Back in the day, when someone needed to be shamed for doing foul s***, he was tarred and feathered. It hurt, it was embarrassing and it did the trick. Americans gave that up pretty soon after the Revolution, and our public shaming practices have been evolving since. These days, Austin, Texas is the leader in embarrassing criminals with its endlessly entertaining newspaper, Busted, a collection of mugshots of those arrested in Austin each week.
OK, so these people aren’t necessarily guilty yet, and some will be exonerated not too long after the newspaper’s been published, but it’s still a badass method of shaming criminals and making the public aware of who’s dangerous and who’s doing so really stupid s***. Wouldn’t you feel safer seeing the name and mugshot of the armed robber in your neighborhood instead of the nameless, faceless description of the crime in your regular paper’s lame-ass police blotter? Also, isn’t life better when you can open to any page of a newspaper and make fun of someone else?
The people who publish this paper believe that the public ought to know who poses a threat to the community at any given time, and we believe that mugshots of dumb rednecks are damn funny. The court system agrees with us both.
Take a look at some of our favorite mugshots from past issues:
Michael Francis Hagan: Probation Violation
Alfredo Rodriguez: Violation of City Ordnance
Jonathan Parker: Criminal Trespass
Charlese Carter: Injury To A Disabled Individual