SERIOUS TOPIC i LOVE this show and Chris Hansen....

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    May 09, 2009 4:51 AM GMT
    This is a very serious topic.I became aware of how sick some people can get. As a individual that was pro-life i have the say that this show has changed my mind. I think there should be a nationwide law that send all child molesters to death... On a lighter note.. i do find comedy in these investigations and how the questions are being asked to the pervert....their mannerisms change, they start to behave all innocent and you cant help but ask yourself while watching "i wonder if he has kids of his own"? This show i tell ya....its doing a excellent job at weeding out the culprits...The funny thing is... the idiots keep prowling child chatrooms even though they know there is such a show in production..but then again why are you as a parent letting your child have wide range use of the internet. Parents fault or advancement of technology fault? Then there are the foreign guys that they catch..but then you look at the society in which they were raised in and that sort of thing is accepted...child brides are in other cultures...but then again they are in America and one should follow the laws of America.

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    May 09, 2009 5:12 AM GMT
    the impression is that if you think about it..your likely to commit the act. Need i remind you that we as humans are not all genuinely good. If you have a philosophy background you would understand with me stating these two words "Invisible Ring". The idea is that man only follow the laws because he know that if he break them he will be penalized...but if you introduce something that sorts of mask him in a way he will go along the bad route because he has a less fear of being caught due to this which masks his identity. i think this is a cool deterrent in its own right. Furthermore, this has nothing to do with entrapment as the individual was in the room with the intention to strike up a convo with a underage child. Their intentions proved them to be guilty. come on jprichva....
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    May 09, 2009 5:35 AM GMT
    If Mens rea is proven you have no claim to make about entrapment. ..heres a little quote

    mens rea – the Latin term for "guilty mind"[1] – is usually one of the necessary elements of a crime. The standard common law test of criminal liability is usually expressed in the Latin phrase, (LOVE THIS PART) actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, which means that "the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind is also guilty". Thus, in jurisdictions with due process, there must be an actus reus accompanied by some level of mens rea to constitute the crime with which the defendant is charged (see the technical requirement of concurrence). The Criminal Law does not usually apply to a person who has acted with the absence of mental fault; this is a general rule.
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    May 09, 2009 6:05 AM GMT
    tereseus1 saidIf Mens rea is proven you have no claim to make about entrapment. ..heres a little quote

    Fine and dandy until the defense gets the chat log and proves that the meeting and entrapment were all done "Dateline" side and at that point mens rea doesn't count since the TV show willingly and knowingly sought to almost coerce possible, future pedophiles into crime.

    I am by no means a supporter of pedophiles but that show is so dumb. Instead of helping people dead with their sexual deviance the show capitalizes on it and entraps them. To help understand the stupidity of this show, take pedophilia and change the goal of the show to recovering alcoholics. I am sure the reception would be quite different if a show willingly sought to lour recovering alcoholics/potential alcoholics into a situation where there is plenty of libations.

    Better yet, make it a chat room where people talk about their drug addictions to crack but Dateline is that sneaky, shady person in the chat who talks privately to one person and gets him to meet in a side street for a deal.

    The main point is that in all of these scenarios, the people are guilty for allowing their "addiction" to take over; however Dateline is disgusting for trying to take some moral high-road all the while feeding these people the tools they need to perpetuate the sickness.
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    May 09, 2009 6:15 AM GMT
    jprichva said
    1) There is no law against people's fantasies. Mine would probably land me in jail if there were (they don't involve children, though).

    2) The law properly distinguishes between thinking about doing something and actually doing it, as it should. When a person crosses that line himself, he has whatever is coming to him. When he crosses that line with the cooperation and encouragement of 'law enforcement', he has been entrapped.

    3) Entrapment by its nature is a violation of everything America is supposed to stand for.

    4) Even if these people crossed that line themselves, putting them on public display, forced to discuss their crimes, and then get cuffed and led away for the entertainment of the viewing public, is just low-class, despicable behavior.

    I agree with you 100% Jeff - your comments and observations are well stated. I found that program to be pathetic sensationalism - the few times I tried to watch it. Chris Hansen should be able to find more suitable employment.
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    May 09, 2009 6:23 AM GMT
    Entrapment would be valid if the officer was the one who initiated the discussion in the chat rooms that eventually led to the arrest.

    The only thing disgusting about these shows is the fact that there are so many perverted individuals out there and they are doing harm to kids. Thank god for this show bringing this sickness out into the open, especially in this day age of the internet and adults having access to children. Parents cannot be naive about what their kids are doing while online. And parents need to be aware of just how many sick people are out there.

