May 6, 2011

Crimeaphobia 1

by Danny Gene Fritchie (author's profile)


CRIM/EA/PHO/BIA (invented 4-27-11 by this author): A fear of crime.

A spokesperson appears on a popular TV commercial saying: "No one comes around MY family without a background check." Little do they know: not all that information on the web is correct, accurate, and not misleading. The information is not confidential and is pulled off of an FBI criminal activities information database: what convicts commonly call the 'rapsheet'. Anybody with a computer and a modem has access to this so-called 'rapsheet'. It is a listing, in chronological order, of all crimes an individual has allegedly committed. I say "allegedly", because this is a listing of all arrests, whether or not such arrests have resulted in a finding of guilt, and criminal conviction. Should an arrest not be substantiated by a finding of guilt, the crime is NOT expunged from the 'record' (i.e.: the 'rapsheet'), as (in my opinion) it should be; rather: the finding of innocence is merely designated as: 'no disposition' on the rapsheet. I would dare say most folks conducting a background search on someone will not realize that 'no disposition' means the person was not guilty of the alleged offense. And even if they do understand the meaning of such a designation; one must bear in mind: "jurisprudence has no true and meaningful hindsight in retrospect... there are many shades of gray". The letter of the law is not etched in stone. The common citizen is lead to believe the police arrest only the guilty. Hence: if a person is arrested, let's say, for a DUI offense, and law enforcement fails to do a 'breathalyzer' test; once fingerprinted, photographed and 'booked' into jail, the arrest record automatically goes into the FBI database, following court proceeding. The court dismisses charges because police messed up the arrest procedure, and the arrest record going to the FBI is designated as: 'no disposition'; the common citizen who believe police don't make mistakes is going to believe John Do was guilty of drunk driving even though the court of law exonerated him of the offense... and the common citizen is going to punish him anyway, no matter whether he is guilty, or not. Crime has become epidemic in these United States, and as that crime rate rises ever higher, people's trust in others takes a nose-dive into the social septic pool of vengeance. Let's say that John Doe (in the example above) wasn't drunk, or stoned. He is still going to be punished for the offense... simply because it is on his criminal record...and all over the internet. He will be mocked. He will be scorned. His credit score will take a nose-dive into oblivion. Friends and family are apt to lose trust in him. He might lose his job. (Try finding another one.) Insurance premiums will skyrocket (That is to say; IF companies agree to continue coverage.) In effect, John Doe's social life is screwed... all because of a false arrest. THIS is crimeaphobia in its epitome. THIS is the war on crime gone berserk; and while I most certainly am in full favor of punishing the offender, I will never be in favor of punishing the innocent, just to pacify Joe Public who wants all criminals locked away, behind bars, forevermore. To err is human. We all make mistakes. Not many can truthfully say they've never committed a crime. Simply putting a person in jail is not going to correct criminal behavior. Incarceration is not, in and of itself, in any way, a form of rehabilitation. The only antidote to crimeaphobia IS understanding, love, and forgiveness.

The Author: Danny Gene Fritchie is a graduate of law school; a certified paralegal with twenty-five years of in-court litigation experience.


Replies (1) Replies feed

sara Posted 12 years, 11 months ago. ✓ Mailed 12 years, 11 months ago   Favorite
people shouldnt ever be judged by mistakes they've made in the past!

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