The privacy laws are so tight, that the criminals have the advantage. It is so hard to know who has a criminal past. Citizens ought have the right to delve into someone’s past if they are entering marriage or if they are about to engage in substantial business transactions. So argues Jonar Nader.
Below is a transcript of the audio file.
Host: Good evening Jonar, now what are we going to talk about? Crime and punishment?
Jonar Nader: Yes. Someone alerted me to the fact that we walk the streets; we share the world but we don’t know who we are standing next to. We have no idea what that person is capable of. We transact in business but we don’t know if the person has been a con-artist in the past. We don’t know their credit rating. So you wonder if that person in the street who once stabbed somebody, or is a car thief, ought to wear something around his or her neck. Yellow to represent something, red to represent something else, just so you know whether to deal with these people or not.
Host: Hang on you’re going back to Nazi Germany with those suggestions. That is what Hitler did to the homosexuals and the Jews and Gypsies; he made them wear different colours.
Jonar Nader: Well hang on I don’t care what Hitler did. I mean if you were going to do business with someone wouldn’t you want to know that he was a con-artist, bankrupted his company 5 times and been to court 60 times for whatever.
Host: Wouldn’t there be a better way, some sort of record to access rather than have a brooch or something that was a different colour?
Jonar Nader: Well you go out with your family to see a movie and the person standing next to you has had aggravated assault charges 5 times…
Host: I can see your point but he is not going to wear his brooch and be proud of it is he?
Jonar Nader: Great, that is the whole idea. Either keep them either off the streets, or shame them out of what they are doing. Now do you believe in rehabilitation, are we saying that this person will never do it again?
Host: I think people can be rehabilitated, yes, don’t you?
Jonar Nader: I think some who choose to be can be, but I have spent some time in courtrooms and when you hear the litany of 5 times this and 20 times that, 30th count of… you think my goodness child, and we still let them out the front door!
Host: Well that is correct you know, some can be rehabilitated but what of the many that can’t be!
Jonar Nader: Well a data base is one thing but I remember ages ago a friend of mine was getting married and we had suspicions about her would be husband… well aren’t we entitled to know if that person has been in jail for something. Forgive and forget, but here we have people who bash and steal and yet they are rubbing shoulders with you at the cinema smiling at you.
Host: But you see that is something that is inbuilt in human nature. We will never get rid of any of those traits from any of our nature. We are lumbered with it so that if you have done a crime, you have to live with it, whether you are rehabilitated or not. I have to take you on face value.
Jonar Nader: Yes, but some people make it their profession to con you. Don’t you hear it every day? Even the biggest of banks are conning people and saying we are giving great returns when they are not.
Host: Again that is human nature you will never obliterate it
Jonar Nader: No you won’t but I think that we poor law abiding citizens need to have a right to know if the person next door has a gun for example. If I knock on the door and say ‘Hey mate can you stop you dog barking’, what am I in for? I have no idea!
Host: Yes but if after 5 years for a felony and I am out and I have been released and I am back in the world again, I don’t think I should have to wear a plackard that said I was in jail.
Jonar Nader: But if that felony happened 7, 8 or 9 times don’t I have a right to know about it when you come and knock on my door.
Host: Well I suppose it is up to the corrective services to say yes you are worthy; you are cured; you are rehabilitated go out. But Jonar if I was going to invest 10,000 dollars with you, I would do some research before I gave you my money that would be up to me.
Jonar Nader: Yes but even if you do research legitimately… I mean, I called the police regarding that friend’s husband. I called all sorts of places and they said ‘No, sorry, due to privacy we are not allowed to tell you’. So you can do all the research you like. Unless you go underground and pay someone like $2000 to get the dirt on me through the back door, you are not going to be able to find out anything.
Host: Under that argument, we don’t trust anyone.
Jonar Nader: No well I think that is a pretty good rule to begin with but even if you have to, you just can’t find out anything because of this thing called privacy. I think someones privacy ought to be shut out the window the moment they have the audacity to go out and rape someone. You know raping someone is not this accident where, oh I swerved, I was a bit, and I didn’t mean to kill you. When you rip someones clothes off there is no question of it was an accidental. What is this Austin Powers?
Host: I think you have to take people on face value and have a certain amount of trust but also believe even in a marriage it takes years and years to really get to know your partner.
Jonar Nader: Yes but wouldn’t you rather know now that your partner had 6 sexual assaults before you go into it and later find out?
Host: I don’t think you can ever find out Jonar there is no way. You would have a Nirvana, a perfect world if you had that. You would have a world where we would trust each other; we would never have any disputes; there would be no wars; it would be paradise. People are not going to own up to their crimes. It is not possible Jonar.
Jonar Nader: Why isn’t it possible. The records are there in court. Why isn’t there a database so I can look up Bruce Mansfield and see this guy sold 50 homes pocketed the money and people are up the creek.
Host: Sure have a database but I’m not going to wear a brooch with a red insignia saying beware he is a con-artist.
Jonar Nader: Well it is not your choice if you have violated civil rules of life I don’t think it should be your choice like it is not your choice to go to jail, if you have been sent to jail, that’s just the way it is.
Host: Yes but a database is the closest you will come to it. I don’t think a brooch is the answer.
Jonar Nader: Well it wasn’t my idea, a caller last week made this suggestion and I’m pushing it forward.
Host: I think it is a good topic and very interesting but it does take me back, with respect, to Nazi Germany where you had to wear a yellow triangle and 3 stars. Thank you Jonar at least he makes us think, but the privacy laws are such in this country that it is very hard to get any information on anyone. There are the civil libertarians and the privacy act. Even the policeman who go to their computers and seek knowledge about speeding fines without authority are in hot water too.