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Fewer Laws, Less Crime

Posted by V the K at 6:33 pm - July 30, 2016.
Filed under: Legal Issues

Maybe the reason we have such problems with “mass incarceration” is because too many things have been criminalized?

It’s not just cigarette tax laws that can lead to the deaths of those the police seek to arrest: it’s every law. “Libertarians argue that we have far too many laws, and the Garner case offers evidence that they’re right,” wrote Carter.

It isn’t just libertarians who warn about overcriminalization. The conservative Heritage Foundation published a report last year by former U.S. attorney general Michael Mukasey and Paul Larkin Jr. warning that “the sheer number of federal laws that impose criminal penalties has grown to an unmanageable point.”

Are we really a free country if a single mother can be thrown in jail for not mowing her grass? How about catching a fish to feed your family? What about having expired car tags?

If we want to reduce violent confrontations between citizens and police, we should reduce the involuntary interactions that cause them. Any offense that does not directly harm the life, physical health, or property of others should not be regarded as such. The civil code should instead be used to address those grievances.

The rule for this should be simple: If there’s no victim, there’s no crime.  This should be the foundation of criminal law. And, yeah, getting your feelings hurt by someone does not make you a victim of anything other than your personal issues.

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22 Comments

  1. I’ve been considering making it a constitutional amendment that every other year, congress should spend their time reviewing the books and proposing laws to rescind.

    Comment by Craig Smith — July 30, 2016 @ 6:43 pm - July 30, 2016

  2. Is this post a tacit endorsement of decriminalising drugs?

    Comment by CrayCrayPatriot — July 30, 2016 @ 7:04 pm - July 30, 2016

  3. What part of victimless do you not understand Craycray?

    Comment by Lobogris — July 30, 2016 @ 7:30 pm - July 30, 2016

  4. What part of victimless do you not understand Craycray?

    When someone grows a pot plant and then rolls a dooby, who is the victim?

    Comment by CrayCrayPatriot — July 30, 2016 @ 8:39 pm - July 30, 2016

  5. Less than 100-years ago, the entire body of US Federal Statute law used to be contained in a single printed volume. Now is 35+ FEET of printed and bound material — plus yards of book-shelving for the various regulations, tariff-schedules, footnotes and appendices — plus the IRS Federal tax code and Obamacare regulations.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — July 30, 2016 @ 9:43 pm - July 30, 2016

  6. You said “drugs”. Try again.

    Comment by Lobogris — July 30, 2016 @ 10:34 pm - July 30, 2016

  7. Oh. My. God. Can someone check and see if the sky is still blue?

    I think I just agreed with Craycray. O_o

    Comment by Karen — July 30, 2016 @ 10:58 pm - July 30, 2016

  8. When someone grows a pot plant and then rolls a dooby, who is the victim?

    Comment by CrayCrayPatriot — July 30, 2016 @ 8:39 pm – July 30, 2016

    The person who is forced to pay for their “free” health care, “free” housing, “free” EBT and welfare checks, “free” detox, and the like.

    You want to decriminalize drugs, fine; disassemble the welfare net and make it clear that you can do whatever drugs you want as long as nobody else has to pay for it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 31, 2016 @ 12:05 am - July 31, 2016

  9. As usual, craycray misses the point: the fact that there are ANY “hate crime” hoaxes is the problem. It reveals the by-any-means-necessary-and-the-ends-justify-the-means mentality of the left.

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — July 31, 2016 @ 11:08 am - July 31, 2016

  10. Yes, there are too many laws and regulations. When governments start shutting down kids’ lemonade stands and forbidding coffee and doughnuts on hardware store counters, common sense gets left in the rearview mirror.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/35645680

    OTOH – when common sense and basic manners are abandoned, laws are passed in a (futile) attempt to maintain order.

