Sunday, March 04, 2007

Dateline discussion on RGP

There's a thread on about my Dateline posts.

As is typical of off topic threads on that forum, there's a few people who are at least a little insightful, and there are others who seem to have fundemental misunderstandings about the world around them. And, those with the fundemental misunderstandings seem to be the ones who are the most dogmatic and adament in supported their misconceptions.

Susan is such a poster. Right now she's involved in a sub-thread about "why don't the bad people sue if they're innocent". There's so many things wrong with that question, starting with claims of innocent. There aren't very many claims of innocence. Maybe some are innocent, but certianly not most. At least I'd have a hard time believing some are innocent.

Susan seems to be starting her thought process with the premise that people are either guilty or innocent and that anyone who's guilty of whatever crime she finds important should be subjected to whatever extreme treatment somebody wants. Or something like that. Her shrillness about this stuff doesn't really make her thinking very clear to me. She thinks it's clear, but I think that's just delusional.

After a couple of observations from thread participants that Perverted Justice and Dateline appear to be showing some predatory behavior themselves, here's what Susan has to say

the real predators are those that act on their impulses no matter how they
came by them.

She's not talking about the people from Perverted Justice, she's talking about the demonic child molesters on the other side of the computer chat.

It sounds to me like that what she's saying is that anyone who can be swayed to even think about having sex with a 13 year old is evil and that's nothing wrong with having a half dozen people work weeks to break down any resistance they might be able to put up. If they are weak enough to finially succemb then they are evil and should be erridicated.

That's what it sounds like shes saying to me.

But then I got a little sarcastic and said.

It's always a good thing that you can find somebody to point to and say -- "I'm
better than them".

We're all glad it's working out for you.

Demonization seems to have become an integral part of American Culture. It's a tactic Bush has used very successfully to create a government with a shift in power away from congress and the courts to the Office of the Presidency, resulting in major losses in personal liberties. People accused of sexual misconduct with children certainly seem to qualify for demonization. Susan even takes the Dateline accusations a step further when she says -

I am much better than anyone who fucks a 13 year old, yes I am.

There's no sexual activity anywhere in any of the Dateline stories. Susan knows that. It appears she's not only advocating thought crimes, she's taking the leap that thought is action, that thinking about throwing a rock is in fact throwing a rock. Susan is a long time poster at rgp. I've never thought of her as someone so devoid of rational thought before. But, when you through up the boogey man of child sexual abuse I guess sometimes rational thought just blows away in the wind. Dateline has hit on great ratings trigger with this stuff.

Then in another sub-thread Susan starts harping on civil suits. Her mind seems to translate a lack of immediate civil suits from the accused as proof of guilt -- guilt of things they aren't even accused on to judge by her rape comments. Here's what she says about lawsuits -

Why don't you respond to where are the lawsuits? If my husband/son were
accused of those crimes, I sure as hell would find a way to bring it to the
public eye that they were INNOCENT.

You don't think some high profile law firm would take the case gratis just
for the publicity?

You seem to think that a wrongly accused sexual predator would just live out
his days as a pervert when he was innocent.

I don't know where she gets the idea of innocence. That pretty much has nothing to do with anything.

I tried to make a partial explanation of the difficulties in civil suits --
I don't know. How am I supposed to know? I don't really expect any lawsuits
and don't understand why you would.

I was the plantiff in a successful false arrest law suit a few years ago. We
had no basis for a lawsuit and no chance of winning it before the case went to
trail and we got a not guilty verdict.

Even then it wasn't a slam dunk until I got into the police records room (I was
doing some academic work related to the police and had a letter from the cheif
giving me access to records of internal operations (something the arresting
officer and the prosecutor didn't know).

Those kinds of lawsuits aren't as easy as you seem to think.

There were shit load of suits against perverted justice in 2004. Since then
perverted justice has changed the way they do things somewhat, they don't
publish transcripts until after a conviction for example.

And I'm not sure what the basis for a lawsuit would be.

If my husband/son were
> accused of those crimes, I sure as hell would find a way to bring it to the
> public eye that they were INNOCENT.

Well, you wouldn't have standing to file a lawsuit. And your husband and son's
times would be better spent staying out of prison. Most of these guys are
making deals for probation terms, some not even having to register as sex

Most of these guys aren't innocent, most of them have commited a crime. That
doesn't mean they've harmed any children and ever would have harmed any
children. There are a couple of them where it's pretty clear they wouldn't

But when dealing with serious criminal charges such things aren't really to the
point. About a third of them are pleading guilty in exchange for staying out of
prison. The evidence that's admissible in court isn't realy all that strong and
they aren't having trouble getting those deals.

Most of the rest havn't gone to trial yet, and might not ever go to trial.
Without a not guilty and a look at the prosecutions evidence a civil suit
probably isn't going to work out.

> You don't think some high profile law firm would take the case gratis just
> for the publicity?

Why? Some of them might be, I don't know. I don't know of any criminal charges
that have gone to court.

> You seem to think that a wrongly accused sexual predator would just live out
> his days as a pervert when he was innocent.


I don't even know what that means.

I don't think you have a very clear understanding of our criminal justice

Then the whole thing just turns sad. Susan just doesn't get it.
Gary, if you or your son or you brother or father were injustly accused of
being a child predator on national TV, you wouldn't do something to try and
clear his name? He wouldn't? His wife wouldn't? Just continue on in life
with a sexual predator sign hanging over his head?

There are so many do-gooder high profile lawyers out there that would jump
at the chance to take this on.

I don't "seem to think" this would be an easy thing. But I can guarantee
you that majority of sane people would do everything they could to clear
their or their loved ones names.

She sounds like some niave 20 year old, but she's not, she's in her 50's. I would have thought she'd know better, but I guess not.

I'm not sure that any of the tactics used by Perverted Justice and Dateline are illegal. They might not be. But all that is legal is not right. It's possible to be morally wrong, even if it's legal. The poker world even has a term for that -- we call it angle shooting.

I think there is no doubt that the techniques used in these Dateline stings are wrong. They lie about some of it. It's not true that the targets always make the first contact. The bait is the one that initiates conversation about exchagning photo's, phone numbers, and planning a home visit. They are coy about it, avoiding explicit sexual suggestions, but the inneuando is clear. It's also clear that Perverted Justice has modified chat profiles after the chat's, leaving open the possibility that profiles suggest they like role playing as a young teenager.

Many of the demon perverts targeting take quite a bit of coaxing. In one case the target canceled a visit 3 times but they kept up the pursuit. That's a person that is very unlikely to have ever chased a real 13 year old, very unlikely to have ever committed a crime without the help of Dateline and nhot with a real 13 year old.

Yes, there are a suprisingly large number of people out there who can be manipulated into having inappropriate chat conversations that are illegal. That doesn't meke them predators, it doesn't make them a serious danger to anyone.

I wonder what Susan is so afraid of.


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