The Corner

Entrapment Cont’d

This, I think, is a point well-taken:

Mr. Goldberg,   Not to defend Craig in anyway, but wouldn’t a better, and significantly less constitutionally dubious, way to “stop random men from using a public men’s room at their airport as a den of iniquity” be to have uniformed police patrolling the men’s rooms at the airport?  I highly doubt too many people would be playing bathroom bordello while a uniformed Minneapolis cop was using the hand drier: same amount of resources allocated and the crime is still prevented….and, as a plus, people wouldn’t be arrested for toe-tapping or toilet-paper snatching…

And then there’s this:

How many complaints did it take to get the Airport Police to place an

officer in the men’s room to stop this?

I’m sure there was a ton of action going on, annoying other passengers to

get the Police to do something this boring.

The officer who issued the ticket has a masters in Criminal Justice, so I’m

sure he wasn’t just blindly assuming crime was going on where none was. 

And this:

Jonah,

       I agree with you that Sen. Craig, in all likelihood, was looking for what he is accused of looking for and also what happened is not at all entrapment.  What I think is bothering many people intuitively, however, and what bothers me as an attorney, is that he was arrested for conduct that, if viewed on its face, simply can’t be called criminal.  Tapping your foot and waving your hand under the stall?  Very creepy and very much unwanted by most men in a men’s room, but criminal?  What if Sen. Craig was getting ready to ask for his phone number for the next time he is in town or ask him to have drinks in the airport bar–again creepy, but that would be flirting, not a crime.  It just seems like sloppy police work.  Anyone who has watched Cops a few times knows that in police prostitution stings it is not enough that a man simply talks to a prostitute (or decoy prostitute), even if he asks her to have sex.  It takes an acknowledgement by both parties that it is to be sex for money–that is what makes it a crime. Similarly, here the crime is not foot-tapping or hand-waving or even “hitting on man” in a men’s room.  The crime would be having some sort of sexual encounter in a public men’s room.  Thus the cop, in my view, showed his badge too quickly.  Obviously, they don’t have to have sex, but, just as in prostitution stings, he needed some overt acknowledgement that Sen. Craig was looking for sex right there, right then.  Had he been more patient, I, in my own mind, have no doubt how things would have proceeded and there would now be no question at all about Sen. Craig’s intent and he would already be gone.

 And then a million readers note that they’ve never, ever, ever, touched another dude’s foot from their stall. And if they were to do so, the last thing  they’d do is start running their hand along the stall wall. They’d pretend it never happened.   

Most Popular

Culture

White Cats and Black Swans

Making a film of Cats is a bold endeavor — it is a musical with no real plot, based on T. S. Eliot’s idea of child-appropriate poems, and old Tom was a strange cat indeed. Casting Idris Elba as the criminal cat Macavity seems almost inevitable — he has always made a great gangster — but I think there was ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Other Case against Reparations

Reparations are an ethical disaster. Proceeding from a doctrine of collective guilt, they are the penalty for slavery and Jim Crow, sins of which few living Americans stand accused. An offense against common sense as well as morality, reparations would take from Bubba and give to Barack, never mind if the former ... Read More
Politics & Policy

May I See Your ID?

Identity is big these days, and probably all days: racial identity, ethnic identity, political identity, etc. Tribalism. It seems to be baked into the human cake. Only the consciously, persistently religious, or spiritual, transcend it, I suppose. (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor ... Read More
Health Care

The Puzzling Problem of Vaping

San Francisco -- A 29-story office building at 123 Mission Street illustrates the policy puzzles that fester because of these facts: For centuries, tobacco has been a widely used, legal consumer good that does serious and often lethal harm when used as it is intended to be used. And its harmfulness has been a ... Read More