Mary Cheh is featured on Mugshots.com

January 25, 2013
(Mugshots.com)
(Mugshots.com)

Updated 11:15 a.m. with comment from Cheh

D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) was recently in the news for wanting to make it easier for the public to obtain mugshots of criminal suspects — reversing a 45-year-old policy of making them available only after a conviction.

The case for releasing mugshots is that they could help the public identify repeat offenders in their community and perhaps link them to unsolved crimes. The case against it is that mugshots could shame individuals later found not guilty of the crimes they are accused of.

Now Cheh herself is getting a taste of what it’s like to have your face plastered among the accused: The Web site Mugshots.com is now featuring Cheh’s photo — thanks to her advocacy of open mugshots, not due to any criminal activity.

For criminals duly convicted, Mugshots.com charges $399 per arrest to remove a photo from their site.

Cheh, told about the web site, said she’d preferred to have her mugshot from her 2011 arrest at a D.C. voting rights protest rather than a standard portrait.

“It would be more authentic,” she said.

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · January 25, 2013