Washington Lawmakers Recommend Releasing Mug Shots to Public
The House Public Safety Committee by a vote of 8-1 has signed off on a bill that would release arrest mugshots to the public.
The bill has advanced out of committee, meaning it will end up on the state House floor for a vote. It would then have to clear the Senate, then be signed into law by Gov. Inslee.
Surprisingly, Washington and South Dakota are the only states West of the Mississippi that don't consider suspect mugshots as a matter of public record - meaning they're regularly released to media and other information sources. Currently, they must be requested by media outlets, or are sometimes released by authorities if they are searching for a wanted suspect who's already been in jail.
The booking photos would only be made public after the person has been formally charged with a crime, and arraigned in court. The pictures could be withheld if releasing it would jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation.