Journalist appeals denial of mug shot of federal fugitive

A freelance journalist is appealing a federal court ruling that the U.S. Marshals Service could deny a Freedom of Information Act request for a mug shot of securities fraud fugitive, Luis Giro. -db

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
March 3, 2010
By Curry Andrew

A freelance journalist has asked a federal appeals court to consider whether a lower court erred when it said the U.S. Marshals Service could deny a public records request for the mug shot of an infamous fugitive.

Last year, a federal court in south Florida ruled that the Marshals Service was correct to withhold the mug shot of securities fraud mastermind Luis Giro from Theodore Karantsalis’ Freedom of Information Act request because Giro, who pleaded guilty to securities fraud in 2009 after six years as a fugitive, had a continuing privacy interest though he was already sentenced and in custody.

“There is no arguable basis to conclude that Giro had a cognizable privacy interest in his mug shot,” Karantsalis’ appeals brief said. “Moreover, even assuming a reasonable privacy interest existed, the public interest in disclosure of the mug shot clearly outweighs any such interest.”

Karantsalis asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta (11th Cir.) to overturn the district court’s decision.

Copyright 2010 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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