Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)
11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
These are troubling times. People are rioting in the streets which all started as a result of police abuse. Someone died due to excessive force by one officer and the other officers didn’t do anything to stop the behavior and neither did anyone watching. Shocking. Injustice!
In a similar theme so are these Sex Sting operations police abuse or often cited as Outrageous Government Conduct. Here is a quote from one of the Net Nanny stings (WA State) which was said by one of the lead sting officers back in 2016: “ We’re not enticing people to do something they don’t already have on their mind. We’re just taking advantage of their weakness. “ BINGO! Taking advantage of their weakness. These stings don’t really protect the public they just bring awareness to a potential problem which is exacerbated by law enforcement. The Federal Government (OJJDP) and various private organizations help fund these stings so they continue. The local agencies can pad their arrest numbers send them back to the DOJ (as ICAC requires) showing results. It is pretty simple. Results = money and the problem continues. Who will fight this and try to stop the injustice?
Within the last 5 years in Washington State over 170 people have served jail or prison times as a result of these stings. It adds up to around 6+ years per individual. The “pound of flesh” required as a result of their “weakness” in continuing their discussion to meet up with law enforcement; many of whom were suspicious. When conducting these stings nothing is off limits for law enforcement; they can lie (say they are not police), steer the conversation, deceive, manipulate, and/or whatever they want. If you continue and show up or even get close you’ll get arrested and prosecuted. You have less than a 1% chance of walking away without a felony and SO registration. I should know, I track these stings. When brought to trial (42 of these cases, or 22% are going to trial versus the typical 5% of other cases) you have a 5% success rate. If you lose, you get to appeal and almost all of these cases have filed an appeal. Success rate in the appeal process has about the same odds (~10%). I’ve seen small concessions but only one overturned because the lower court should have allowed entrapment.
So the bottom line is, if arrested, you WILL suffer. You WILL be disciplined. There is no out. You must remain strong. Persevere. Overcome. Readjust. Figure out your next steps with this new crutch.
Us crusaders out here will try to bring light to this injustice and continue to fight to correct the situation. It will take time. It will take meaningful discussions.
No Justice, No Peace?