Feds lose appeal over withholding mug shots to Detroit paper but court urges another appeal

A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of a Detroit newspaper in a dispute over access to mug shots of defendants in federal cases.

In a 3-0 decision Wednesday, the court says it must follow a key ruling about photos that goes back to 1996. But the three-judge panel suggests the government should ask the full appeals court to take a look at the case.

The Detroit Free Press sued in 2013 after the U.S. Marshals Service declined to release photos of police officers charged with corruption.

The government says the Internet age raises concerns about privacy. The panel at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seems to agree, saying mug shots "convey ... potentially embarrassing" information protected by exemptions under the public records law.