The state of Louisiana has advanced legislation to ban the release of mugshots of people who have been arrested but not yet convicted of a crime, KPIV reports.
On Tuesday, the state House approved a proposal to limit the practice, titled House Bill 729 sponsored by Rep. Royce Duplessis, D-New Orleans. Although it passed by a 75-22 vote, it still needs to be passed by the state Senate and then approved by Louisiana's Governor John Bel Edwards.
Duplessis argued that the public should not have access to the mugshots because of “prejudicial nature.” The publication of such photos can “ruin reputations and keep them from getting a job."
“We are entitled to the presumption of innocence; by publishing a mugshot, it undermines that,” Duplessis said. “They were wrongfully arrested for something. Now that person can’t get a job and now that person is having trouble in their personal life.”
Rep. Raymond Crews, a Republican, raised concerns that the banning of mug shots could have a negative impact on the state’s public safety.
“Suppose someone is accused of being a child molester and it just happens to be your neighbor; maybe it’s two doors now, so you don’t know their name, but you would recognize them personally,” said Crews.
Others have argued that the bill needs additional revisions including being “tailored further to allow for the release of mugshots under more circumstances, including child sex offenders, violent crimes or public officials.”
The bill will move to be considered in the state Senate.