Fallout from the Steubenville Rape Conviction...for everyone

The verdict is in regarding the case of the two Steubenville, Ohio, rape case against two boys accused of raping a 16 year old girl. It's juvenile court so their sentences will be 1 year for one of the boys and 2 for the other, the difference being that one of the boys published a video of the offense. They will be in a juvenile facility, not regular prison.

Once they've served their sentences, both will have to register as sexual offenders wherever they go in the U.S. for the rest of their lives or face more prison time. Both were local football stars and good students. Now their futures are in a shambles. No, I don't feel sorry for them. They made their choice, and given the evidence of their values, they probably would have done some pretty shitty stuff at some time in their lives even had they not done this.

Other people took photos and videos of the situation as well. What's the significance of that? The Attorney General of Ohio has announced that this case isn't over. It's now known who was present and others may have participated to one degree or other. Also, not one kid present attempted to intervene, to call 911, or even to call an adult. It may be that some of them will have to stand trial as well.

Most of us here are no longer minors, but there's a lesson for us as well from the fact that so much of this case hung on evidence in social media and on the cell phones of those present (pictures, videos). The day when so many crimes came down to "he said, she said" or conflicting testimony are receding into the rear view mirror. 

It started with security video, then police dash cam video, but now cameras are everywhere. Almost everyone has a camera in their pocket, their purse, or on their belt. When someone does something bad, the chance it'll be caught on camera increases daily.

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Have you seen the Russian dash-cam videos on youtube?

No, why?

A large portion of the cars in Russia have dash cams installed. They are there to help in traffic disputes. Besides recording traffic accidents, the cameras catch road rage fistfights, crazy drivers, even helicopters and military jets buzzing the highway.

Both were local football stars and good students. Now their futures are in a shambles.

Good, I hope they die of ass cancer to top it off.

It started with security video, then police dash cam video, but now cameras are everywhere. Almost everyone has a camera in their pocket, their purse, or on their belt. When someone does something bad, the chance it'll be caught on camera increases daily.

Now this is a double edged sword. At what point does this turn into a police state where we each have our own TV show with a snake-camera shoved up our asses?

I wish I could look into their brains to see whether they've learned anything other than not to get caught. I think that in a way that's almost comical, they got something that mimicked the sense of being above and beyond the normal rules we see in pro athletes  that has them doing things that range from stupid (driving 120 mph on the freeway, gambling) to horrific (running a dog fighting ring, raping a female fan). I say this because this registering as sex offenders for the rest of their lives really is intended to protect the community from the type of sexual criminal who is almost certain to reoffend.

Technology is making the everyday world a tough place for criminals to commit their crimes. It's not as bad as it is in London yet, where cell phone cameras aside, you are under surveillance almost everywhere you go. Criminals no longer can make much of a living by robbing people on the street. I imagine many people are like me. Unless I'm traveling, I probably average having about $20 in cash in my pocket. Why? About the only thing one needs cash for anymore is parking meters. And more of those will take credit cards. If a crook gets my wallet, a call to my bank(s) will soon make any credit card(s) useless to them.

The downside is the crime is moving off the street and becoming more sophisticated with identity theft, hacking corporate computers, and worse. And not just more sophisticated but harder to detect and prosecute as well.


"I wish I could look into their brains to see whether they've learned anything other than not to get caught."

The MAOR-3R Gene ...Also known as the Warrior Gene. If a person has that. coupled with a terrible childhood. You end up with a pretty violent individual,

Sociopaths are everywhere. As common as left handers. We tend to only see the criminal types. The dumb ones get caught but they dont learn and they keep re offending. The smart ones end up like Rupert Murdoch or Lance Armstrong. The most frightening ones to me are the ones who pretend to be loving fathers and husbands. These fathers who are passing on the gene to their children and then triggering it into activation by abusing their own children. Then the cycle starts all over again.

The MAOR Gene ... read about it is really interesting.

 *Lance Armsrong is said to be a Narcissist not a Sociopath. All Sociopaths are Narcissists but not not all Narcissists are Sociopaths. The feature of both behaviours though is the damage they cause others and without remorse.

