Mugged

I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, always pretty in pink, has discovered yet another fresh take on how best to trash basic human dignity. Now the people he arrests get to appear on a kind of American Idol contest, with their booking mugshots displayed on Arpaio’s website. People get to vote on the ugliest, most ridiculous, or stupid-looking portrait of the day. At the time I looked at the website, 5290 people had cast their votes for seven contenders, including a man who is missing his lower jaw (2nd place) and an apparently naked man who appeared to have fallen into a mountain of cocaine (runaway favorite).

Sheriff Joe is trying the idea out, and asking people if they think it’s a good idea. By about 10-1, more than 26,000 Jerry Springer fans have indicated it’s an excellent idea. Presumably none of them thinks he or she has a chance in hell of ever appearing in this gallery. Presumably none of them has ever been in Maricopa County.

Just to take the sting out of the competition, there’s a cautionary on the site advising “Pre-trial inmates are innocent until proven guilty!”

Innocent, maybe, but captive targets.

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