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Mug shots publicized in new weekly paper

By Evrod Cassimy – bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - They're on the front page and spread throughout the newspaper. Mug shots of people in our area that have been arrested and now their photos are on display in a new publication called Gotcha!

"It's shocking like I said," said June Turner. "It's important if the crimes are real but until the people are convicted, you don't know the status of what going on."

The paper shows mug shots of people arrested for crimes ranging from DUI to swearing, assault and battery of a family member and even driving with a revoked license. Our legal analyst, Steve Benjamin, explains why it's completely legal.

"These photographs, these booking photographs are considered public information," said Benjamin.

You can get mug shots from your local law enforcement office, but a spokesperson from the Richmond Police Department tells us that they've chosen not to participate. Several other local law enforcement agencies have declined participation as well. But the hundreds of mug shots are still attainable and Gotcha! goes on sale this Saturday, February 28. But not everyone is jumping at the chance to pick up a copy.

"I'm not going to give my hard earned money for something like this," said Louisa Robinson. "This is making a profit off of someone else's hardship."

"It's not a complete picture of these people's lives," said Turner.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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