugshots. It’s become morning coffee fodder and gossip.”

Representatives voted 48-11 without debate to introduce House Bill 51 and it was referred to the House Judiciary Committee for review after Banks reminded legislators mugshots could be released after a conviction and if a law enforcement agency saw the need to distribute one.

“Keep in mind, these are folks who haven’t been found guilty of any crime, only arrested,” he said. “Let’s protect the value of innocent until proven guilty.”

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