Letter: Who gets named?
What is the determining factor when posting a name in Crime Briefs? Some stories have the criminal’s names and some withhold due to the victim, which is understandable.
Being a small valley I think it’s bad taste to post names and allow the public to do their own digging. Maybe adding a disclosure that people are innocent until proven guilty could help. Just my 2 cents.
Editor’s note: Our policy is that we name only those people charged with clearly serious or high-profile crimes whose cases we intend to follow through the legal process. To underscore: Naming a person arrested signals our commitment to follow that case and report the outcome.
In the internet age, an arrest, regardless of how the case comes out, sticks to a person’s name in an online search pretty much forever. Most criminal cases are resolved by plea agreements, and in many cases, felony charges are pleaded down to misdemeanors. People with little to no criminal history often plead guilty to misdemeanors and have the conviction erased if they complete a diversion program.
We established this policy in 2015, concluding that it’s simply not fair to name these people when they are arrested but then not follow their case in its conclusion and report the outcome — which is impossible to do because of the volume of such cases and the fact that many cases are settled quickly.