Delaware Vote Tracker

HB50 – Juvenile Mugshots

House Bill 50 is a criminal justice reform bill that did not get a hearing in the last session due to the Pandemic shortening the session. The bill would raise the age (from 13 to 16 years old) by which a juvenile’s arrest mugshot and information may be released by the State to the press or others.

The bill also seeks to address issues related to the release of such information on publicly-maintained social media pages. This bill seeks to balance both the rights of juveniles and the public’s right to know by saying that the names and photos of juveniles who have been charged and/or found delinquent of Class A misdemeanors, and Title 11 felonies, may only be released when the offending juvenile is 16 or older.

This legislation also adds clarifying language to prevent the inadvertent release of sensitive information online that could have lasting impacts on a juvenile long after they have been charged, and in some cases, acquitted, of a crime.

The bill has many Democratic sponsors, but only two Republicans so far. I suppose we need to ask them if they wanted their 13 year old or 14 year old child’s mug shot in the paper, something that could haunt them for the rest of their lives, especially when it is more than likely that someone so young can pay for their mistake and be rehabilitated. Which is the whole point of this bill.

House Bill 50 SponsorsYes VotesNo Votes
Cooke, Lynn, Longhurst, Bolden, Chukwuocha, Dorsey Walker, K. Johnson, Lambert, Minor-Brown, S. Moore Baumbach Bentz, Brady, Heffernan, Kowalko, Morrison, K.Williams, Wilson-Anton Ramone
Lockman, Brown, Pinkney, S.McBride, Sokola, Townsend Lopez
Current Status: House Judiciary 12/18/20

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