Mugshots Shouldn’t Be a Public Record

Mugshot of organized crime figure Al Capone, taken in 1939. (FBI archive photo)

MINOT, N.D. — When you see a mugshot, do you immediately think “criminal”?

You probably do.

Who could blame you?

The mugshot is an iconic sort of image. That staring-into-the-camera perspective, usually alongside a second image taken from the side, with some sort of a placard usually visible toward the bottom, is unmistakable. Shots of well-known figures such as Al Capone or Pablo Escobar are used for posters and T-shirts.

It’s pretty much impossible to read the news without seeing someone’s mugshot.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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