Don't do the crime and post it online if you can't do added time

Posted May 23
Updated May 24

— Social media creates a whole new world to share, and sometimes those things include violent crimes.

A Cleveland man livestreamed on Facebook as he shot and killed an innocent stranger walking down the street.

Teens in Chicago did likewise as they raped a girl.

A news crew was shot dead on live TV in Virginia, and the killer then posted the crime from his angle on social media.

"I think that's just despicable," North Carolina Rep. Garland Pierce, D-Scotland, said Tuesday. "I don't want people, particularly young people, to think this is glamorous and something they should be doing, and it's something exciting to do. It's not exciting. It's hurtful."

Pierce is sponsoring House Bill 918, which would add up to two years in prison to the sentences of people who commit heinous crimes and post videos of their acts online.

"I think it's time to send a message," he said.

The measure drew very little debate and no opposition in the House Judiciary II Committee.

Rep. Mickey Michaux, D-Durham, wanted clarification about bystanders who happen to capture a crime on video and upload it.

"This bill applies to the person who committed the crime who's putting it on," said Rep. John Blust, R-Guilford, another bill sponsor.

Not all violent crimes would be included. For example, the recent case of a Cumberland County service dog that was shot and the video posted on social media wouldn't qualify for a longer sentence because animal cruelty is a lower level felony.

The measure next goes to the House Appropriations Committee because it requests funding for a prosecutor to help with cases covered by the proposal.


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  • Tom Marthers May 24, 11:07 a.m.
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    I think it Horrible that they post online, However, when they do, someone finds out and the police go after them, if they didn't post, then no one would know there is a crime that was committed. It is a double bladed sword. It's no worse than all these people posting smartphone video of crimes. But I also think they should be caught for the crime, and be charged a crime by posting it as well.

  • Catherine Edwards May 24, 9:43 a.m.
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    I agree with Len. Better to prosecute crimes when you 1) know about them and 2) have the criminals provide the evidence against them.
    Personally, I think it is horrible that people do that. I also think it's one of the dumbest things they can do. I also believe these dumb criminals won't know about this law, so it won't deter them.

  • J.D. Howell May 24, 8:43 a.m.
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    So some crime is ok to post online i see,,,,

  • Len White May 24, 7:27 a.m.
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    This may be yet another case of something that ‘sounds’ like a good idea but probably isn’t ….

    From the defendant’s point of view, they have the ‘right’ to post the information based on the ‘freedom of speech’ clause in the First Amendment to the US Constitution. This would appear to penalize them for exercising that right….

    I think that defense attorneys are going to have a field day with this one at no small expense to the public that the law is intended to protect ….

    While I agree that posting such material is reprehensible perhaps it would be better to just use the evidence that is being so generously provided to help lock up the perpetrator for a long time ….

    Any comments from attorneys out there in Etherland ?

  • Timothy Haggerty May 24, 5:09 a.m.
    user avatar

    My god.

  • Timothy Haggerty May 24, 4:29 a.m.
    user avatar

    And you know what, facts withstanding, if he had not been higher education, and ROTC, he would have been cannon fodder for the VC and NVA, just like all of his dead friends.

  • Paul Shields May 24, 12:56 a.m.
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    what about wake county keeping records right. time crime ? told dismessed for running red light 4 years later showed up on ins. called wake court house told i am right but have to come down talk in person, they said there mistake but yet we cant do nothing...... i live in nc near va so decided let it go paid court cost was 4 years into i was told 7 years it falls off record....wow it all about fees

  • Scott Phelps May 23, 9:24 p.m.
    user avatar

    Don't do the crime and post it online if you can't do added time. One helluva rhyme. Way to go WRAL it's about time.