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Should suspects have anonymity until they are found guilty of a crime? watch

    • Thread Starter
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    So, I just felt like getting some opinions from other users on this, because it's an issue that really bugs me.

    We live in a society where if you open up any of the tabloids on any day of the week you're almost guaranteed to see "x accused of rape", "y arrested on suspicion of..." type stories. Each and every time with a nice big picture of the named individual plastered across the story. These are people who are having their names and faces spread across the entire country before they've even been charged with anything, and most certainly before they've been found guilty of anything.

    We see it time and time again, person arrested on suspicion of a crime, they're all over the news because of it, but then they're found not guilty. Problem is that most people don't care that they're innocent, because most people don't pay enough attention to notice as usually them being found to be innocent is a much less important story to the papers than them being accused of being guilty is. So essentially the papers tell everybody that person x is a rapist, everybody who reads it thinks of person x as a rapist, but when they're found to be innocent the papers don't run the story that person x isn't a rapist, or if they do it's a tiny piece right at the back of the paper, and so everybody still thinks of that person as a rapist!

    I've seen this first hand. About 5 years ago a friend of mine at University was accused of rape by a woman he'd hooked up with in a club. They went back to his, had sex and she left the next morning being perfectly fine with everything that had happened. A few days later however she went to the police and told them he'd raped her, she then went to the Daily Mail to sell her story, and they ran a small piece about her traumatic ordeal, complete with publishing the name and a clear picture of the guy she was accusing. About a week after this a friend of hers came forward with a series of texts that she'd sent on that night, all of them making it clear that she wanted to **** him and one the next morning including her joking about how he was so bad in bed she might just say he raped her. Unsurprisingly the case was dropped, the guy wasn't charged with anything (for some reason she wasn't either) and so this guy was completely innocent. However the Daily Mail didn't bother to run a story to say this, so everybody who had seen his face in the Daily Mail still thought he was a rapist. The guy had people spitting at him in the street, death threats sent to him on facebook, and after a while dropped out of University for a year to let it all die down before he could continue his degree.

    It's cases like that which make me think that until somebody is found guilty in a court of law, it should be illegal for any news organisation to publish the individuals name, face or any details which could lead to him being identified. Of course they should still be able to report on the crime but only if they do so without revealing any details about any suspects. Once somebody has been found guilty then fine, spread their face all over every page if you want, but only once they have been found guilty.

    Opinions?
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    Yes.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
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    So, I hate so at the beginning of sentences. Apologies for my pedantry. Yes, of course otherwise we are living in an uncivilized and infantile nation that is pandering to tabloidesque, lynch mob mentality
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    Yeah, I agree. But I don't think your dream will come true. Because it's business. The media can make lots of money out of those suspects. Do you think they will let tons of money fly away? Greed always exists. That's the truth.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
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    Yes. The media has become an evil, fear-mongering entity that derives revenue as a result of it.
    • Very Important Poster
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    Very Important Poster
    This is a hard one:

    Yes, one the basis that you're going to have some poor person (there was a high profile case - Rachel Nickel / Colin Stagg) who is going to be forever considered by many to be guilty because they have been named and shamed by the press. Despite the fact that they are by law, innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

    There are some people who have comitted multiple crimes. By naming them, it may help others come forward and tell their story.
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    Definitely.
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    Of course they should. I think it does need to be brought to public attention so people can be aware, just saying a man in Hampshire is suspected of this or that, but not actually naming them.
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    Yes, police action and criminal proceedings should ideally be kept confidential. This seems like a no-brainer to me, but the media and the court of public opinion don't work that way, unfortunately. Everybody wants to point fingers and have somebody to blame straight away.

    (Original post by OU Student)
    This is a hard one:

    There are some people who have comitted multiple crimes. By naming them, it may help others come forward and tell their story.
    The risk here is that it could generate false positives. People in the past who saw no reason to make an accusation or press charges may then be led to believe they were a victim of a crime by this person, when they may not have been. People can of course come forward after a conviction, but until then I think it's best that a case remain private and that the police do the contacting. And some people could still come forward based on a description of the incident without naming names. .
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    (Original post by Dandaman1)
    Yes, police action and criminal proceedings should ideally be kept confidential. This seems like a no-brainer to me, but the media and the court of public opinion don't work that way, unfortunately. Everybody wants to point fingers and have somebody to blame straight away.
    Let's not forget that it's much easier to sell a newspaper if you've got the "face of the killer" on the front page.

    Look at the case of Jo Yeates a few years ago. Her body was found on Christmas day and one of the first people arrested was her landlord, he was released very quickly and wasn't charged with anything, but because he was a former teacher, looked a bit strange, and was by all accounts a pretty weird individual it was great for the papers, because they could plaster his name & face all over the front page because look at him, of course he did it, he's so weird.

    They pretty much ruined the guys life because his face made a good front page.
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    Yes 100% the media are driving innocent people through the mud!
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    Unequivocally.
    • TSR Support Team
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    Yes, if not for all crimes then at the very least for the most serious crimes that are likely to be reported.
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    Yes because they may be innocent but they will be frowned upon by everyone.
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    As far as is possible without it impeding the investigation. Ideal situation is a change to a culture within which we see trials for what they are, the place where we as a society are determining whether or not a person is guilty of a crime. Instead of viewing them as a stumbling block to punishing someone.
    • TSR Support Team
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    Does anyone actually disagree with this? I genuinely don't understand what counterargument you could have.
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    The counter argument as far as I can tell is that by naming the person you may encourage other victims of the same person to come forward.
    What proportion of offenders are multiple offenders I don't know.
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    But how will the feminazis be able to victimise innocent men!?
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    (Original post by Evening)
    But how will the feminazis be able to victimise innocent men!?
    They always find a way.
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    Absolutely without question in my view. I would allow a section like "Register" which reports them dispassionately
 
 
 
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