National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Media to feds: Give us the mug shots — they’re public

A Detroit Free Press-led battle over the public's right to see mug shots of criminal defendants is back before a federal appeals court today, only this time the media company has loads of backup — roughly 60 news organizations have joined in the fight.

At issue is a policy by the U.S. Department of Justice, which has refused to release mug shots of criminal defendants on privacy grounds, even though courts have repeatedly ruled that the public has a right to see those photos.

The latest such ruling came in August, when a three-judge panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Free Press, but still urged the full court to take up the issue. Continue…