Nassau County, N.Y., took down its online “Wall of Shame” yesterday, and will post only the names and photos of those who are convicted of drunken driving, said County Executive Thomas Suozzi. Newsday said the move came a day after a judge ruled that the “Wall of Shame” violates the rights of a woman whose name and photo were posted there. State Supreme Court Justice William LaMarca said posting names and photos on the Web violates defendants’ right to due process by punishing them in a way not authorized by the law. He said that because of the permanence of the Internet, posting names and photos exposes arrestees to “limitless and eternal notoriety.”
Suozzi said the county will continue to release the names and photos of drunken driving arrestees weekly to the media, but will no longer post them on the Web site. In general, police use their discretion when deciding to disclose names and mug shots of people they arrest, considering whether the arrest was newsworthy and whether releasing the name and photo could help or harm the prosecution of the suspect. Newsday.com has been posting the names and photos from the “Wall of Shame” since the county began releasing them after Memorial Day weekend. The county is appealing the ruling.