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Oregon HB 3467: Are Oregon Lawmakers Really Ready to Throw Out the Baby with the Bathwater?Letter to the Editor by Marc Epstein for Salem-News.com
Open Letter To Publisher on House Bill 3467, the mugshots bill.
(HALLANDALE BEACH, Fl) - To whom it may concern:
I am sure as editors and news professionals for many years you are no doubt all aware of an Oregon Bill that would seek to all but eliminate any meaningful access to what are absolutely every citizens right to know, their collective right to know about arrests.
Forgetting (for the moment) about the First Amendment, should not safety and knowledge accessible by the community at large trump the minute portion of embarrassment of the very few? Most think the answer is quite obvious but apparently the legislators in Oregon have blinders on. The Oregon Legislature is about to make a laughing stock of the FOIA and its Oregon Counterpart.
The over-reactive knee jerk response is, in essence, protecting the few at the expense of many. The pending HB 3467 seeks to limit the public’s access and right to know and cowing to a “squeaky wheel” when the larger picture tells a much different story.
There are numerous instances where the “Mugshots.com database” and other publications have been used as a “free searchable resource tool” to do a preliminary investigation of any particular individual. (Rather than recite anecdotal evidence here I would direct the reader to the link reciting Publisher’s Response to HB 3467.)
If you wish to discuss the contents of this letter I will be happy to discuss via email or telephone.
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