(Updated: video, comments from bend defenders)
Bend attorneys applaud federal law to limit police posting of mug shots
SALEM, Oregon (KTVZ) – Oregon lawmakers passed law restricting the publication of mug shots except in certain situations. Supporters say a photo shouldn’t determine your future, nor should it be used to harass anyone. A bend defense attorney says a mug shot can affect a person’s employability, shelter, school, and personal life.
“It’s even worse when we talk about cases that are still going on. It creates prejudice in the community and ruins people’s livelihoods, “Colton Theer, defense attorney for Kollie Law Group, told NewsChannel 21 on Wednesday.
Theer also says mug photos affect people’s chances of re-entering society – even after they’ve spent their time.
“The reality is that there are shades of gray in every single case,” he said. “That’s why pictures like this really hurt people – and real people. If we ever want to make people better when they are through their troubles and want them to be productive members of society – these images will cause great problems for them. You will never come out again. “
Another Bend defense attorney says it is common for clients to be concerned that their mug shot will be available to the public.
“I’ve seen what these mug photos are causing – a significant negative impact on people. It doesn’t seem like that should really happen in a system that presupposes innocence, ”said Bryan Donahue, senior attorney at Donahue Law Firm.
Donahue says that the accessibility of these photos is actually against our justice system. He says he looks forward to the governor signing the law, leaving no room for what he calls an “extrajudicial system”.
Here is more information from an Oregon Senate Democratic press release:
House Bill 3273 will limit when photos of prison bookings can be shared to prevent “doxing” and protect privacy.
Doxing is a generic term used to describe a situation where someone is intentionally sharing another person’s private information on the internet with the intent of inciting harassment. House Bill 3273 complements House Bill 3047 passed earlier this week and provides civil remedies for those who have experienced doxing.
The measure states that a posting photo “may be released to the public if law enforcement determines that the release is for law enforcement purposes, including but not limited to assisting in the arrest of a fugitive or a suspect in a criminal”. Investigations or identification of additional criminal activity. “
“A photo can ruin your life,” said Senator James I. Manning Jr. (D-Eugene), who co-sponsored House Bill 3273 and is a former law enforcement officer. “Those who are caught by law enforcement are disproportionately BIPOC Oregonians, people who look like me. A photo shouldn’t determine your future.
“We have also seen posting photos that have been used to harass and intimidate individuals who have exercised their right to peaceful assembly in the name of racial justice, and this has their occupation and ability to exist and move freely in their communities , impaired. “
House Bill 3273 limits the circumstances in which booking photos can be released by law enforcement, while ensuring that they can share those photos to help locate a suspect or fugitive and keep public safety a priority.
The bill also requires that so-called “publish-for-pay” publications remove and destroy the booking photo image upon request. The bill stipulates that these publishers will not be allowed to charge a fee of more than $ 50 and will allow a person to file a civil lawsuit if the image is not removed.
“These posting photos end up on predatory websites long before a person is convicted of a crime, and have even been used to extort money from innocent people,” said Senator Floyd Prozanski, who co-sponsored the bill and heads the Senate Judiciary Committee and Action 110 implementation.
“We have seen over and over again these photos being disseminated to cause harm and create prejudice against individuals. These photos can be important to law enforcement, but they shouldn’t compromise your chance to thrive and contribute to your community.
House Bill 3273 now goes to the governor’s desk for her signature.