I missed Barry Paschal's May 27 column about Michael Adam's arrest ("A fictional victim?"), but did read Gene Rickaby's response criticizing Paschal's position (letter, June 3, "'Outright wrong' for cops to create 'a sinful situation,' troll Web").
... Now, we have a good issue to write about: the morality of entrapment, luring, or however you want to define, catching potential criminals.
Rickaby struck the first bell in saying that it is "wrong" to create a "sinful situation" and/or "encouraging citizens to put illicit desires into criminal action." I want to take the position that it is entirely legal and moral to trap and remove such citizens from society -- before the evil is actually committed. Not only that, but it is cheaper on the government's treasury to apprehend them before the crime than have to investigate, find and catch a child abuser.
I will grant that the alleged culprit, a 50-year-old, may have sexual fantasies of having sex with a child. But that is not in the range of normal activities of the rest of humanity. It should not be condoned, ignored or permitted in a civilized society. This is not a 'profound question' for philosophers to ponder, beat their chests and bewail the practices of base criminals, and then to propound new solutions to a deranged situation.
I used to have such a liberal approach before I began working with the juvenile court where I was rudely introduced to the ravages of child abuse and now I believe that it is more moral to stop crime and stop the abuse of children than to worry about the hypothetical loss of freedom by hypothetical, potential criminals.
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