Sometimes we will see a photo released by law enforcement of a wanted person, or when a sex offender moves into a neighborhood (standard notification). But ever wonder why they don't post pictures of suspects who are arrested on a regular basis? This is a pixlated image of a KPD suspect.

  Has to do with an older law in WA

In response to a growing number of inquiries, the Grant County Sheriff's Office took the lead and answered this question.

All law enforcement agencies in WA would have likely responded in a similar manner, but here's why.

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In September of 1998, a Spokane-based appeals court ruled (in connection with a lawsuit) that jail booking photos or mugshots are "categorically exempt" from standard WA State Public Disclosure Laws.

The Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) is the entity where citizens can request information about a wide variety of topics, from crime to legislation. A PDC disclosure request can be filed, or often the information can be found on government websites.

However, this ruling ended the practice of publishing booking jail or mug shots. In cases where LE is searching for a wanted suspect, these photos are allowed in the interest of public safety.  When a sex offender relocates, LE issues an update to the public. However, some Democratic legislators have been trying to end this practice and do away with these offender notifications.

There used to be, even until a few years ago, some online fugitive locator websites, but with the dwindling number of booking and jail mugshots, those efforts ended.

So, that's why when suspects are arrested and booked, we usually don't get to see the booking photo.

LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.

Gallery Credit: Katelyn Leboff

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