Pubdate: Thu, 07 Apr 2011
Source: Almaguin News (CN ON)
Copyright: Almaguin News 2011


Consequences. It's a word that's been on our minds a lot this

That's because of an announcement that arrived late last week from our
local OPP detachment about a major sweep of alleged, suspected drug
dealers in five of our communities. Attached to the release were 13
names of individuals. Some we recognize, some we don't, but all will
face consequences, not just from the arrest, but from having their
name published here in the local paper of record.

And we suspect that our readers have some understanding of those
consequences, if not from personal experience, than in acknowledgement
of how acute their own curiosity would be if our decision regarding
the names of those charged had gone the other way.

Case in point, hardly a week goes by here at the News in which we
don't receive at least one inquiry about why our very popular OPP
Files (which will return shortly) do not contain the names of those
charged by police.

The answer is invariably the same. That we don't have the resources to
follow every court proceeding through, and in the age of the Internet
we would find it unfair to publish a name related to a charge without
also publishing the final outcome of the court proceedings.

How would you like to be linked forever via Google to a charge that
was thrown out of court?

That said, we do publish some names. These names are generally related
to more serious offenses under our criminal justice system, and
related to activities that the community finds serious, dangerous or

For instance, at the moment we are following through the court system
charges for child molestation and a lethal traffic accident. And while
we certainly do not draw a comparison from either of those offenses to
the ones charged against the 14 individuals in this week's report
about the sweep, we do think the common element to them all is that
publishing does serve the public good.

That good is that people in this area need to be fully aware of the
drugs that are becoming more readily available in these parts and the
dire consequences they can have. The current prescription drug
addiction epidemic is not just tempting people to waste their lives
away in a narcotic haze, but to literally put them on the line as they
delve into more and more dangerous concoctions to get their highs.

With that in mind we vow to do our best to follow all of the charges
through to their conclusion. This is a country that still mostly
respects the concept of innocent until proven guilty, the exception
being some current drinking and driving measures.

The OPP, by the extent of their efforts, have shown that they are
taking a stand. We will follow to see where it leads them.
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.