Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio recently unveiled a controversial contest on his website asking the general public to vote for their favorite mugshot of an alleged criminal who's been booked into one of the sheriff's jails -- the winner earning the coveted "Mugshot of the Day" honors.
As we've mentioned, the mugshot of the day contest does one thing: determine which criminal looks the stupidest/most strung out on meth/mentally ill before being booked into jail.
In other words, the sheriff is providing a public forum to mock his inmates, and experts in the mental health community recognize it as such.
"While we might risk advancing (Arpaio's) publicity component, I think it's critical that we try to get in the way of this and stop this kind of exploitative behavior - because that's exactly what it is," Charles "Chick" Arnold, a Phoenix attorney and longtime advocate for the mentally ill, told the Arizona Republic last week. "What he's doing seems to be to be exploiting people who have been defined in our state as vulnerable adults. That's offensive."
As we've also mentioned, we've got no problem with pointing out some of the more humorous aspects of an alleged criminal's mugshot. However, we consider it the job of a 41-year-old alternative weekly newspaper, not the job of the 78-year-old sheriff of one of the largest counties in the country.
In honor of the sheriff's new contest, and one of the more memorable mugshots to be featured on his website -- in which the alleged criminal appears to be missing a good portion of his face -- we present to you the "Mouthless Meth Dealer Celebrity Mugshot Matchup." Check it out after the jump.
As you can see below, we've created our own contest based on some of the more infamous mugshots to grace the pages of Arpaio's website (and one local lunatic compliments of the U.S. Attorney's Office). The idea of the contest is to identify the jaw attached to the face of Alan John Shepard (pictured above) with the local celebrity criminal to which it belongs.
Feel free to leave your guesses in the comment section of this blog post, or email them -- and a link to this article -- to SheriffsMediaRequests@MCSO.Maricopa.gov and let the sheriff know how you feel about his new contest.
We'll reveal the identities of the celebrity mouths tomorrow afternoon.
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Again, feel free to leave your guesses as to which celebrity jaw belongs to which local celebrity criminal in the comment section below. That, or whine about how cruel we are for having a little fun with a meth dealer's bizarre mugshot -- whichever you prefer.