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West Seattle Herald
Seattle , Washington
April 8, 2011     West Seattle Herald
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April 8, 2011

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6 Friday, April 8, 2011 West Seattle Herald ay , r"umen* continued. "But what concerned me is ACLU once an article is run, and normally the compelling says booking photos are not real flattering, it can do damage to somebody's reputation. Sen. Sharon Nelson ~f they don't go to trial, or they do, but don't get convicted, that photo still stays By Steve Shay in our internet world forever and ever. That The SHB 1689 "bookings" bill to allow was compelling to me." newspapers and other media to access She said she believes that in some and publish mug shots after a suspect cases an attorney might have access to is charged, but before convicted, was such photos to assist in their case. For struck down in Olympia Thursday, March instance, the ACLU itself might want a' 24. Arguments were made Monday by mug shot to try to prove a convict was the ACLU, those representing Washington injured during their arrest. State newspapers and others. "i was at the hearing on Monday At the heart of the matter is whether (March 21) when the ACLU testified and the mug shot of someone charged but not I testified as well," Bill Will told the West yet convicted of a crime, must be released Seattle Herald. Will is the Executive to a media outlet upon request. Since Director of the Washington Newspaper 1998, Washington State has said no, that Publishers Association, or WNPA. He police investigators were permitted to said the ACLU was joined by lobbyists for release such photos at their discretion, the Washington Association of Criminal but not obligated to do so. Once someone Defense Lawyers and, is charged, media has access to mug "The legislature declined to vote it shots and of course can take photos of out of committee so that effectively kills those charged exiting the court, too. the bill without taking a vote," Will said. The bill tried to overturn this and was "There are a million ways for a bill to die unsuccessful, and that's one of them. We'll try again State Senator Sharon Nelson sits during the next session. Washington is on the Senate Government Operations really an anomaly. There are only about Committee. She represents the 34th 13 states that won't release the booking District, which includes parts of Burien, photos. North Highline, Vashon/Maury Islands and "What the ACLU used to scare the West Seattle. She spoke with the West committee is show them some websites Seattle Herald on this matter, in other states where people will harvest "Rowland Thorn pson representing mug shots from every police agency they the newspapers has done a good job can find, put them up on a website and presenting how the newspapers might track down the person in the photo and utilize bookings photos, but the ACLU say, 'if you don't want this up send us has done an excellent job as well, a check for 30 or 50 dollars a month.' I discussing how that might hurt folks who never saw these sites before, but when are charged and need a fair trial," Nelson the ACLU showed them, it scared the hell said. Rowland Thompson is the Executive out of the legislators. Director of Allied Daily Newspapers of "We've been trying for 12 years to get Washington. "! decided to vote 'no' if the booking photos back since the Supreme bill was brought up. tt was on the list to Court decision closed them off, so it's potentially be voted on today (March 24) disa ppointing. It was common practice in committee but was not brought up. here until the Supreme Court ruling. Today was the cut-off, the last day for the Will is referring to a decision made Gov. Ops. Committee. This point in time September, 1998, when.a state appeals the bill is considered not out of committee panel in Spokane unanimously held that in time to go to the floor, so it is dead. a police incident report and jail booking "Some of the newspapers have been photograph contained in an investigative very interested in getting access to these file are "categorically exempt" from photos and the newspapers made a disclosure under Washington's Public reasonable case initially on how it could Records Act. be used for the public benefit," she From the Sept., 1998 NEWS MEDIA ii!!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!iiiiiiiiiiii!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii While many of us ogle over celebrity booking photos, like these of Linsay Lohan and Nick Nolte, the ACLU believes such photos, including, of course, non- celebrities, should remain in police files and unpublished, after the person is charged but prior to being convicted. Newspaper representatives in Washington counter that over 35 states permit media to access such photos, as Washington once did and tried to overturn the current booking law, unsuccessfully, March 24. UPDATE article on the Supreme Court Spokane to force disclosure. ruling: In August 1997, the court entered an The court determined that the report order requiring disclosure. The department was part of an open investigatory file and appealed the decision the following day. need not be released "until the conclusion Prior to the appellate panel's decision, of the criminal proceedings." The court Rowland entered a guilty plea. Meanwhile, also held that although the police in a separate case, the Washington department had discretion to release the Supreme Court held that the contents photo to assist an investigation, it could of an open police investigatory file are not be compelled to do so. exempt from disclosure under Washington The Associated Press reported that the law. Subsequently, the police department decision stemmed from a civil suit filed by released a copy of the incident report, but The (Spokane) Spokesman-Review against withheld the photograph. :: .- ~-~, city officials following the arrest of an Cowles argued that the definition of assistant city attorney. "open investigation" should be limited to Ir May 1997, Spokane city attorney those investigations in which an arrest Milton Rowland was arrested for third- has not yet been made. degree assault. The newspaper published In upholding the refusal to disclose a story based on a police incident report the information, the court held that "open that was read to a reporter by a police investigation" has a broad meaning. department official. The panel held that whether an arrest Cowles Publishing Co., the has been made was not the only factor newspaper's parent company, then to be considered, noting that courts requested a copy of the incident report may consider, for instance, the views and asked that the booking photo be of the case investigators and whether released. The Spokane Police Department resources are still being allocated to the denied the request, asserting that investigation. the records were investigative records and therefore exempt from disclosure. Steve Shay can be reached at steves@ Cowles then filed suit in Superior Court in in the deep end until I hollered nurses room. I did not die. Just bled "uncles" glub glub. like a stuck pig. Still have a vee Sometimes they said thanks, notch in the bone. And though I looked like a I told her I fell down but I told my refugee I was able to entertain my big brother who owned me as his sister's boyfriends by putting my legs beloved but personal punching bag, behind my head, roll my eyes and He never forgot Quentin's name. walk on my hands across the front Rash forward to Pearl Harbor, room linoleum. I made a starving My brother was in the Navy. So orphan even though my shorts were was Quentin. Just so happened black velvet scraps from Mom's they were both in boxing classes, _ sewing basket, same weight. In what was called I often garnered some politethe Mid Pacific Eliminations for the applause and a nickel, championship they met in the ring. But the penalty of being a You guessed it. Russell pipsqeak at school resulted in remembered the name. True story. {I some bloody noses and bruised eye Quentin met a furious whirlwind of sockets after school, or sometimes flying fists and hollered uncle after during. Nothing serious. Lots of going down three times in the first I disdain by boys with noticeable round. biceps. Like Quentin Bouncer. I was He told me that story when his favorite runt. he got out of the navy. One time I was sitting on a top Cartoon by Scott Anthony rail during lunch hour with my feet Jerry Robinson is " securing my perch behind a second the publisher of By Jerry Robinson ] know because even though10 inch size hole in the wall in steel rail. the West Seattle The papers have been fu I weighed 10 pounds at birth it the handba sport court at the Quentin came out of a door Herald. He can of stories lately about bullies in seemed like I got smaller as I got Peninsula Park swim pool.Whenever behind me and my back was target be reached schools and it might make you think olden an errant shot escaped into the hole for the day. He gave it a shove and courtesy of that big guys picking on little guys is That was not all bad. Of course they hunted me up and coerced me I went head first into the concrete Ken Robinson I something new. It is not, never has it made me eligible to wear hand to wiggle through the tiny spider web base. My left cheekbone was at kenr@ been. Little people have been low me downs till I was 14, and I was ridden gap to get their ball under devastated as he flounced off to robinsonnews. hanging fruit since Goliath. perfect size to crawl through a penalty of dangling me by the heels greener game and I stumbled to the com. L i