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Analysis of Criminal Minds Season 2 Episode 12

The episode I chose was season 2 episode 12 of Criminal Minds and it is titled “Profiler, Profiled”. Criminal Minds, though a fictional show, is exemplary of the criminal legal system because its focus is on how behavioral analysis and profiling is used to find perpetrators of crime. The following episode was chosen due to its popularity.

Within the episode, Derek Morgan, an FBI agent on the main team, is arrested as a serial killer, yet the officer who arrested him refused to tell him what he was charged with. This does occur in the real world. Though officers are required to follow rules related to detainment, they are not mandated to inform the arrested of their charges upon their arrest.

All of the FBI agents were white presenting, and so was the officer who arrested Morgan. Morgan is a dark-skinned Black male. Several homicides took place over fifteen years and the profile helped identiy Derek Morgan as a potential since he grew up in the Chicago hoods and had founded the first slain victim at the age of 13. One disparity identified by Detective Reid was that Morgan's age did not fit the profile, yet the arresting officer paid no heed to his objection.

The team of the FBI agents were in disbelief when Morgan got arrested. Morgan got released due to the fact that his team fought to let him go. One of the agents had threatened the arresting officer with an email to the supervisor. To me, this seems realistic, as connections can get you an advantage within the criminal legal system. For instance, it is a known fact that having connections to attorneys can help those charged with a crime since prosecution is responsible for reducing charges, and hence time served, when plea bargaining takes place.

Additionally, the agents were shocked to find out about Morgan’s sealed juvenile record. This also seems realistic to me; that it is possible for FBI agents to obtain records, even when sealed. However, I am unsure of how Morgan got to Quantico in the first place; in real life, I am sure that he would have been investigated prior to being accepted into the FBI. Overall, it does not seem realistic for Morgan to have gotten into the FBI with a criminal record without them finding out, even if sealed, because typically, people take a lie detector test before being accepted into the FBI.

Moreover, the team had also found out that the judge expunged Morgan;'s record in the first place due to a recommendation from a local youth center director named Carl Buford. In the end, there was some shock value added to the episode.


It had turned out that Carl Buford, who claimed to be responsible for getting people out of the hood, was guilty of child molestation and also the murders Morgan was arrested for. He was promptly arrested after an undercover officer witnessed a conversation between Buford and Morgan. To me, that does not seem realistic for an undercover to randomly be there at the most convenient time. Yet, this is fictional television and it is meant to entertain.

Overall, this episode was realistic in the sense that a black male was likely racially profiled. A stereotype was implied in that since Morgan grew up in the Chicago hood and had a record, that it was likely he committed the crime, even though he did not specific components of the criminal profile. An instance of this occurring in real-life was the Thomas Haynesworth case; Haynesworth was a black male arrested for multiple rapes, though he was much taller than the criminal profile. He served twenty seven years before his exoneration. Overall, the episode was incredibly informational, yet entertaining, and emphasizes the harsh impact of racial profiling.




References:

4. https://federalnewsnetwork.com/explainers/2018/08/to-tell-the-truth-how-federal-agencies-use-polygraphs-in-hiring-and-screening/


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