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Crime and Punishment in a Free Society
Reason Magazine, by Sheldon Richman

Original Article

Posted By:Pluperfect, 12/8/2013 11:06:49 AM

Would a free society be a crime-free society? We have good reason to anticipate it. Don’t accuse me of utopianism. I don’t foresee a future of new human beings who consistently respect the rights of others. Rather, I’m drawing attention to the distinction between crime and tort — between offenses against the state (or society) and offenses against individual persons or their justly held property. We’re so used to this distinction, and the priority of the criminal law over tort law, that most of us don’t realize that things used to be different. At one time, an “offense” that was

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: hoosier-luger, 12/8/2013 12:32:03 PM     (No. 9645452)

Is it implied that the State ("the King") supposedly continues to receive a ton of money (i.e., to finance this or that) via fines and/or putting criminals in jail? The facts are the reverse -- inasmuch as (i) criminals often have no assets, and (ii) it costs more than a Harvard education to keep someone imprisoned.

And, yet more fundamentally, the seminal justification for the criminal law comes largely from the principles of Deuteronomy and was designed to prevent escalating breaches of the peace and retaliation -- often in the form of "blood feud".

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Reply 2 - Posted by: craige, 12/8/2013 12:54:43 PM     (No. 9645476)

A restitution only justice system, has been brought up on lucianne.com before.

There are no ´crimes against the state´ or ´crimes against humanity´. Boiled down, there is only crime against an individual or individuals.

1. What happens when the aggressor has no assets? Will their body be ´parted out´ for medical purposes, to raise cash?

2. What happens when the Only injured party has been murdered? (No friends, family, or other interested parties).

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Reply 3 - Posted by: BreakRight, 12/8/2013 1:58:15 PM     (No. 9645536)

To follow up on #2, what happens if the perpetrator has vast assets, wants someone dead, and is willing to pay the victim´s surviving family for their loss of income?

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Penney, 12/8/2013 2:07:09 PM     (No. 9645545)

The U.S. Constitution and legislated laws passed by the U.S. Congress define the line between that which is legal and that which is illegal. Lady Justice is portrayed wearing a blindfold symbolizing that each of us is to be judged by the U.S. Justice system strictly based by each individual´s personal accountability to the law, which is equally required of every person. Those who choose to cross that line into illegal activities can expect to be held accountable in this civil society.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Penney, 12/8/2013 2:20:16 PM     (No. 9645562)

A major responsibility for government in our civil society is to protect the citizenry from future illegal acts by those who cross that illegal line. Nor does Richman address the challenge to society posed by those incarcerated in regular prisons who are actually criminally mentally ill. Nor does he consider the high percentage of illegal aliens incarcerated in American prisons who should not even be in the USA.

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