Bill Would Restrict Release Of Mugshots

Des Moines, Iowa — A bill that’s cleared a subcommittee in the Iowa House would make mugshots confidential in most cases, until a person is actually convicted or pleads guilty.

Under the proposal, a mugshot could be released if the person is considered an imminent threat or if a judge decides to make it public. Lisa Davis-Cook is a lobbyist for the Iowa Association of Justice, which represents trial lawyers. She says keeping most mugshot photos private would protect the reputations of people who are never found guilty.

Catherine Lucas of the Iowa Department of Public Safety says photos are important to distinguish between people with the same name.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, nearly a dozen states have passed laws either restricting the release of booking photos or prohibiting for-profit ‘mugshot’ websites from charging people to have their photos removed.


Local News