No Filter: Is the Washington County Sheriff’s Office ‘shame page’ a good idea?

FEATURE — On the docket this week on “No Filter,” Paul Ford and Grady Sinclair sit down to discuss the Washington County Sheriff’s bookings page, which they say has the ability to ruin the lives of potentially innocent people while at the same time helping to keep the public safe.

Is having a current listing of everyone who is arrested daily a good idea or a destructive element in our community? Paul and Grady really want to get to the bottom of what people in the area think.

This week the duo sat down with one of the top criminal defense attorneys in Washington County, Aric Cramer, to discuss the pros and cons of having local arrest pictures displayed online.

Watch Paul and Grady discuss the potential consequences of being featured on the Washington County Sheriff’s bookings page on the latest episode of “No Filter” in the media player above.

There has got be a good side for the local sheriff to keep displaying the page, Paul said, even though he doesn’t quite understand it himself. And for Grady, he says it’s kind of a rush when you see someone you know.

Cramer said he thinks the bookings page is a mixed bag of good and bad elements, mostly bad, resembling  a modern day “Scarlet Letter.”

“You’re arrested, you are marked, whether or not you have committed it (the crime),” Cramer said. “I have had a number of clients … who have been on that page and were factually innocent.”

Cramer even went so far as to imply the page may also have a problem propagating racism.

Some people tend to agree with the Sheriff’s Office that the listing serves a public service, keeping everyone informed about the criminals out to do society harm.

However, others think people may be prematurely shamed and their lives harmed before they’ve had a chance to go to court and prove their innocence.

Is the bookings page just a high-tech “perp walk”? Paul said he wants to know what the public – and even the Washington County Sheriff – has to say about why it is still an important thing to have online.

Have you ever been listed on the page, or do you know someone who has? Do you think the community needs it, or is it only good for ruining people’s lives?

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