Digital Punishment's Tangled Web By Sarah Esther Lageson

736 Words 3 Pages
Unit 1 Discussion Board
Featured in the winter 2016 issue of Context, a publication of the American Sociological Association, the article titled “Digital Punishment’s Tangled Web” is written by Sarah Esther Lageson. Sarah is in the Rutgers University-Newark School of Justice, where she studies how technology changes the law, criminal justice, and systems of American punishment and the effects it has on society. “I have studied the growth of what I call digital punishment by interviewing those who run criminal history and mug shot websites, by analyzing the content they produce, and by interviewing those working to clear their own criminal records through legal means even against the reality of an endless digital trail”. Sarah explains that
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the author uses words like; permanent, impossible, forever, stigma, haunt, lurk and my personal favorite extralegal We are told how the presence of these online mugshots collections prevent people from contributing to society, "a growing tendency to use criminal records in a variety of new settings as a way to assess morality and character. Potential employers, possible landlords—one Google search, and your job or housing might be jeopardized." She writes that its common for most to be unaware of their digital trail until it is too late, “crime reporting websites constitute a new form of punishment culminating in a searchable online history that its subjects often don’t know exists, until they face real-world consequences” and that arrest records and mugshots tend to just "pop up" and once on the web they are there forever," your coworker, first date, or the parents of your kid’s new friend at school can all stumble on this information, as a simple arrest—one that might not even lead to charges—appears online, accompanied by a booking photo.” Furthermore, in an attempt to devalue the actions that lead to arrest records and mugshots the author uses language like “typical encounters with police” and “low level arrest." Yet the authors use of provocative language was not the only reason this article is an example of …show more content…
The following is an example of one such instance for which the author offers no indication as to the origins of the data, “Nearly 1 in 4 adults (an estimated 65 million people) in the U.S. has some kind of criminal record” Ultimately, it is the authors insufficient backup for the majority of information that is presented to the reader as fact that left no question as to whether this piece was propaganda.

Works cited
Lageson, Sarah Esther. "Digital Punishment 's Tangled Web." Contexts Digital Punishments Tangled Web Comments. American Sociological Association., 17 Mar. 2016. Web. 22 May 2016.

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