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Why Reality TV And Crime Work Don’t Mix

Thanks to NBC’s quest for ratings, alleged criminals go free:

MURPHY, Texas – A sting in which police teamed up with “Dateline NBC” to catch online pedophiles was supposed to send a flinty-eyed, Texas-style warning about this Dallas suburb: Don’t mess with Murphy.

Instead, it has turned into a fiasco.

One of the 25 men caught in the sting — a prosecutor from a neighboring county — committed suicide when police came to arrest him.

The Murphy city manager who approved the operation lost his job in the ensuing furor.

And the district attorney is refusing to prosecute any of the men, saying many of the cases were tainted by the involvement of amateurs.

“Certainly these people should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, but the fact that this was all done for television cameras raises some questions,” said Mayor Bret Baldwin.

It is the first time in nine “Dateline NBC: To Catch a Predator” stings across the country in the past year and a half that prosecutors did not pursue charges.

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