WYOMING — A proposed bill in the Wyoming Legislature would ban the release of mugshots to the public unless the subject is convicted of the crime.
House Bill 51 is sponsored by Rep. Chad Banks, (D) of Rock Springs who explained that in the digital age, mugshots can follow individuals for the rest of their lives.
With some public safety exceptions, Banks argued that these images can be detrimental to a citizen’s chances of getting a job and being productive members of society which is an injustice especially when the individual is arrested for a crime they did not commit.
A few exceptions in the bill would allow a mugshot to be released if a judge or law enforcement agency deems them “a fugitive or an imminent threat.” Additionally, a mugshot would be released if it would aid in finding the person if not in custody.
In the beginning of 2022, a similar bill went into effect in Oregon.
Here in Teton County, there have been efforts to protect citizens’ eleventh amendment rights of “innocent until proven guilty.”
In 2019, the inmate list was taken down from the Teton County Sheriff’s website and from Google search.
The decision to remove the inmate list was made to prevent “public shaming” and using the list for entertainment, said Sheriff Matt Carr.