Despite Montana’s strong public information laws, news organizations in many Montana counties, including Missoula and Butte, have long fought for the public’s right to access the photographs taken of accused criminals when they are booked into jail.
Thanks to a recent district court ruling, that fight has been largely settled. Not surprisingly, public access triumphed.
Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit upheld a request for booking photographs of criminal defendants sought under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in Detroit Free Press v. USDOJ. Existing circuit precedent mandated this result. In their brief per curiam opinion, however, Judges Guy, Cook, and McKeague explained why they believe full 6th Circuit should reconsider this holding. Continue>>>