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Random Blog Journey-2-Peace: Strong Opinion Ahead

    Trish Monaco.
    singer. songwriter.
    dog walker.
    human. living.
    loving. laughing.
    in Los Angeles


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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Strong Opinion Ahead

I'm watching Dateline: To Catch A Predator and I'm having strong feelings about the ethics of the program. It goes back to my feelings about hidden cameras. But more than that, these predatory men are being coaxed into the home of underage girls or boys. Granted, most of the men don't need to be lured or encouraged. Some are reluctant but they still walk through the front door.

So...when does the setup become entrapment?

There's a fine line here. These men show up at a house but they don't come in contact with ACTUAL underage kids. The "kids" are decoys -- all are over 18. In the show, these men are charged with criminal acts based on their alleged online chat transcripts.

And don't these men have to sign a release for Dateline to show their faces on tv? Everyone has rights. Even predators. (Oh I'm sure I'll catch a lot of heat for that)

Let me make it clear: I do NOT condone the actions or behavior of predators.

I believe there's hope of rehabilitation for some. I also believe there are many who will never be able to live by society's rules - no amount of therapy or medical attention could ever change their brain chemistry.

But what about those who are genuinely remorseful? I'm thinking of the 27 year old guy who broke down crying, fearing the loss of his life (friends, girlfriend, dog, job), knowing he made a huge mistake by going to the house. He was fired from his job before he ever had a chance to defend himself.

I know, I know. He, and all adults, should say no to 13-year-olds asking for matter how persistent they are. Adult. Child. No contest. I get it. That's never up for debate.

I'm questioning Dateline's journalistic ethics. Entrapment is illegal. How is this show not violating human rights laws? Not only that but NBC is profiting from the humiliation of these alleged predators.

Perhaps if there were follow-up shows with progress reports of the men they've helped incriminate - I might be more interested in seeing more results-oriented stuff like a rehabilitation process or how these men now serve our society. What's the learning curve? Are they being educated?

No, apparently not.

One of tonight's predators was caught on the show as a predator eight months ago in another city. How helpful is this program in stopping criminals? The men show up in court and show up back on the streets a day later. THAT should be the show's focus! What's wrong with this picture?

We're wasting time and money with our current system. I say book them, exile them, educate them, put them to use. Viable options from minor to major offenses: Ban them from accessing the internet. Mandatory therapy/classes. GPS chip implants. No contact with minors. Castration is their consequence.

Seriously, if we had zero-tolerance for sexual offenses in this country, perhaps things would be different.

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Comments on "Strong Opinion Ahead"


Blogger ally said ... (11:27 PM) : 

i actually like dateline doing these shows. it's educational to the parents and guardians that are naive.

the parents or guardians *out there* to be more techie so they can know what their children are doing. it's a different world from when i grew up. the internet makes the world a smaller place.

i read somewhere that castration doesn't not solve the problem because a lot of it isn't sexual. it's the dominance over another person (child).

i don't feel bad for the 27 y/o crier. he brought this on himself when he decided to meet the 13 y/o. he should lose his friends, his g/f, his job and even his dog. there is no excuse for a 27 y/o to have explicit chat with a minor and then show up at a minor's/decoy's home.

in our society, once register as sexual predator, it's like the Scarlet Letter A. it's a brand for life. even if some people are rehabilitated, they are still registered sex offenders and need to follow whatever rules set up (not to be within a # of feet of children, cannot live with another sex offender, etc).

i don't think it's entrapment because the perp has the opportunity not to go into the household. that example of that one guy that heard the walkie talkie and was going to drive off. he should've kept driving because the police and media could do nothing about it. he decided to drive back and go into the house.

i understand where you are coming from. however, i feel that there are too many deviants out there that must be dealt with before they cause irrevocable harm.


Blogger Trish said ... (11:45 PM) : 

Ally - excellent comment. Thank you. I agree with most everything you say. That's why this is a double-edged sword for me.

You are right about the violation being about power (rather than sexual). I added 'castration' as a consequence solely as a deterrent. Similarly, I might suggest cutting off a theif's hands. It may not stop a theif but it would send a message.


Blogger Virginia said ... (12:28 AM) : 

I agree with Ally that the educational component for the general public has value. Make the parents (and the teens) understand what is out there.

It was always my understanding that this type of illness has no effective treatment, and that once a molester, always a molester mindset. It would be nice to think there is a path out of that, but from my reading, our mental health professionals haven't found it.

What's even more horrifying is the number of molesters that never are held accountable in any way.

As a partner of a sexual abuse survivor, I have learned how life long the damage is that these perverts inflict. I have a hard time feeling any compassion.

You are right to ask the question of "is this right" . . . I don't have an answer.



Blogger Trish said ... (12:52 AM) : 

Virginia - Yes, it seems true that studies have shown no chance of rehabilitation for molesters. That makes me sad. I'm a survivor myself. I live with the lifelong effects. And I still hold the hope of that slight chance of reform. It may sound enraging but I have compassion for most -- especially those who have violated me personally.

Again, I want to make it clear that I do NOT condone the behavior of predators. I believe they should be held accountable for their actions.

Thanks for your comment. This is a sensitive subject. I appreciate your honesty.


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