Letter to the Editor: News Coverage of Local Crime Should be More Comprehensive

Los Alamos
The posting of mugshots and names of charged criminals in the Los Alamos Daily Post and Monitor are not inappropriate, but they are incomplete.
If there is worry that individuals who are found not guilty are being treated unfairly, then the most reasonable solution is not to remove their name or photograph from the police blotter. Instead, the media should provide a more comprehensive coverage of the legal system. Rather than just posting a docket as what has occurred in court, the media should provide the court dockets ahead of time so that the public can be made aware of court proceedings ahead of time, enabling a greater amount of overview of our local judicial system. If someone is found not guilty or if charges are dropped, and that information is reported in the same manner as arrests, then anyone searching for their names will find both the charges and acquittal information.
As for the future careers of our young people who commit crimes within this jurisdiction, the media has been most generous in not releasing their names. This is generous because the State of New Mexico does not protect their names, it is our local media that affords such protections. Perhaps their names should be made public so that parents and concerned citizens can keep a more watchful eye on our youth so that they don’t commit these crimes in the first place.
I, for one, am a thankful citizen that I am provided with the mugshots of local offenders. These are people who have moved from suspect to offender, with enough evidence to be charged by the police. I certainly don’t want them house-sitting for me or my family merely because I’m unaware of the offenses with which they’re been charged.
Shame is not a bad thing; instead it is the feeling of guilt, regret, or sadness that one has because they know they have done something wrong – according to Merriam-Webster. If one feels bad for having done something wrong, the response is appropriate.