Monday, May 02, 2005

I guess everyone's heard the story of the Duluth, GA woman that ran from her wedding, later claiming to have been kidnapped.

My boyfriend and I were talking about this last night and began wondering, why did she have to say she was kidnapped? If she just happened to run away one night and it just happened to be right before her enormous wedding, it wouldn't be too hard to figure out why she did it. But to put your friends and family through that... that's awful. She couldn't have thought that no one would notice--I read that she and her fiancee had sent out 600 wedding invitations! That's entirely too many people to start with (unless you're royalty) and way too many people to just sneak out quietly.

On the other hand, how can anyone really blame her? Getting married is a huge deal, especially in front of 600 people. That's an awful lot of gossip if it doesn't work out. Maybe she's a drama queen that just wanted the attention... maybe it was her mother in law that was doing all the planning and she wanted to exert some control... maybe she really was naive enough to think that no one would notice and it wouldn't be a big deal.

At least she came clean with the kidnapping story. She could have given a false description of her kidnappers and had the whole country in a frenzy. So she's not diabolical. What I want to know is, what exactly are they going to charge her with? In order for there to be charges pressed, doesn't someone have to press them? Who would have the right to do that? Definitely her fiancee, but would he? Her parents probably wouldn't, so who else would? Me? Do I have the right because I was worried about her, planned on attending the prayer vigil and then found out what a sucker I am?

I'm sure we'll all find out since the news loves anything sensational. One of the disc jockeys in Atlanta made sure to tell everyone that he had gone to both church services yesterday to pray really hard for the girl because she had really upset him. My advice: get the hell over it. Let the woman do what she wants to do. She upset her family and friends and I think it's shitty but I don't think she should be charged with anything and I think the media is having way too much fun with this story. At least she didn't pull out a rocket launcher and murder all 600 of her guests.


PrestigeWhore said...

The charges would not be for the lost money and the annoying of the guests, but for the false reporting of a crime. Its fine for a woman to back out, but have the guts to own up to it. She wasted tremendous state, local, and federal resources so that she shouldn’t be embarrassed. That money should be charged to her for both fiscal and deterrence purposes. Let there be "teeth" to the crime of false

Sparky said...

I actually did read that right after I posted my comments (great research, right?) I agree with the charges for false reporting of a crime and the resources that were wasted on her. I just hope they don't really prosecute... Drag it out a bit longer to make an example of her, but I think she's been humiliated enough.

PrestigeWhore said...

That decision would depend on how much of this is making an example and how much of it is just recouping wasted resources. To some extent an argument can be made that law enforcement in general should be a pay-as-you use resource, where everyone who utilizes it has to pay for the services. The problems with that are many including that people may be motivated to take matters in their own hands if they cant/don’t want to pay. Plus, it would then become a luxury for the rich which would encourage crime against poor people because that would be under prosecuted. So its best to have that cost spread out over all people in the form of a blanket tax and with no premium based on actual usage. We all benefit as a society from the reduction of crime, etc. I would be they don’t charge her because they can only charge her for the resources used after the false reporting which is negligible (at first it was a standard case of a person running away, and the fact that people were looking for her is not necessarily her problem - we don’t as a society want to regulate peoples behavior so much so that they can be prosecuted for a failure to repost their actions to other people. That would be scary). The only problem is that in order to avoid embarrassment she made up a false charge, and that costs money. A criminal charge against her would probably be more likely to succeed and cost less to bring (the exact money damages are very hard to prove and would cost more to prove than its worth). She would get slapped on the wrist, but it would mean something.
A similar debate rages over bringing charges against people who report false rapes. On the one hand, rape is very over reported in that false charges do happen. On the other hand, rape is very underreported and if women who can’t validate the charges can end up in legal trouble they will be scared and refrain from bringing true charges to avoid that risk.....

Ok. This post went on way too long and probably makes little sense.

Sparky said...

Since she didn't actually accuse anyone of her abuduction I hope they just drop it all. It seems like the people that report false rapes can be prosecuted for slander and false reporting, but to prosecute this woman when she didn't accuse anyone seems a bit harsh. I don't think there are many people out there that would copy this "crime" so there's no need to make an example of her. She's disgraced herself, her family and she'll be a national joke for months. Her fiancee and family are standing by her so whatever action is taken against her would make the prosecutor look like an ogre.

PrestigeWhore said...

I agree, and the fact that they are widely reporting the threat of prosecution has very much the same deterrence effects as an actual prosecution.