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The Internet Predator Verdict Is In . . . GUILTY! Is this the Start of a New Internet Policing Era?

  • Broadcast in Business
Jon Hansen

Jon Hansen


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However, the law is not based solely on society’s moral sensibilities (although it should reflect them). Nor for that matter, has Melchert-Dinkel lawyer Watkin’s claimed that his client’s actions were morally honorable. The issue at hand is whether or not his client had the right to write what he did in the chat rooms, regardless of the consequences. It is upon this point of law that the Appellate Court will hear the case and ultimately decide Melchert-Dinkel’s future. From the moment I had first heard about this case, and throughout our extensive coverage (which has included exclusive stories and interviews), it has been a journey of contradictory extremes where moral sensibilities collided with legal technicalities in the uncharted realms of the virtual world. Suffice to say, and while you strive hard to maintain a detached objectivity, you cannot help but be drawn into the maelstrom of emotions and moral debates that have for many, had a life-altering impact. While we should have no illusions regarding the guity verdict, even if it is upheld in the Appellate Courts, that this will necessarily deter those who share Melchert-Dinkel’s compulsions, it is nonetheless an important outcome as it reflects a moral value that transcends the legal wranglings relating to First Amendment Rights and the purported vagueness of the law upon which the criminal charges were based. At least for the moment, the verdict connects us with our humanity that has far too often been lost in the contentiousness of a world that seems to be at odds with itself. But one question that stands out is whether the ruling in the Serial Suicide Killer's case heralds a new era in policing the Internet? Joining me this evening to discuss the guilty verdict as well as its far reaching consequences is a guest panel that includes TV's Cop Doc, Dr. Richard Weinblatt.