Sunday, March 21, 2010

How to Catch More Criminals

I may never develop a coherent religio/politico/cultural philosophy. But I think I know how to catch more bad guys. Recidivists, anyway.

When was the last time you saw a surveillance video of the commission of a crime where the criminal displayed himself or herself in any way that looked like this?
(Yes, it's a young Larry King. 1971, grand larceny, stealing from business partner, charges dropped.)

Right. Never. They always look like this:
or this:

or this:
I propose that mug shots include photographs taken from a distance of 10-25 feet, from a slightly elevated perspective, with the subject wearing some kind of slouchy headgear, both with and without dark glasses, a resolution of about .079 megapixels, and unflattering lighting.

We may rope in some innocents, but please recall that you don't have your mug shot taken in the first place unless you've been pinched in the course of having done something that a reasonable constable might regard as illegal.   Suggesting that it is not so unreasonable to think that you might be engaging in other suspicious activity in the future.   So if you do look like the photos that result from this proposal -- well, I hope that you have a good alibi, that your credit cards are paid up to date, and that you don't have facial hair that screams "I'm unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary for earning a legal living."

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