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    May 09, 2009 7:10 AM GMT
    Catching pedophiles: great. Televising it for our entertainment: fucking horrible.

    And I think there's a fundamental flaw with this show: it only catches the STUPID ones. It makes the marginal ones a little smarter, and never touches the smart ones. What horseshit.

    Plus, why would I watch it? Humiliation is SO entertaining! Is entrapping the pervs the only way to save society from these beasts? Is this intended to assuage all the righteous people?
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    May 09, 2009 8:17 AM GMT
    Personally, I think if this show were about anything other than pedophilia, it would have been lamblasted as entrapment, as per what Jprichva and others have said.

    Drugs, illegal arms sales...you name it, and some court would probably view it as entrapment. They deliberately chose the one crime that would be politically untouchable and decided to sensationalize it as much as they could. *cough*muckraker*cough*
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    May 09, 2009 12:31 PM GMT
    tereseus1 saidThe Criminal Law does not usually apply to a person who has acted with the absence of mental fault; this is a general rule.


    At that point it's usually termed negligence and civil penalties can still be sought, or in the case of murder, manslaughter charges, etc.

    Thoughts can still be charged as crimes. They usually require an action to accompany those thoughts, but we are currently in the process of criminalizing thoughts that lead to crimes with additional penalties on top of those imposed on the criminal action.
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    May 09, 2009 12:41 PM GMT
    north_runner saidThey deliberately chose the one crime that would be politically untouchable and decided to sensationalize it as much as they could. *cough*muckraker*cough*


    That's a good point there, no one cares about the sex offenders. Which is why sex offenders can barely live anywhere anymore. Back when I was going for my MPA, my goal was to one day be the city manager of a town ONLY for sex offenders.

    Think about it, a town without churches, schools, kid parks, etc. A town ONLY for adults (who happened to be blacklisted for the rest of their lives). I always thought it was unfair that they are blacklisted for the rest of their lives, it should be more of a parole basis, where it's 5 years or 10 years, or whatever, depending on the severity.

    Here's what I hate about the sex offender BS. You have an 18 year old who just graduated HS and his 15 year old girl friend who he dated since he was a junior and she was a freshman. But now that he's an adult, the parents pull statutory rape charges on him (he's more than three years in age difference). He gets convicted, goes to jail for a few years, and when he gets out, has to register as a sex offender the rest of his life. That is TOTAL BS!

    Now the 60 some year old perv trying to hook up with the 14 year old, or worse, trying to abduct and rape her... That is the sort of person for which sex offender registries were meant. But to force some teen kid who was just dating his HS girlfriend to register as a sex offender, or I remember hearing about some young kid who flashed a classmate they tried to call him a sex offender. It's total bullshit.

    And people wonder why I'm an anarchist... Because our laws only harm the people most of us would rationally say aren't doing any harm to society, and rarely if ever punishes those who truly deserve it (like greedy CEOs) because they can buy their way out of trouble.
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    May 09, 2009 2:09 PM GMT
    tereseus1 saidIf Mens rea is proven you have no claim to make about entrapment. ..heres a little quote

    mens rea – the Latin term for "guilty mind"[1] – is usually one of the necessary elements of a crime. The standard common law test of criminal liability is usually expressed in the Latin phrase, (LOVE THIS PART) actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, which means that "the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind is also guilty". Thus, in jurisdictions with due process, there must be an actus reus accompanied by some level of mens rea to constitute the crime with which the defendant is charged (see the technical requirement of concurrence). The Criminal Law does not usually apply to a person who has acted with the absence of mental fault; this is a general rule.


    that doesn't even make sense. (and yes, I used to be a prosecutor.)

    mens rea does not equal a crime, and quoting Black's Law Dictionary doesn't change that.

    the idea to commit a crime isn't criminal. the acting upon said idea is criminal. these guys do act on it.

    now whether they have available to them the defense of entrapment is something to be decided on a case by case basis, given the fact of each incident.

    and whether it's appropriate for the media to be broadcasting it is the real question for debate.

    I personally dont watch the show. I think Chris Hansen's air of superiority is distasteful. I don't believe most criminals are commiting their crimes because they are evil, but because they are somehow fucked up. I don't think it's entertainment to see fucked up people in real life.

    Which is why I watch The Office, instead.
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    May 09, 2009 2:16 PM GMT
    blackbox_CO said
    north_runner saidThey deliberately chose the one crime that would be politically untouchable and decided to sensationalize it as much as they could. *cough*muckraker*cough*


    Here's what I hate about the sex offender BS. You have an 18 year old who just graduated HS and his 15 year old girl friend who he dated since he was a junior and she was a freshman. But now that he's an adult, the parents pull statutory rape charges on him (he's more than three years in age difference). He gets convicted, goes to jail for a few years, and when he gets out, has to register as a sex offender the rest of his life. That is TOTAL BS!

