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GUEST COMMENTARY THE SLAMMER: DOESN’T DESERVE THE PRICE OF PAPER IT’S PRINTED ON By Pandemonium aka Gabriel Isaac Carnetti, a.k.a. Dash Dangerfield, is the latest in a long line of leeches to suck the blood of the poor. Once a petty criminal, incarcerated for a year after being convicted of larceny, marijuana possession, and breaking and entering, Carnetti now profits from publishing he’s driving around in the car with you, and you mug shots of mainly don’t know this stuff.” Does it sound like the Pandemonium aka Gabriel poor Floridians, North hypothetical best friend is innocent, or guilty? Carolinians, and Ohioans in The Slammer. These are not celebrities, athletes or politiThumbing through back issues of Carnetti’s cians. They are not public personalities of publication, The Slammer, it is means. The majority of the people feaeasy to understand why its cirtured in The Slammer are poor, culation is high. Nosy people “...T he Slamm black or Latino. They lack the er , it is with small minds are often easy to un funds for proper legal representaderstand intrigued by the misfortune of why its circul tion and usually have to rely on an ation is others. The corny captions, high. Nosy pe overly burdened public defender ople with unfunny cartoons and shoddy system. The deck is already small minds are often editorials disguise the fact stacked against them. intrigued by th that Mr. Carnetti is a college e misforgraduate and the son of wellWhat happens if a person whose to-do parents. His failure to be mug shot is printed is found not accepted to law school after his incarceraguilty, or has all charges dropped tion did not derail his crime fighting aspira- against him? Does Mr. Carnetti print a retractions. According to an interview with The tion, correction, or a story about the wrongful Christian Science Monitor, Carnetti’s legal charges? No. Is he worried that printing these expertise was developed by sitting in the mug shots could eventually taint a jury? No. courthouse where his mother worked and Furthermore, many of the people featured going home to watch “Law and Order,” “Perry seem to have drug and alcohol problems. Mason” and “Matlock.” Add a little Jerry These people need serious rehabilitative help, Springer and The Slammer is the final product. not ridicule. Their lives are already hell. According to the mission statement printed inside the cover of each issue, The Slammer’s purpose is to “inform the public of suspected criminal activity in the community; to assist law enforcement in deterring crime and solving cases; to foster public involvement in matters of public safety and awareness; and to satisfy the natural curiosity of its readers.” The latter seems to be the true intent of the magazine. Although the mission statement includes the caveat; “not every arrest leads to a conviction. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” the de facto result, in the mind of the reader, is that these people are guilty. Reading quotes from The Slammer readers in the Christian Science Monitor article seems to reinforce that conclusion. For example, Omar

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None of the people who are featured in The Slammer get to tell their side of the story. None of them have the opportunity to rebut the charges against them. Carnetti is not interested in journalism, he is a coward. If The Slammer merely printed mug shots of wanted suspects, convicted criminals and sex offenders, along with the poor restaurant ratings, it would fulfill its initial stated purposes and might be worth the dollar price printed on its cover. Since its true purpose is to humiliate the defenseless, it doesn’t deserve the price of the paper on which it’s printed. Born and raised in Iowa, Pandemonium aka Gabriel moved to NC upon graduation from Iowa State University to attend NCCU School of Law. He has been a musician since the age of 6 and a poet since the age of 11. Pandemonium follows up successful independ-

Sept./Oct. 2009

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Pandemonium slams "The Slammer"