Poll: Should criminals be allowed to change their names?
Poll Options
View poll results: Should criminals be allowed to change their names?
Yes
44 59%
No
17 23%
Only if they were juviniles when they committed the crime
14 19%
Voters: 75.
#1
Hey, stemming from a conversation I had with a friend yesterday- do you think convicted criminals should be able to change their names? I'm talking severe, serious crimes like rape, murder, armed robbery, etc, where the individual just got out of jail, and now wants to (supposedly) "start over"?

EDIT:
Quote by Das_Skittles
When you apply for a job, they specifically ask if your legal name has ever been different from the one you're currently using. And law enforcement keeps track of legal name changes; they are, after all, usually done at a courthouse.

If a former criminal were change his/her name it would only be useful for personal protection from vigilantism/unfounded discrimination. Any situation in which a criminal record is relevant information, the name change can be easily found.


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Last edited by silhouettica at Apr 10, 2011,
#4
Isn't being let out of jail enough of an opportunity to start over?
#5
i say yes, simply so they can have some protection from the public, not from people knowing what they have don but people beginning vigilante justice crusades and then committing crimes themselves
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#6
Yes, to protect them from the public. If a job is unwilling to hire felons, they can do a background check anyway.
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#7
i put no but after actually reading a few responses i think its very controversial... i think yes so people don't harass them, as long as they still show up on those things were you can check if your living next to a sexual predator.

don't know much about the matter, but i would assume that all their offenses would transfer over in background checks, atleast i would hope so...

i would personally only change my name if i ended up in a messy situation, for instance: some asshole breaks into my house i attempt to protect myself he somehow doesn't die and doesn't spend much time behind bars. and i would move outta the city that i'm currently living at that time. but im paranoid so yeah hopefully my katana will just kill them. gotta love the castle doctrine.
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Last edited by whyze250f at Apr 10, 2011,
#8
To anyone voting "no": You are aware they can simply lie to you about their name, right?
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#10
When you apply for a job, they specifically ask if your legal name has ever been different from the one you're currently using. And law enforcement keeps track of legal name changes; they are, after all, usually done at a courthouse.

If a former criminal were change his/her name it would only be useful for personal protection from vigilantism/unfounded discrimination. Any situation in which a criminal record is relevant information, the name change can be easily found.

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#13
In most cases, really serious offenders spend most of the rest of their lives in jail. If they're obviously unrepentant, they don't get out of jail very easily. Those that do get out have it tough enough: no skills, no job experience, no money saved, often no family or friends to turn to. A name change at least gives a released criminal a chance to escape the wrath of misdirected vigilantes.
#14
They should have to live with what they've done AND go to jail!
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#15
I think that the prison system should provide rehabilitation to the extent that a someone coming out of it won't re-offend, making the name change useful only for protecting against vigilantes/discrimination.

so yes.
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#16
Quote by StewieSwan
To anyone voting "no": You are aware they can simply lie to you about their name, right?


the poll didn't ask whether you thought it was practical , just should they be allowed.

i don't see why they should, i think most of the people voting yes would probably be bleeding heart liberals (no offence if you aren't or to them), but i don't see why they should be able to. anyone want to give any examples? thread is kinda lacking them. like in the uk, those two child murderers (who were only kids at the time) got out and were allowed to change their names and move abroad. i think one of them may have reoffendeed, but i dunno, i think that there is some things bad enough to tarnish someones name forever, and this is ok, they did it. (i know this isn't the topic) but if there are things so bad you can b putt to death for then surely there should be things bad enough to just say tough, deal with it, you did it. live with the consequences.

also, what's wrong with vigilantly justice? eh, batman? come on!
#17
If they were juveniles when they committed, then without question - one person does not want to be defined by something reckless they did as a child. As for other criminals....well...if they want to, why not? I think that obviously, for situations like sex offenses etcetera it would be a good idea, but that happens anyway.

As for the job application thing: an employer would probably want to know the reason for something like that what to say? the question answers itself.

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The bulger/venables case is kind of obvious - if he couldnt change his name, he would have been lynched for that long ago.

as for minor offenses - remember that if a 15 year old robs a store, they may come to regret that later in life, and think that they were just naive: a person may not wish to be defined by such a thing, as people would likely always think of the crime committed when thinking of person regardless of whether the offender regrets it/apologized for it. The offender also may just want to put past mistakes behind them. it's difficult to try and see through the eyes of someone in that situation.
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Last edited by Banjocal at Apr 10, 2011,
#18
i dont see any reasonable reason to strip this right from ex-convicts other than for reasons of fear mongering.
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#19
I don't see why not. or why for that matter. there are tons of criminals and I doubt many laypeople could name more than a dozen offhand. plus, changing your name doesn't change your past or the reaction of those who find out what you've done. at most it would be a slight deterrent to the hardened vigilantes prowling the land. even then, I don't think that someone who was serious about tracking down paroled felons would be stopped by something like a name change.
Last edited by MakinLattes at Apr 10, 2011,
#20
I pretty much agree with MakinLattes on this one. I can't think of a single paroled felon off the top of my head by name. As far as employers , law enforcement, and anyone who knows how to search public records the name change would he irellevant. So why not?

Also yeah really if you meet a guy in the street and he says his name is Steve are you going to demand to see ID just to make sure he isn't a criminal? I can't think of a single time in my life where I have done that.

So in all reality it wouldn't really effect them owning up to their crimes. Besides I live in America and am a firm believer if you do something illegal and you get caught and do your time. You're good until you give me reason to believe that you're doing something else illegal I am not going to think about it. That being said I won't be letting any rapists babysit my kids.

Oh and before the "well if they change their name how would you know" argument. Like I said earlier name changes at least in this country are public record.
#21
...criminals are allowed to change their names.
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#22
Yes, definitely. Anything to help remove the social stigma of being an ex-con. The way things are now, if you go to jail even for a year, your life is over. When you get out of jail, you basically have 2 options: a life of crime, or working a shitty McJob the rest of your life.
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#23
I don't know. I think they should be allowed to change their name through the normal legal procedure, but then I also think in the case of paedophiles and sex offenders that other people have the right to know. But then far to many people would take that knowledge and use it to attack the individual who may have been rehabilitated.

Basically, I don't know.
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#24
Quote by rgrockr
Yes, definitely. Anything to help remove the social stigma of being an ex-con. The way things are now, if you go to jail even for a year, your life is over. When you get out of jail, you basically have 2 options: a life of crime, or working a shitty McJob the rest of your life.


This in my opinion is something people all too quickly forget. IMO if someone was setenced to five years inprisonment for something and they complete their sentence. Thats it. We appoint a court system and politicians to make laws that determine what the punishment for a crime is. Does it really make sense to punish someone for the rest of their lives when they have already carried out the sentence that was given to them.

I mean let's face it there aren't too many serial killers getting out of prison and seeking rehabilitation. What you are likely to see are people who got busted for felony possession, stealing cars, for the most part victimless crimes. Do they really need go spend the rest of their life paying for it to the rest of society. Call me a liberal if you want , but if having common sense is liberal I am guilty as charged.