I have a problem with them being registered as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. That kind of branding should be reserved for repeat offenders. Other than that, I also have no sympathy for them.

While on the topic, I encourage everyone to install apps on their smart phones that will record audio/visual data surreptitiously.  I use one called Open Watch Recorder, but there are many available.  They are designed for recording encounters with law enforcement, but my app has come in handy providing proof of people behaving badly when otherwise it would have just been my word against theirs.  Similarly, when in public, I always make the assumption that I am on camera.

The First, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts have all issued rulings protecting a citizen's right to record law enforcement in public even without their consent, but educate yourself on the subject before you do it.

Be careful when recording encounters other than with law enforcement. Know whether you are in a one-party or two-party state. In a one-party state, it's okay to record AUDIO without the other person's consent. In a two-party state, the other person must be informed. A little research showed that most of the law is about audio.

The video area is murkier. I know that when I lived in Oregon some perv was videotaping young women in the nude in the tanning parlor where he worked. There was public outrage but it turned out that since his tapes had no audio, there was no law against it. In the end, one of the girls he recorded turned out to be underage and, well, you can guess the rest.

Exactly, which is why I advise people to research before actually implementing. Knowing whether you live in a one-party or two-party state is essential (Indiana is a one-party state), but also know the difference between recording in public places and in not-so-public places. Most courts have ruled that there is no right to an expectation of privacy when you are out in public, so the right to record and be recorded is implied if you leave your home.

Also keep in mind that legislation is almost always 5 to 10 years behind the technology, and the people passing the legislation rarely understand the technology they are legislating.

As a bit of an aside to the "there's no privacy in public" rule, I remember hearing about an interesting case. A man had situated a camera under a sidewalk grate to capture what are called "upskirt" shots showing what I think you can imagine such a shot would show. He was arrested and his attorney asked the case to be dismissed under the principle that there's no expectation of privacy in a public place. The judge ruled to the contrary, saying that while a woman can't expect privacy in public, she certainly should be able to expect privacy under her clothing, since that's what clothing is for. I love that judge!

Did you watch the CNN report on this? It's ridiculous. They just made these guys out like town heroes and how their lives were gonna be a mess. WTF about the girl, you know, the victim? People are signing petitions to get CNN to apologize for their crappy ass remarks.

If they're likely to reoffend (like pedophiles) then registering as sex offenders for the rest of their lives makes sense. If not, maybe not. After all, they were subjected to a very public trial and the videos of the trial and of the rape itself are now out there for anyone to see. I'm not sure what the registering as a sex offender bit accomplishes in addition to that.

If you watched CNN, then perhaps you also heard the statement the girl's mother made in court. Ignoring the religious reference, it's very intelligent and eloquent. She doesn't take the view that her daughter's life is ruined:

“It did not matter what school you went to, what city you lived in, or what sport you’ve played," the victim's mother said. "Human compassion is not taught by a teacher, a coach or a parent.  It is a God-given gift instilled in all of us. You displayed not only a lack of this compassion but a lack of any moral code."

"Your decisions that night affected countless lives including those most dear to you," the victim's mother continued. "You were your own accuser through the social media that you chose to publish your criminal conduct on.

"This does not define who my daughter is,” the mother said. Emotion then briefly rippled through her voice. “She will perservere, grow, and move on.

"I have pity for you both. I hope you fear the Lord, repent for your actions, and pray hard for his forgiveness.”

Also of interest is the Ohio Attorney General's statement after the trial. He made it clear this isn't over. Every single teen at that party could end up with a criminal record for not reporting the crime (Ohio has a law requiring people to report felonies), for cheering the rapists on, for taking pictures of an underage girl (yeah, kiddie porn), and for erasing evidence they may have had on their phones (text messages, photos, videos), which is destruction of evidence. Other kids have refused to talk to police, which is obstruction of justice.

Some kids who just went out to drink and party that night are in for a very rough ride.


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