    For example: loud vehicles. There was a time when most grown men didn’t need to be told that it was rude and obnoxious to operate vehicles making as much noise as a jet engine in cities and towns – basic manners and common sense alone kept the peace. A 17-yo kid with a loud car is obnoxious but 17-yo kids have been known to be obnoxious. A 55-yo accountant with a loud Harley should know better.

    Craig in #1 is right… it’s my opinion that laws need to be enacted with a specific goal (e.g. if we pass a law to ban ammo magazines that hold more than ten rounds, the goal might be “reduce gunshot injuries by xx percent in five years”). If, after five years, the goal hasn’t been met, the law sunsets. The sunset provision could be waived by supermajority votes (e.g. laws against premeditated murder). Of course the trick here is to figure a way to establish goals that are objectively measurable.

    Of course common sense would obviate the need for all that.

    Comment by KCRob — July 31, 2016 @ 11:35 am - July 31, 2016

  11. “When someone grows a pot plant and then rolls a dooby, who is the victim?”

    When someone cooks up crack and a mom smokes it my wallet is the victim. Addictiveness matters. If there is a car accident should the person smoking pot matter?

    “see if the sky is still blue? I think I just agreed with Craycray. O_o”

    The sky is white here.

    “the by-any-means-necessary-and-the-ends-justify-the-means mentality ”

    Roe vs Wade the woman involved admitted she lied to make a better case. IL death penalty was suspended when Project Innocence tricked a black guy who just came off a 5 day crack binge that he killed a guy someone was going to be executed for that week, with hiring people to tell him he did it, along with giving bad legal advice from their lawyers.

    Comment by Steve — July 31, 2016 @ 11:53 am - July 31, 2016

  12. I have some sympathy for the idea of ending the war on drugs. There is enough money in trafficking that people do it even in places where it will, literally, cost one his head.

    And, despite plenty of evidence that drugs like meth and opioids will make one’s life into a living death, people still do it. The latest problem is that heroin is being cut with a veterinary drug many times more potent than fentanyl – with fatal results. Yet people still ingest the stuff.

    Whatever we’ve been doing isn’t working (not meeting the goals) so sunset the mess and figure something else out.

    The problem with legalization as I see it, though, is that people don’t act in a vacuum. If Bubba wants to take meth – that’s Bubba’s problem. But when Bubba leaves dependents on welfare, injures others, winds up in rehab (which isn’t all the effective), disability, and welfare, it’s not a victimless crime.

    And what drugs are to be legal? I don’t use drugs but I’m under the impression that pot is easy enough to come by, even if you don’t live in Colorado. Yet people still take meth made in a garage, inject heroin cut with who-knows-what, etc. Who will make legal drugs and how will they be distributed? How will drug companies justify selling Oxycontin to addicts ruining their lives while denying pentobarbital to states for executing murders? Who will assume liability? If people thing cigarette companies are liable for lung cancer, wouldn’t Jannsen be liable for bad outcomes when people abuse Duragesic (fentanyl patch)?

    If available OTC, will people with minor aches and pains self-medicate themselves into severe opioid addiction?

    It’s been some time but I seem to remember that the film Trainspotting was a fair illustration of where drug abuse leads – and there are victims.

    Comment by KCRob — July 31, 2016 @ 2:07 pm - July 31, 2016

  13. KCRob, I agree that a new approach to decriminalization is needed. I think ND30 is correct that using drugs becomes victimless, only if the safety net doesn’t apply to those using. (I am in favor of those getting money from the government being subject to mandatory drug testing.) I think part of the answer to your liability question is that tort reform would have to excuse companies from being responsible. If someone abuses opiods, the doctor and the company cannot be held responsible and the abuser must pay for his/her own health care. Charities could take care of those who cannot pay for themselves, This is my immediate thought, but I am willing to read others’ points.

