Laws - Part VI
August 3, 1997
Crime may be presented by many and varied definitions, but there is only one definition that has been consistent within all other definitions — Crime is an act that injures another. Without this element, there is no crime, regardless of what might be added to the definition to meet moral or political objectives.
Let"s take an example, say I said, "I don"t like you, I think I"ll punch you in the nose." Then I punch you in the nose!
Well, if I punch you in the nose, there is little doubt in anyone"s mind that a crime has been committed. Some would even consider it a crime if the act was committed by someone who worked for the government.
Congress, and the various state legislatures, in their infinite wisdom, have decided that crimes should not occur. The have legislated "crime prevention" measures, with the express purpose of preventing crime. This is accomplished by making a crime of what had not been a crime until the enactment of the legislation making a crime of something to prevent a crime from being committed.
For example, the act of threatening — "I"m going to punch you in the nose." — now constitutes a crime, which is good because the crime of punching someone in the nose is prevented. The person threatening can be incarcerated, thereby preventing the crime, long before the crime was committed, or, perhaps, even contemplated. Obviously, there is no crime committed by government in incarcerating the person who may have contemplated the crime in the first place, because it is more important to prevent crime than to allow it to occur!
Now, we can take this "crime prevention" one step further. Since it is permissible to prevent crime by incarcerating someone who has expressed that he has contemplated a crime, perhaps we can prevent even more crime, which , more than likely, would not occur because we have already criminalized contemplation, by going the next step. After all, crime has motive — and, "I don"t like you," is motive enough to cause one to believe that another might go the step further and commit the crime of contemplation, "I think I"ll punch you in the nose."
So, now we have not only prevented crime by legislation, we have prevented those who might contemplate committing a crime from so contemplating by enacting laws which do not allow evoking angry or emotional phrases, such as, "I don"t like you." Of course, it is only the expression of this emotion that comes under the category of "hate crime", since we are, as of today, unable to go beyond the spoken word in determining the weaknesses within a person that might emote, contemplate and then commit a crime, committing two crimes prefatory to committing the crime of punching another in the nose.
We are, however, looking at the aspect of association. If we can generalize associative behavior to a point that it will, in most cases, allow determination of a mindset capable of emoting, contemplating and then acting. Perhaps we can legislate against this sort of association.
Now, this may sound a bit peculiar, but there are ten people on trial in Tampa, Florida, for accusing others of treason, and pointing out that treason is a capital crime. They went on to announce to the individual, and the world, their accusations. This, for a period of over two years (March 1994 through July 1996).
Since they were in a position to contemplate a crime, and were emoting such that it would have been possible for them to carry this contemplation to completion (but, wait, they suggested a trial — Oh, never mind!), they have been incarcerated for seventeen months prior to their standing trial for that emoting and contemplating.
There is a message here — they were the Common Law Court, and now we have the association.
Ironically, of all the activities of political violence in this country, in the past three decades, I can find NONE in which the act was advertised, in advance, and only those of a foreign/political nature in which there was any attempt to assume responsibility. But, oh, well, thought crime is, by definition, crime.
"In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."
James Madison - Federalist Papers #51
go back to Laws - Part V
to be continued...
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