Everyone remember at the end of ‘Its a wonderful life’ where the bank clerk Eustace is counting the money on the table from the basket of money dumped there? He picks up a bill, hits the key on the register, and you hear a ‘cha-ching’ sound? One right after the other?
And little Zuzu says…
“Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”
I wont be able to watch that scene anymore without thinking of our government, and police, raking in the money as they arrest unsuspecting people hoping to engage in legal hookups and dating.
I imagine some police person, who may, but likely will not, have a conscience and concern over ramifications from their accusations, pressing the cash register button with every online reply to a proactive ICAC sting.
After all, they make approximately $100,000 per conviction right? CHA-CHING!!
Some good news is that I am seeing a number of Judges balking these practices. Like these comments on a previous case:
We are loath to give the government the power to punish us for our thoughts and not our actions. Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U.S. 557, 565, 89 S. Ct. 1243, 22 L. Ed. 2d 542 (1969). That includes the power to criminalize an individual’s expression of sexual fantasies, no matter how perverse or disturbing. Fantasizing about committing a crime, even a crime of violence against a real person whom you know, is not a crime.
This does [**4] not mean that fantasies are harmless. To the contrary, fantasies of violence against women are both a symptom of and a contributor to a culture of exploitation, a massive social harm that demeans women. Yet we must not forget that in a free and functioning society, not every harm is meant to be addressed with the federal criminal law. Because “[t]he link between fantasy and intent is too tenuous for fantasy [alone] to be probative,” United States v. Curtin, 489 F.3d 935, 961 (9th Cir. 2007)
Can’t those with power find ways to keep people safe, without infringing on rights or ruining young, naive men’s lives?