Bad Ideas Minors who Commit Violent Crimes should not have their Names Reported in the Media

This idea of publishing the names of under aged violent criminals takes some thought about media distortion, racial hatred that has escalated to the point of murder, and community hysteria. The first thought is the lack of justice that many juveniles get. The innocent are often swept up with the guilty in the press just as they are on the streets by police who hate them and their communities.

The idea of publishing the names of abusive and predatory adults who commit crimes against children sounds much better. The idea of publishing juvenile names is one of dysfunctional community hysteria that appears to be the fault of the mainstream media. Publishing the name of under aged minors is one of the worst and most dangerous ideas ever, given the racial bias that would surely be involved.

The media distorts the news about violent youth:

According to Harvard’s Neiman Reports. Television news is cited for the most aggressive rise in crime coverage. As a result, the population came to believe that juvenile violent crime is growing and is out of control. This orchestrates mass hysteria and communities that are far more likely to approve of disastrous programs like publicly labeling children as violent criminals. 

In the 1990s, juveniles were only responsible for 15 percent of the crimes and homicide is least common anti social behavior among juveniles. Yet local television and news insists on making it look as if the youth of America and other countries are out of control and raging through the streets.

The National Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research made two more recent conclusions. Over the long term, there has been an 18 percent increase in crime between 2001 and 2011. Property crimes by juveniles did not increase. Over the short term, between January 2010 and December 2011, juvenile violent crime went down by 5.8 percent and property crimes decreased by 13 percent. Yet the media continues to report increases in juvenile violent crime.

The media also goes out of its way to portray children of color, particularly Black, South Asian and Latino, far more often than they portray white violent juvenile criminals. This gets the population worked up with an “us versus them” mentality. Publishing the identity of juveniles will translate to more revenue for the mainstream media while adult predators will be able to track juveniles down and murder them in cold blood. With the rise in “stand your ground” laws, plus the bias in how those laws are prosecute, predatory killers will be able to claim self defense after they track down and kill the tagged youths.

Neiman Reports studied the matter as early as 1998 and concluded that, “In ‘false images? The News Media and Juvenile Crime,’ a report we issued last year, we examined in-depth the question of whether the news media ‘accurately portrayed the reality of juvenile crime.’ With some notable exceptions, our findings suggest that “while juvenile delinquency and violence are often treated as epidemic by the news media, this is not supported by the facts.…this media firestorm has either created or reinforced a public impression that juvenile crime is rampant and a major threat to the safety of the community….(and) slight increases in juvenile crime have been blown out of proportion….while reductions in juvenile violence have frequently gone unreported.” 

In summary, there is a sick and ominous agenda behind releasing the identities of under aged violent criminals. The media will make more money, of course, but innocent juveniles will be swept up to become walking targets for unstable and violent adult predators. After all, the children, most of whom will be non white, will have been tagged as criminals. Even one count of juvenile crime allows the courts, social predators and police to consider their lives as expendable.

The greater horror will come when, not if local law enforcement publicly tags an innocent child as a violent offender and another George Zimmerman is set loose with a gun.