I can’t even remember the first time I saw the weekly paper Just Busted, but I was horrified.
I already knew that at least some mugshots were publicly available online here, leading to a lot of attention for at least one “hot convict”. I’d also been told that I could look online and find out all the sex offenders in my area. No thanks. What will that information give me, except something to worry about? It’s not like I was planning on going door-to-door in my neighborhood to source a random babysitter for my spawn. So when I saw Just Busted, I didn’t really take the name into account, and assumed that the people featured had been convicted of the crimes they were being publicly shamed for. I didn’t realize they had only been arrested, and that publishing such mugshots was perfectly legal and likely to stay that way. America may be may be a bit lax compared to Australia when it comes to some areas, but you do not want to fuck up here.
My husband and I bristled with righteous outrage. Their mugshots are available as entertainment, which seemed bad enough, and they haven’t even faced court yet?! My father in law, defensive of his much-loved adopted country, assured us that “99% will be guilty anyway” and that “they like it, they get excited about making the paper!”. We didn’t believe him at all.
A few weeks later I found myself lined up in front of the counter in a local servo (gas station), and heard a conversation commencing with “Did we make Just Busted this week, Mackenzie?”
The couple proceeded to flick through a copy, wondering aloud if one of their friends may be in it as well, or maybe next week’s edition instead, and whether they should pay the princely sum of $2 to get a copy each.
Ok…..so my father in law is bound to be right by chance at least sometimes.
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