A Victimless Crime, also known as Consensual Crime, is any activity which does not physically harm a person or property, or to which was in fact consented, and is currently illegal if based on statutory laws! In Peter McWilliams’ book, Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do, is the statement: “As an adult, you should be allowed to do with your person and property whatever you choose, as long as you don’t physically harm the person or property of another.” This is the essence of Common Law (aka Justice)!
According to McWilliams...
McWilliams also claims that if we just live and let live, we’ll be able to:
The last claim is sufficient grounds to eliminate victimless and/or consensual crimes.
Privacilla <http://www.privacilla.org/government/victimlesscrimes.html> provides its own variation on this theme:
“Victimless or consensual crimes have unique characteristics that make them an indirect threat to the privacy of innocent people. The laws against victimless crimes are not direct threats to privacy themselves. In criminalizing certain acts, society makes a judgment that there can be no privacy interest in those acts.
“But victimless crime laws do threaten the privacy of innocents because of the monitoring and investigation they require for enforcement. None of the participants in a victimless crime will report it to authorities. To enforce this kind of crime law, officials must engage in extensive monitoring, wiretapping, and surveillance of suspects and the public.
“The existence of victimless crimes tends to erode Fourth Amendment protections that are there to protect the privacy of innocents. The cost to privacy of victimless crime laws had not been well-considered in the past.”
Another website <http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~nifty/victimless.html>, which is somewhat more sweeping is Chris Newman’s Victimless Crime Page, which includes his comment: “The U.S. Government uses victimless crimes to control and manipulate its citizens. Prosecuting victimless crimes is driving our country into debt, destroying the Bill of Rights, destroying families and leaving more of our population in prison than any other country. Often the hysteria of victimless crimes traps innocent people and destroys their lives. Victimless crimes also erode respect for the law.”
Newman also includes an in-progress, partial list of victimless crimes.
“Health ‘protection’ crimes: The government can get away with a lot of restrictions ‘for the good of the people’. This can be used to justify almost any law.
“Youth ‘protection’ laws: These laws exist with the pretense of protecting children, but their effect is to make young citizens property of their guardians. Some are also based on the idea that ignorance will protect youth from harm (when it usually has the opposite effect).
“Paranoid Anti-Crime laws: The government claims the constitution doesn’t give them enough power to fight crime, so they pass laws that directly violate the Bill of Rights.
“Sex prohibition: The government prohibits many forms of sexual expression. These laws usually have no logical reason to exist. They are based solely on religious morality and therefore violate the spirit of our Constitution.
“Do these belong? There are a number of laws which may or may not be victimless depending on perspective
Newman’s list provides some indication of the problem of Victimless Crimes and their definition. But the principle is fairly simple. Don’t harm another! (Which includes not taking away their freedoms, or their chosen pursuit of happiness!)
“I. Individual Rights and Civil Order
“Because only actions that infringe on the rights of others can properly be termed crimes, we favor the repeal of all federal, state, and local laws creating ‘crimes’ without victims. In particular, we advocate:
a. the repeal of all laws prohibiting the production, sale, possession, or use of drugs, and of all medicinal prescription requirements for the purchase of vitamins, drugs, and similar substances;
the repeal of all laws restricting or prohibiting the use or sale of alcohol, requiring health warning labels and signs, making bartenders or hosts responsible for the behavior of customers and guests, making liquor companies liable for birth defects, and making gambling houses liable for the losses of intoxicated gamblers;
the repeal of all laws or policies authorizing stopping drivers without probable cause to test for alcohol or drug use;
the repeal of all laws regarding consensual sexual relations, including prostitution and solicitation, and the cessation of state oppression and harassment of homosexual men and women, that they, at last, be accorded their full rights as individuals;
the repeal of all laws regulating or prohibiting the possession, use, sale, production, or distribution of sexually explicit material, independent of "socially redeeming value" or compliance with "community standards";
b. the repeal of all laws regulating or prohibiting gambling;
c. the repeal of anti-racketeering statutes such as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), which punish peaceful behavior -- including insider trading in securities, sale of sexually explicit material, and nonviolent anti-abortion protests -- by freezing and/or seizing assets of the accused or convicted; and
d. the repeal of all laws interfering with the right to commit suicide as infringements of the ultimate right of an individual to his or her own life.
“We demand the use of executive pardon to free and exonerate all those presently incarcerated or ever convicted solely for the commission of these ‘crimes.’ We condemn the wholesale confiscation of property prior to conviction by the state that all too often accompanies police raids, searches, and prosecutions for victimless crimes.
“Further, we recognize that, often, the Federal Government blackmails states which refuse to comply with these laws by withholding funds and we applaud those states which refuse to be so coerced.”
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