Should Mugshots be Released BEFORE the Accused is Found Guilty?
We all know the saying, "innocent until proven guilty" is just that - a saying. All you have to do is scroll through the comments section of an online post to see the "mob mentalities" that are created when people are accused of crimes. But is it right to put people's faces out there, when they have only been accused and not convicted?
According to Bismarck Tribune, mug shots will continue to be available for public viewing, whether the person pictured is found guilty of a crime or not. It was a close vote, 45-49, to decide if mug shots should or should not be sealed, prior to conviction. Bismarck Tribune reports that proponents of the sealed mug shot bill protects the the innocently arrested, while opponents of the bill argue that shielding mug shots could do more harm than good. Get the full story from Bismarck Tribune here.
While I can understand why the public may want access to photos of what the accused look like, it is inevitable that the public will pass judgement before there is even a trial, let alone a conviction. The current, on-going story of a West Fargo teacher's investigation is a perfect example of judgement being passed before there is a trial. The teacher was was served a warrant. He resigned from his position a short time after. All we know about the situation is this guy is being investigated.
So, this person has not yet been found guilty of anything, yet the entire state of North Dakota can see what he looks like. And the picture released was not even a mugshot. But his life will forever be changed, even if he is not guilty. And what if he is not guilty?
Do you think mugshots should be released to the public before a person is found guilty of a crime?
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