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$1 billion lawsuit for world's first Jail-cam

Offended that millions saw them on the lav

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The world's first Jail Web cams - installed and hyped by the living embodiment of James Bond sheriff J.W. Pepper, Joe Arpaio - is at the end of a $1.38 billion lawsuit.

It was filed on Friday at Maricopa County Superior Court and concerns the various Web cams installed in the local jail available on the Crime.com site. The cams have been a great success - millions have viewed people being booked and locked up and pictures from them have even been used in adverts. Ole Joe reckons the cameras stop people behaving badly. Although, if it did have that effect, Joe would make far less money.

At least some of the estimated 55,000 people caught since the cameras went up in November last year are not in complete agreement, however. For some reason, women have objected to millions of people being able to see them using the toilet. Can't think why.

The lawsuit maintains that Sheriff Arpaio has violated state law by using cameras for reasons other than security - a Class 5 felony (whatever that means). It also complains about the sexist behaviour at the jail and poor treatment of women in general. And it wants $25,000 per person who has been featured on the cameras.

We covered Sheriff Joe's unique perspective on life in the first story we did on the Web cams, and you'll be pleased to know that if anything he's got worse. A quick visit to the site and a vote box popped up: "A man who allegedly attempted to rape a Chicago woman last week, was castrated by his victim in the struggle. Do you think this assailant got what he deserved?" Yes or No.

Joe also sells a video called "A Day With Sheriff Joe" for $15. A bargain. The jail cams are still a main feature (although jail toilet cam has now gone) but they are competing for space with articles on "dumb criminals", a guide to the entire US registered sex offenders list and general specialised sections on crims. Check it out.

But remember: Drugged up and naked is no way to go through life. ®

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The world's first jail Web cam

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