Published: May 19, 2022
By: Allison Allsop, LSU Manship School News Service
BATON ROUGE — The Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee advanced a bill Wednesday that would limit the publication of mugshots unless an individual is convicted, deemed a threat, or a fugitive.
The bill, House Bill 729, was authored by Rep. Royce Duplessis, D- New Orleans, and the House voted 76-21 to approve it last month.
Duplessis, a criminal defense and civil litigation lawyer, authored the bill to protect the reputation of individuals who have not yet been convicted of a crime. It would limit the public release of mugshots by law enforcement and enable people to get their booking photos removed from websites without paying them for that.
“In 2022, with all of the websites and all of the abilities to share photographs, once these mugshots are released, it’s literally a digital scarlet letter that follows you around for the rest of your life,” Duplessis said.
Under the bill, law enforcement officers may not “publish, release, or disseminate in any format a booking photograph to the public or to a private person or entity” unless the individual is a fugitive, a threat or convicted of a crime or if a judge decides it is necessary.
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