Friday, August 13, 2010

MugShots on Facebook?

The rights of the accused are a special thing in American society, one of the few places on Earth where "presumed innocent until proven guilty" is a watchword of the justice systems. We go to extreme lengths to protect those arrested, including the Miranda warning, state-provided legal counsel, and the right to remain silent. We want to ensure both that the guilty are punished and that the innocent are spared.

So what happens when Facebook enters the picture? One New Jersey township is now publishing the mug shots of arrested individuals, and leaving them up even if the accused should be exonerated. This means their arrest is only a Google search away for any future prospective employer. Or a date.

Is the deterrent effect of such a posting worth the potential damage to the innocent? What do Mod-Bloggers think?

1 comment:

quizwedge said...

If the policy/law was written only for those convicted, was only in place for a period of time, and only for crimes committed as of a date far enough in advance for people to hear about the law, I could be for it. I think that anyone arrested is going overboard. On the other hand, anyone arrested ends up with their name in the police blotter in many newspapers.