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Websites Could Be Forced To Delete Some Mugshots

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The mugshot of Jerry Sandusky, taken after his December, 2011 arrest, is shown in this handout photograph from the Centre County Correctional Facility. Mugshots such as these are distributed daily online. (Photo by Centre County Correctional Facility via Getty Images)

The mugshot of Jerry Sandusky, taken after his December, 2011 arrest, is shown in this handout photograph from the Centre County Correctional Facility. Mugshots such as these are distributed daily online. (Photo by Centre County Correctional Facility via Getty Images)

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida legislator wants websites to delete arrest photos if the person is later found not guilty or if the charges are dropped.

Rep. Carl Zimmerman, D-Palm Harbor, this week filed the bill that requires all websites to delete arrest photos — or mugshots as they are called — within 15 days of being notified that the charges did not result in a conviction.

The bill (HB 677) would subject the website operator to fines and even a defamation lawsuit if they did not comply with the request. The website could not charge anything to remove the photo.

Zimmerman, who teaches broadcast journalism to high school students, said people have the right to publish information but they should take it down once it is proven false.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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