, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 52-98

Internet stings directed at pedophiles: A study in philosophy and law

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Abstract

This article is published under rules given in “Multiple Publication Reconsidered,”Journal of Information Ethics 7 (Fall 1998): (2)47-53 and “Multiple Publication Reconsidered II,”Journal of Information Ethics 15 (Spring 2006): (1)5-7 and is substantially revised from 15Widener Law Journal 47 (2005), per refereeing, and also has an additional final section. The article is intended to, in Sections I and II, flesh out and put within a metaphilosophical framework the theoretical argument first made in 2002 in “Do Internet Stings Directed at Pedophiles Capture Offenders or Create Offenders? And Allied Questions” (Sexuality & Culture 6(4): 73–100), with some modifications (See note 14). Where there are differences, I stand by this version as the final version of the argument. Section III addresses three experimental or empirical studies which might be thought to contradict or confirm the data of the 2002 study. Section IV compares what we have done with the one other jurisprudential argument made by Summer 2005. Section V discusses why, despite the evidence and the arguments, these sting operations are popular with prosecutors and the public alike. Section VI comments on why my empirical study dating to 2002 does not appear to have gained wide acceptance, and what, if anything, can be said about this.