    Comment by Louise B — July 31, 2016 @ 3:10 pm - July 31, 2016

  14. “Charities could take care of those who cannot pay for themselves,”

    Charities as they existed in the past are disappearing. Now you have a state where 90% of the donations being eaten up at headquarters is the best you can hope for, outside a few religious charities. Many Vet charities only go higher because they hire disabled vets. Robert Putman wrote a book showing multiculturalism means less trust/charity, but failed to realize only some cultures have a history of High Trust/ Charity.

    Cucks believe it’s just a matter of education. It’s not. There is not a single non-socialist country south of our border, so clearly Hispanics have an affinity for socialism. American blacks come from a gene pool that installs dictators and strong men in Africa. Asians temperamentally align with decision-making by committee. And middle easterners are about as far temperamentally from any founding American values as you can be.

    Comment by Steve — July 31, 2016 @ 3:41 pm - July 31, 2016

  15. Forget any decoupling of welfare from addiction.

    Hogarth’s London dared to expose squalor, cruelty, idleness and immortality to art. His folios were propagandistic and expressive. From Hogarth, move on to reading Charles Dickens.

    The DemoninzinRats have made an art form of wailing over the poor, innocent “chilruns” (except those in the womb.) Everything and anything can be sold of the back of the innocent “chilruns” express.

    The point is that our drug culture is dependent 100% on users who cause the industry to exist.

    One does not normally become addicted without any participation and knowledge in the addiction process. Once addicted, the reservoirs of will for exiting the addiction have long since been drained. People with low earning potential who go into addiction do not come out with higher potential, if they come out at all.

    Howie Carr at the Boston Herald asks whether instead of “free tuition” that “free weed” might gain many more votes for the DemonizingRats. He goes on to say that “a path to citizenship” is decoded as a path to the welfare office.

    So long as society and the taxpayer can be made to foot the bills for the certain fall out from addiction, drug addiction is NOT a victimless crime and there is no Trump loud enough to deny the “chilruns” a front seat to welfare.

    Comment by Heliotrope — July 31, 2016 @ 4:56 pm - July 31, 2016

  16. craycray do you feel that way about cigarettes?

    Comment by salg — July 31, 2016 @ 11:00 pm - July 31, 2016

  17. @craig smith I have felt for years that every third or fourth session on congress should be devoted to repealing laws instead of passing new ones.

    Comment by salg — July 31, 2016 @ 11:04 pm - July 31, 2016

  18. It’s not just cigarette tax laws that can lead to the deaths of those the police seek to arrest: it’s every law.

    EVERY law that commands “Do this!” or “Don’t do that!” entails the coda “… or we will kill you.”

    Comment by Ilíon — August 1, 2016 @ 11:26 am - August 1, 2016

  19. NDT @ 8

    Exactly. So long as there is a Welfare State, so long as the Professional Good Intentions Class can use government violence to reach into the pockets of others so as to afford to demonstrate their Good Intentions (Without Paying For Them Themselves), drug use is not a “victimless crime”.

    And the Libertarians — for whom de-criminalization of all drugs is their sacrament, akin to the Democratic worship of abortion — refuse to see this.

    Comment by Ilíon — August 1, 2016 @ 11:36 am - August 1, 2016

  20. As usual, craycray misses the point: the fact that there are ANY “hate crime” hoaxes is the problem. It reveals the by-any-means-necessary-and-the-ends-justify-the-means mentality of the left.

    I never even commented in the hate crime hoax thread! LOL! This proves you just like disagreeing with me! LMAO!

    Comment by CrayCrayPatriot — August 1, 2016 @ 11:22 pm - August 1, 2016

  21. craycray do you feel that way about cigarettes?

    Exactly. If we are going to dismantle the welfare state in the context of drug addiction, then I guess that need to apply to cigarettes and alcohol.

    Comment by CrayCrayPatriot — August 1, 2016 @ 11:25 pm - August 1, 2016

  22. My apologies, CrayCray. My error.

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — August 3, 2016 @ 1:53 pm - August 3, 2016

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