Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bill takes aim at publishing jail mugshots on websites

(AP) — Kentucky lawmakers have advanced a bill taking aim at the practice of publishing jail mugshots to a website and then demanding money to remove the photos.

The bill would allow fines to be imposed against offenders.

The House Judiciary Committee approved the measure on Wednesday.

Democratic Rep. Gerald Watkins of Paducah, the bill's sponsor, says he's heard from people who lost jobs or weren't given jobs due to the posting of their mugshots on websites. Watkins says the practice of demanding hundreds of dollars to take down a photo is a form of extortion.

The bill would allow fines of $500 to $1,000 for each offense, but Watkins says he plans to propose increasing those penalties.

The legislation is House Bill 132.