Friday, April 3, 2009

"Videotaping this crime spree is the best idea we've ever had!"

Yesterday, we posted this story on our breaking news section. For those of you who just can't muster the energy to move your mouse over to click that link, here's the gist: a bunch of teens and old-enough-to-be-charged-as-adults set off some Molotov cocktails in a vacant building. They weren't supposed to be in the building, and you're not supposed to make homemade explosives to set off in buildings you're not allowed in. That's what those in the law enforcement community call burglary and arson.

These Rhodes scholars were kind enough to not only record these felony crimes, but also to scroll a line of credits listing the names of all of those involved. Police subsequently charged seven people with crimes that could result in 40 years in prison if the judge throw the book. Note: that won't happen. Burglary charges are generally let off easily, and even arson charges seem to result in a matter of months in county; given the age of these kids, they'll probably get even less.

One of the first comments we got was a question of whether we can charge people with the crime of stupidity. On one level, it seems like a good idea. A misdemeanor, for sure, but a bit of a punishment for being so damn brainless as to make everyone wonder if humanity is looking for a jackhammer to get past rock bottom. Then again, stupidity might fall more along the lines of insanity: a way of getting one's sentence reduced because they simply didn't know better. At any rate, crimes of stupidity free up police time to tackle other crimes, so it might be difficult to argue that it's a bad thing.

I remember criminals having the urge to film themselves breaking the law since videotapes were in fashion, so it isn't surprising that YouTube idiocy seems to be on the rise. Here's a story on some drug dealers bragging about selling crack in a rap video; here's one on some people who threatened their neighbors with illegal weapons online; and here's one on police investigating a fatal gang beatdown that was posted on the site. And these are all from browsing through the past week of news that returned hits on "YouTube arrest."

You know what? Screw those jagoffs. Here's Chocolate Rain.

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