Right and Wrong Ways to "Catch a Predator"

According to Reuters, the US Federal Courts will continue to hear the case dealing with the $100 million lawsuit against NBC. NBC’s series, “To Catch a Predator” is being blamed for the suicide of a former Texas prosecutor who was caught up in its popular sting strategy.

Assistant district attorney Louis Conradt shot himself in November 2006 after police officers came to his home in Terrell, Texas, accompanied by an NBC news crew planning to film his arrest for the television show. Conradt was allegedly expecting to meet up with a 13-year-old boy he believed he was communicating with online.

The tension is over the issue of entrapment. Critics of To Catch a Predator say the show does not report news, but rather makes news by luring people into illegal activities they normally would not do. Supporters say this show has done a great service keeping potential child molestors away from our children. The results of the hearing seemed to side with the critics “a reasonable jury could find that NBC crossed the line from responsible journalism to irresponsible and reckless intrusion into law enforcement.”

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2 thoughts on “Right and Wrong Ways to "Catch a Predator"

  1. to catch a predator is wrong.. most of these people would never do any of these kinds of things! The only reason they are being prosecuted is because they are being seduced into doing something they wouldn't usually do. This is big time entrapment and even beyond. Its like waving a piece of meat infront of the dog no matter if that meat is poison or has bbq sause on it the dog will go for it.. its nature. I bet most all of the nbc people/police officers involved would do the same thing if they where put in the same situation.

  2. Law enforcement 'lures' are more aggressive than most predators but there's no way to know if the perps would have stayed home or gone bowling, etc. were it not for the 'lure' enticing them into some other activity. If this met the legal burden for entrapment, none of these cases would have ever gotten off the ground, it dos not constitute entrapment. Law enforcement does skew the number of predator contacts up, I'd wager that there are as many 'lures' online than actual predators. Research suggests that most kids skip right past solicitations as they would a random spam message. In truth, the internet is no more dangerous than the real world.

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