Better Response To Crimes On YouTube: Force The Criminals To Apologize On YouTube

from the much-better-response dept

We keep seeing stories of proposed legislation to make it a crime to post video evidence of yourself committing a crime. This seems totally backwards. If the person is posting evidence of themselves committing a crime, that makes it that much easier for the police to capture them. Giving them reasons not to post evidence of their own crime seems backwards — and even some of those advocating these laws seem to implicitly recognize this fact.

It appears one judge has a much more reasonable response in a case involving some kids who committed a dumb act and put the video evidence on YouTube: part of their punishment is to also post a video apology on YouTube. If the idea behind putting the video up on YouTube was to get some “fame” for filming themselves doing something stupid, shaming them on YouTube seems a lot more sensible than adding additional criminal charges.

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Comments on “Better Response To Crimes On YouTube: Force The Criminals To Apologize On YouTube”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Depends on the crime, anything sexual woudln’t be allowed on YouTube anyway, and there’s thousands of videos of people getting stoned off their faces, thing is, many of these accounts are untracable.

How about we get a new court that deals especially with onilne cases, comprise it of people from the internet who understand how the internet works. And instead of jail, invoke the wrath of 7chan on felons!

Anti-Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Anonymous Coward

You’re an ass.

The point is article is about a form of PUNISHMENT whereby the violators who HAVE BEEN/ WILL BE CAUGHT are shamed.

Enforcement and policing the internet for violators is a separate issue, which is not the focus of the article or subsequent discussion.

Stay in the topic troll.

Lojiko says:

So can a judge sentence a person to anything? I mean, could a judge sentence them to hop on one foot while singing the “Star Spangled Banner” as a punishment? I’m pretty sure there’s nothing in the State code that suggests posting an apology on YouTube as a punishment guideline.

Not that I care, I’m just curious.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Formal apologies are not uncommon in the US. For the most part among minors, particularly pre to early teeens. Apologizing is one of the harder things for a person to do and you’d be surprised how effective of a deterrant it can be.

Course then you get the total f*ckups that have tottaly different issues where an apology won’t mean jack to them.

BTR1701 (profile) says:

Re: Sentencing

> So can a judge sentence a person to anything?
> I’m pretty sure there’s nothing in the State
> code that suggests posting an apology on YouTube
> as a punishment guideline.

The way it works is that the defendant agrees to the alternative punishment in lieu of jail time.

In this case, the judge gave the kids a choice: make an pology and put it on YouTube and have your conviction expunged from the record or go to jail and live with as an ex-con with a criminal record for the rest of your life.

The kids didn’t have to take the YouTube option. They could have chosen the punishment the state code prescribes. But since YouTube is a much better deal, it’s no surprise they agreed to it.

Greg says:


Yes, a judge can pass sentence a criminal to pretty much anything he wants, from what I understand.

Sentences are usually plea bargained or recommended by prosecutors or juries, but the judge can issue any sentence he sees fit.

In Houston, a judge sentenced a man to a yoga class.

And then there’s this one, where a couple had to parade a donkey down a street.

Judges have a lot of options available to them, usually reserve these kinds of sentences for non-violent criminals.

Tammy says:


I agree with the proposed law. My position is usually less governmental overseeing, however in this case, the only people dumb enough to tape and post a crime they committed are ” 15 minutes of fame” junkies. Not given the opportunity to post their crime and get their 15 mins it’s likely they would not commit the crime in the first place.

thecaptain says:

This won't work

This really won’t work.

The kind of morons who try to get “Fame” from posting their criminal idiocy on YouTube will relish their second stint in the spotlight in the form of their “apology” knowing that it will draw attention to themselves (and perhaps the original vid) even more.

Stick to existing laws and sentences that make sense.

jeff (profile) says:

sentencing guidelines

@Greg @Lojiko, it depends on the crime. Violent crimes as well as drug crimes have strictly proscribed sentencing guidelines that give the presiding judge less discretion. For simple assault, drug possession (small amounts), thefts, etc. the judge does have a lot of leeway with regard to the sentence, which is why you see things like therapy, yoga class, public service, and now youtube apologies in lieu of jail time.

Lastly, I was really impressed by the detective work the victim in this crime did, were it not for her efforts these wayward teens would have not been caught. It appears she could teach the local police a few things on using the web to track down perps.

Celeste says:

The price of fame

While the boys did get their 15 minutes of fame, that fame may not necessarily be positive. I want to see what happens when they start applying for summer jobs. Their faces have been plastered on YouTube and on morning shows. What employer would hire them now? That 15 minutes of fame comes with a price

steveking says: today announces YouTube Robot 2.0, a tool that enables you to download video from onto your PC, convert it to various formats to watch it when you are on the road on mobile devices like mobile phone, iPod, iPhone, Pocket PC, PSP, or Zune.

YouTube Robot allows you to search for videos using keywords or browse video by category, author, channel, language, tags, etc. When you find something noteworthy, you can preview the video right in YouTube Robot and then download it onto the hard disk drive. The speed, at which you will be downloading, is very high: up to 5 times faster than other software when you download a single file and up to 4 times faster when you download multiple files at a time.

Manual download is not the only option with YouTube Robot. You may as well schedule the download and conversion tasks to be executed automatically, even when you are not around. Downloading is followed by conversion to the format of your choice and uploading videos to a mobile device (if needed). For example, you can plug in iPod, select the video, go to bed, and when you wake up next morning, your iPod will be ready to play new YouTube videos.

Product page:
Direct download link:
Company web-site:

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