    And people wonder why I'm an anarchist... Because our laws only harm the people most of us would rationally say aren't doing any harm to society, and rarely if ever punishes those who truly deserve it (like greedy CEOs) because they can buy their way out of trouble.


    no, we don't wonder why you're an anarchist...it's because you believe everything the media throws at you.

    those cases...18yo/15yo are few and far between, and they rarely, if ever make it to trial, and even then are usually dismissed. but if it's been charged once, you'll hear about it in the news and you'll be all outraged over how something like this could happen! OH MY GOD! look at how they're oppressing us!

    bleh.

    the problem is, the media loses interest long before the case is over, i.e. before its gone through trial and all of the appeals. If they do bother to report on the final result, it's usually in a little one paragraph cite on the back page.

    in addition, you don't know the facts of any case, unless you've sat in the jury, or gone to the trial or were personally involved. don't ever underestimate the power of the things you don't know...


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    May 09, 2009 2:22 PM GMT
    Fine, Tommy, but the fact that such a thing is even charged is a huge waste of time and tax payer dollars, and a huge burden on the defendant all for nothing.

    THIS is why I'm an anarchist, because we waste our money on stupid BS like that and ignore the fundamental root of crime (in general) - poverty, maturity, and lack of education.
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    May 09, 2009 2:26 PM GMT
    given...it shouldn't be charged, and there are issues with the prosecutors who allow it to be charged.

    but that doesn't negate the entire system.

    look, I don't think the trial by jury system is good...at all. juries are stupid. believe me. BUT...you got something better? Juries, followed by appeals often end up with the right conclusion...or at least a more harmless one.

    and these guys aren't molesting kids because they're poor, immature, or have improper education, dude.

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    May 09, 2009 2:30 PM GMT
    tommysguns2000 saidand these guys aren't molesting kids because they're poor, immature, or have improper education, dude.



    I did say in general right? I'm pretty sure I did icon_razz.gif

    Yes, I know that. Molestation comes from society looking down on mental illness. All addictions are a mental illness, including pedophilia, usually stemming from sexual abuse in THEIR childhood and not having those issues dealt with.

    So as long as we view people with mental illness as social pariahs, this sort of thing will continue. These people need help BEFORE they hurt a kid, but they won't get it because society tells them they are weak for having a mental illness.
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    May 09, 2009 2:37 PM GMT
    jprichva said
    blackbox_CO said So as long as we view people with mental illness as social pariahs, this sort of thing will continue. These people need help BEFORE they hurt a kid, but they won't get it because society tells them they are weak for having a mental illness.

    Um, no. The reason they don't get identified before they hurt a kid is that they very often seem like normal people. The fantasies they indulge in aren't exactly shared across the water cooler. Once they have converted fantasy to acting out, it's too late. Someone has been harmed.


    But I think that most of them would go seek professional help if society didn't call them weak for doing so. Seeing a shrink is HIGHLY looked down on in our society. Hell, among gays, going to a shrink is about as bad as having HIV.

    Our society seems to WANT you to get in trouble rather than get help because the factors leading to treatment don't seem to kick in until AFTER you've done something wrong.

    If we were more open about mental health and didn't treat it like HIV, more people would be willing to go seek treatment before they do something bad.
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    May 09, 2009 2:37 PM GMT
    you're right about that...but what does that have to do with the legal system? the legal system criminalizes behaviors. it's not built for dealing with mental disorders, which is why people with mental disorders are usually funnelled out of the system and into social care situations (which suck, we agree on that).

    but the whole premise of your argument was that some 18 yo kid gets arrested cause the parents of his 15 yo gf are pissed cause their daughter is a whore.

    the two things aren't really related.

    unless you're saying that the 15 yo girl was ugly and the 18 yo must have been insane to even have sex with her in the first place...which I might also agree with you, if I knew what she looked like.
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    May 09, 2009 2:39 PM GMT
    jprichva saidI find these programs to be very distasteful...

    What a sick society takes pleasure in that.

    I agree, these shows are indeed not my idea of an entertainment. At the same time, the discussion here of "mens rea" (guilty mind) versus illegal entrapment has been very intelligently presented by several posters, IMHO, and raises some valid questions on both sides of this issue.

