Mugshots condemn before proven guilty
Presumption of innocence is arguably one of the major founding principles of our legal system. The idea that one is innocent until proven guilty guarantees the accused the benefit of the doubt, thus ensuring a fair trial. Unfortunately, the justice system takes this right for granted. When a person is arrested, with or without charges, they are legally required to take a mugshot, a photo capable of severely hurting a person’s career opportunities, social life and reputation.
In publishing mugshots, news outlets, tabloids and booking photo websites deny those arrested of their presumption of innocence. While a mugshot is not a guilty verdict, and most outlets don’t intentionally purport those in the photos to be criminals, mugshots hold a strong visual association between the subject and criminal activity. The association is considered so powerful that courts strongly disfavor showing such photos to criminal juries to avoid any prejudice. But in the court of public opinion, less forethought goes into warning viewers that mugshots are not evidence of wrongdoing, and, as a result, society draws a strong inference of guilt from these photos. It is not difficult to see why: the harsh lighting, the dreary background, the gloomy atmosphere, all suggest we are looking at a lawbreaker, when in reality, the person is only a suspect facing allegations.
Thousands of innocent individuals who’ve had their mugshots posted on third party websites have lost their employment status and have received unfair criticism from their community at large. To prevent this, law enforcement agencies should have the discretionary power to release booking photos of criminal suspects ONLY in cases where they were to be found guilty.
Student wants help with project
I am a student at Cascade Christian School, and I am writing a report on the state of Oregon.
We are responsible for gathering as much information as we can about your state. If any of your readers would like to help me by sending any pictures, postcards, used license plates, facts, products, etc. from your state, it would be greatly appreciated!
Cascade Christian School, 601 Ninth Ave., SE, Puyallup, Wash., 98372.
Fifth grader at Cascade Christian School
America needs you, Jerry Brown
The entire list of Democratic candidates for president is discouraging, if not outright depressing. Joe Biden will always be Mr. Touchy Feely.
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren remind me of two ivory tower college professors way overdue for retirement. Pete Buttigieg is actually running for governor of Indiana. Amy Klobuchar needs to stay in the Senate since the legislative branch was her choice for representing Minnesota.
As for the rest of the candidates in the private sector they need to run for city council first and then proceed from there.
On the other hand, California recently lost the best four-term governor and Oakland the best two-term mayor in their entire history. I am referring of course to Jerry Brown. He is a man of utmost integrity with an honest zeal to promote excellent quality of life for all Americans, not just those aligned with the Democratic party. And just as with former president Obama he can add a vice-presidential candidate who specialized in foreign affairs.
Jerry, it’s time to throw your hat into the ring and declare your candidacy for president of the United States. The world and the country desperately need you to put an end to Trumpism and lead us back to a time of peace and prosperity.