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Legal System in the “To Catch a Predator” TV Show


In this paper, attention is paid to the show To Catch a Predator and its impact on the way of how people understand various legal issues and practices. There are many concerns and discussions about the worth of the show as it promotes different interpretations of “bait” operations and their effects, entrapment, and even the use of profiling in regards to the discrimination issues in the legal system. This paper introduces the opinion of how it is necessary to research the data available and to make the conclusions about To Catch a Predator’ worth.

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Nowadays, people demonstrate different attitudes to the TV shows offered to them. Some people like to take the ideas developed there seriously, and some people accept the information as a part of the show that does not require much attention. Still, such documentary show as To Catch a Predator is created not only for entertainment. It helps to understand the law and different legal principles people should consider. It is suggested to believe that To Catch a Predator is the show that may be used as one of the possible approaches to learning more about “bait” operations, entrapment, and profiling systems; still, it should not be the only source to rely on, and people should continue learning the peculiarities of the legal issues that influence human life.

Worth and Necessity of To Catch a Predator Show

To Catch a Predator was rather a popular show between 2004 and 2007 that exposed the behavior of possible criminals and their victims. Though the results of the show were rather contradictive and left a difficult legacy (Buckland, 2015), the information offered in the frames of the show helped to realize that “bait” operations and law enforcement had to be investigated and evaluated in regards to a particular situation that could take place. It becomes clear that not all “bait” operations are consistent, and not all of them can lead to the required outcomes and effects. Therefore, such operations and shows can be necessary for educational purposes and evaluations that can help to learn law enforcement better.

The essence of Entrapment and Its Relation to the Show

In addition to numerous contradictions, To Catch a Predator introduces the claims concerning the defense of entrapment. Lassiter (2013) explains entrapment as an activity in which an undercover police officer performs certain functions that make a person commit a crime or start thinking about committing a crime. From this point of view, the show introduces many different situations when the law supports the ideas of entrapment.

However, many people are eager to decry them. It is necessary to remember that even if the law is a general term that consists of a number of theories and explanations, each case is unique. It is wrong to believe that the cases of entrapment described in the show are always similar to the cases that happen to people in their lives. Each case should be investigated separately using particular facts and approaches.

Importance of Profiling

Though To Catch a Predator does not discuss the importance of profiling, this issue is worth consideration to improve the current state of legal affairs. Racial profiling is any law enforcement activity that regards a person’s race or national origin (Birzer, 2012). It can be used to support one group and offend another group. Therefore, such shows as To Catch a Predator should pay more attention to the questions as racial discrimination and explain how it may influence the crime situation in the country.


In general, To Catch a Predator can be used as the source of information that motivates people to learn more about the legal system and their role in the law under which all of them have to live.

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Birzer, M.L. (2012). Racial profiling: The stopped me because I’m…! New York, NY: CRC Press.

Buckland, J. (2015). Chris Hansen wants to comeback. Time. Web.

Lassiter, G.D. (2013). Interrogations, confessions, and entrapment. New York, NY: Springer.

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