Thursday, October 25, 2018

Mugshots taint jury pools, erode due process

Lee Newspapers are infamous for publishing mugshots and the Billings Gazette is among the worst offenders.
Hunter Pauli, a freelance journalist in Montana, says he quit his job at a Lee Enterprises newspaper last year in part because he had to write so many stories about people accused of minor crimes. [Columbia Journalism Review]
Mugshots of the accused are chilling effects on the protections of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments because unflattering mugshots published in the media automatically convict the accused by tampering with the witness pool. Mugshots of the accused should be unavailable to media because unflattering mugshots give prosecutors prejudice during plea negotiations.

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