MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The Louisiana Senate recently advanced a bill that will limit the release of mugshots. New Orleans District 93 State Representative Royce Duplessis, says the passing of the bill will allow individuals to handle legal manners, privately.
“Anytime someone has to take a mugshot there’s this presumption of guilt, I haven’t seen a mugshot yet where someone looks innocent,” Duplessis said.
The bill will limit the release of a mugshot before a conviction of a nonviolent crime. Duplessis says the release of a mugshot before a conviction will possibly prevent those charged with nonviolent crimes from advancing in life.
“What happens is this mugshot gets out there and people have to explain it they have to explain what took place or what didn’t take place, especially in the case of someone that wasn’t ultimately convicted. This could stand in the way of someone getting a job, this could stand in the way of someone getting housing,” Duplessis said.
The house voted 76 to 21 to approve the bill, Duplessis says the bill will protect the constitutional rights of individuals facing non-violent charges.
“This is not about trying to protect people that have committed wrong. This is about trying to find a balance to protect our constitutional rights as well as assuring we have public safety,” Duplessis said. “So, it’s about making sure people have some type of rights, and in the digital world, because again you could be charged with something, but your mugshots are there for the rest of your life like a digital Scarlett letter.”
Governor John Bel Edwards has yet to sign off on the bill.