    I'm conflicted myself, because I hate pedophiles, and want them identified and locked up before they can harm any children. And I note that most of these guys are after young girls, not boys, despite the slanders of our anti-gay enemies. We're all agreed that we don't want these creatures hurting children; how else besides sting operations do we preemptively do that?

    Another point of conflict for me is that I find Chris Hansen incredibly hot & attractive. But I don't like what he's doing on this show. In fact, I don't know how he can live with himself, and do this all the time. For me, the YUCK factor would be too great, the "gotcha" moment too painful. Is fame & fortune worth that much to him?
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    May 09, 2009 2:39 PM GMT
    If they would hire a set stylist I might enjoy the public humiliation a little more.
    Maybe Nate berkus or Kelly Wearstler should show up first, before Chris Hansen. The biggest crime being committed is that green laminate topped kitchen island and that fucking giant faux antiqued clock with roman numerals lurking on the wall.
    Don't even get me started on the wallpaper and curtains.
    It looks like my sister exploded in there.
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    May 09, 2009 2:44 PM GMT
    mnjock2003 saidIf they would hire a set stylist I might enjoy the public humiliation a little more.
    Maybe Nate berkus or Kelly Wearstler should show up first, before Chris Hansen. The biggest crime being committed is that green laminate topped kitchen island and that fucking giant faux antiqued clock with roman numerals lurking on the wall.
    Don't even get me started on the wallpaper and curtains.
    It looks like my sister exploded in there.

    LMAO!!! ::: shaking head ::: Only a gay man, only a gay man... icon_rolleyes.gif
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    May 09, 2009 2:44 PM GMT
    Tommy, it comes down to this, our society has seen fit to devote more resources to law enforcement versus treatment. Not surprising since being pro-LE gets you votes. Supporting LE brings in money to small departments across the nation. And thanks to the drug war, they make their own budgets based on asset forfeiture laws.

    Being pro-LE is VERY lucrative, so there is little to no incentive to focus more tax money or programs at treatment and prevention of crime, rather we focus on what happens after a crime is committed.

    This goes back to the media playing a role too. They make money off of crimes (if it bleeds it leads), so they have no incentive to push for a prevention culture either.

    But to a logical person like me, prevention makes more sense because it will save us money in the long run AND prevent crimes in the future. Not all crimes can be prevented, there will have to be some LE, this is true. I'm an anarchist, but I'm rational and I know some law enforcement is required. But if we can prevent 90% of all crimes by focusing our efforts on prevention and treatment, wouldn't that be better than what we currently have going on?

    At least that's my view on it.
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    May 09, 2009 2:45 PM GMT
    I always thought that show was sadistic. ...kinda like going to the Coliseum to watch people get eaten by lions or something. ...And I wondered about Chris Hansen having such a job .... that is his career move? .... pretty pathetic.

    Like some have said above, catching pedophile predators is fine, but broadcasting it ...and sitting around watching it ... that's kinda warped, too.
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    May 09, 2009 2:48 PM GMT
    Caslon10000 saidI always thought that show was sadistic. ...kinda like going to the Coliseum to watch people get eaten by lions or something. ...And I wondered about Chris Hansen having such a job .... that is his career move? .... pretty pathetic.

    Like some have said above, catching pedophile predators is fine, but broadcasting it ...and sitting around watching it ... that's kinda warped, too.

    Ditto
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    May 09, 2009 4:02 PM GMT
    i disagree...it sends a message quite clearly. "Stop going into little kids chat rooms to talk to minors".
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    May 09, 2009 4:34 PM GMT
    tereseus1 saidi disagree...it sends a message quite clearly. "Stop going into little kids chat rooms to talk to minors".

    You succinctly state the conflict: we don't want these criminal creepers going into kids' online chat rooms to prey on them. We don't want any kids preyed upon in any way.

    But is this "gotcha" theatre bad for society? Do we have to see this on TV? Is this legitimate entertainment, versus some kind of sick Roman coliseum thrill, as was suggested earlier above?

    Or, as you propose, is this the most effective way to stop these sickos from hurting kids? Let the creepers see what can happen to them, and make them think twice before they try this with kids.

    On balance, the "mens rea" argument discussed previously seems to me to outweigh concerns about entrapment. These perverts already wanted to do this, they weren't tricked or talked into it. They went into chat rooms looking for this on their own without encouragement or contrived enticements, and seized the same opportunity that a real child would have presented to them, had not law enforcement laid a trap for them first.

    What remains a problem for me is the entertainment value of presenting their capture on TV. Deterrence versus decency, about which I still can't decide, but invite others here to help me learn and form an opinion.