Yet another media outlet is upset at a program that assists in taking sexual deviants off the streets. Esquire claims that the staff of Dateline NBC's "To Catch a Predator" series "manipulated and controlled" police during a sting in Murphy, Texas. This Houston Chronicle article doesn't make it clear how the police were manipulated, but I am going to read this article in Esquire for more information.
The editor of Esquire says that TCAP violates these men's rights of due process. This is a total crock. According to the editor, David Granger, the men are "convicted in the court of public opinion". There is nothing in the Constitution that gives anyone a right to avoid judgment outside of the courtroom. These men are given the same legal rights as anyone else, that doesn't change because they were exposed on national television. So they were "exploited" by NBC? You know what? Tough shit.
There is a growing group of people out there who, for some reason, sympathize with these predators. To them, it's either NBC's fault, or Perverted Justice's fault, or the police's fault, or the legal system's fault, or the viewer's fault. They never, ever, under any circumstances, blame the guy who initiated these online conversations and phone calls with the "minor", in which they say things that are extremely explicit, and then they show up, often with condoms, booze, and other things that leave no doubt where their intentions lie.
I'm pretty sure I've talked about Bill Conradt on this blog before, but to go over the basics, as an assistant prosecutor, of all people, he knew what he was doing was a criminal act. He committed suicide because he knew he was in big trouble, and that his career was effectively over. His sister filed a 100 million dollar lawsuit against NBC, which will hopefully get thrown out, and the prosecutors dropped the charges against the 23 men ensnared in the Murphy sting, leaving them free to go after real teenagers this time.