Thursday, September 02, 2010

Private Investigator News: Mug shots are a public record in Massachusetts

"Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office has ruled that mug shots are not protected by Criminal Offender Record Information laws, a position that the Northampton Police Department disputes.

According to a story in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Supervisor of Records Alan N. Cote sided with the Gazette in its effort to obtain a mug shot for a court story it was doing in May. Police had denied the request, saying that the photo falls under the protection provided for those charged with crimes under the law commonly known as CORI.

Northampton Police Capt. Joseph Koncas said Wednesday that his department still believes that mug shots are protected under the law, citing a similar opinion by the deputy general counsel for the Criminal History Systems Board. Nonetheless, Koncas said, Cote’s ruling is “set in stone” and cannot be appealed."  
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