America Doesn’t Need Public Mugshots of Donald Trump or Anyone for That Matter

August 24, 2023

Khalil Cumberbatch (Leading with Conviction™ 2015) writes — along with Marc Levin, Esq. (Chief Policy Counsel for the Council on Criminal Justice) — in Washington Monthly:

“Americans may have increasingly different perspectives, but virtually all of them recognize the face of former President Donald Trump. Sure, some have seen enough of him, while others eagerly await his every word, but seeing a mugshot of him wouldn’t advance justice for any of us.

“Even if one had been taken at his arraignment [in April], as in nearly every other criminal case, it would almost certainly not have been released. That’s because New York State adopted legislation four years ago limiting the public dissemination of mugshots. Most states lack such protection, though some, including North Carolina, are now considering it.

“Though the Trump campaign uses a fake mugshot to sell t-shirts, subjecting the former President to an actual mugshot would certainly not have advanced a ‘legitimate law enforcement purpose.’ This standard set by New York’s 2019 law sought to protect the privacy of those arrested who have not had their day in court.

“For the 330 million Americans who have not served as President and don’t have legions of supporters buying their memorabilia, the stakes are clearer and far higher than for Trump. Most Americans lack a public profile, so a mugshot could be the first or even only result that prospective employers or landlords find when searching for them online. Though the history of mugshots dates back to the 1840s, the internet has made such photos accessible worldwide and thus far more damaging.

“In light of this, state lawmakers, local governments, and policing agencies should follow New York in revising policies and practices that result in the mugshots of all arrestees being posted online.”

Read the full article at

(Photo above from Dreamstime)

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