Original post made
on Feb 4, 2011
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Thanks for clarifying that, "Under the law, those charged with offenses are considered innocent until convicted." Almost forgot I was living in America.
On a side note. I think it would be useful / help deter crime if the weekly started posting people's names that were arrested along with this report. I.e:
Instead of: "1:30 a.m. in the 6000 block of Johnson Drive; public drunkenness, vandalism"
it would read:
1:30 a.m. in the 6000 block of Johnson Drive; John Doe, age 31, of Dublin, was arrested for public drunkenness, vandalism
As much as Pleasanton PD will deny it - it is public record once the case is finished being investigated.
If you truly are as pro law as your chosen name indicates than you would be aware, and support the idea that people are not guilty simply because they have been arrested, or accused of a crime. There is a reason we see the innocent until proven guilty disclaimer constantly, and that is to constantly remind people of the fact that an arrest or accusation does not equate to guilt.
The notion of printing people's names in police reports is a terrible idea. The accused, in this case person who has been arrested has their name and alleged crime plastered in a public forum, in this case the paper/web site, and now is associated with that crime regardless of innocence or not. This flies directly in the face of out justice system. There is a good reason we assume innocence until guilt is proven by a court of law, it protects the individual from faulty police work, simple human error, inaccurate witness descriptions, and the kangaroo court of public opinion to name a few.
Many people are arrested when they have done nothing wrong, and are later found innocent in court, or even before hand when the prosecutorial body of a particular jurisdiction decides to not pursue the case as it has no merit, or another suspect is located etc...
In the end this idea of "deterring crime" by calling anyone who is accused of a crime out publicly is just another example of a mindlessly punitive attitude towards other people and society as a whole.