I have a friend who has stopped drinking, hopefully for the rest of her life. She still calls herself an alcoholic.
So is Dog The Bounty Hunter a murderer?
Does it matter if he’s given up murdering, if he once has murdered, and did he have a non-murdering sponsor who gave him a coin for every year he didn’t kill someone?
Well it turns out that Dog The Bounty Hunter has a few things in his past. I mean he’s got nine years of that TV show to answer for. The one in which he courts his larger than life wife with his larger than life hair, while hunting down criminicals with his henchmen who look like they’ve chosen their clothes on the run from the fetish club to the paintballing meetup group.
On the show, he is portrayed as a physically imposing man with a heart of gold – who acts as judge, jury and psychotherapist to the people he chases in Hawaii who have forgotten to go back to jail while out on bail. He hunts them down, and rather than treating them with the violence that you might expect from his bulbous biceps and his gay-biker leather getup. He sees that the fugitives are troubled people who have to go to prison to sort them out.
And what gives Dog this weighty insight? Is it the fact that he himself was banged up in 1976 for 18 months when a friend of his shot a drug dealer? That’s what happened.
In Texas of all sweaty hellholes, Dog was waiting by a car when his friend went inside to buy weed, and ended up shooting a dealer. By association Dog was guilty too – which sounds a lot more like modern legislation speaking historically. I’m sure murderers in the 1970s don’t get out after 18 months, even if they are chairman of the prison library book club, and personally arrange the warden’s wife’s flowers every day.
So perhaps Dog isn’t a murderer in the same way that my friend is an alcoholic, allbeit a reformed one. Perhaps he was an accessory to a murder (sounds like a manslaughter to me at best from the limited information I have), in the same way as the murderer’s Timex watch was. And maybe he’s spent his life doing good since then.
Still, we have over 240 episodes of Dog the Bounty Hunter to forgive him for, and the very fact that he wanted to appear on UK Celebrity Big Brother (he was denied entrance due to him being a reformed murderer in Texas) should preclude him from being on Celebrity Big Brother. In the same way that any one who wants to be in politics should be banned from politics.