Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Society's Inability To Get People To Obey Its Rules

Society's inability to get people to obey its rules and laws has dire consequences. The time when minor infractions might cause the offender to be whipped in public or lose a hand has largely passed leaving a gap in how we might enforce such discretions. This does not bode well for society because honoring the mores and customs that allow a society to function are important in how we govern our day to day affairs. The lack of enforcing any type of negative consequences sends the message that a person does not need to be responsible and their actions can exist without ramification. This problem contains within its core the seeds of chaos.

As the cost of enforcing minor offenses has grown society has failed to come up with real solutions that encourage voluntary compliance. An example of how some areas are dealing with this issue surfaced a few months ago in an article that delved into how Dallas criminals have just been given a license to steal. Following his November 2018 election win, Dallas County Criminal District Attorney John Creuzot, a Democrat, announced that he will no longer prosecute certain low-level crimes. This included thefts of personal items worth less than $750 as long as it isn't for economic gain, according to CBS DFW.

Creuzot Plans Not To Prosecute Low-level Crimes
Creuzot embarked upon this course of being "lenient" shortly after he was elected. He announced, "On my agenda is to not ask judges to send people to the penitentiary for technical violations of their probation – for instance not doing community service, not paying fines and fees." This raises the question of whether even adhering to the terms of one's probation in Dallas County now optional. In a letter, Creuzot expanded on his policies stating that first-time marijuana offenses or any drug possession cases involving less than .01 grams of a drug will not be prosecuted.
Creuzot said he’ll dismiss many criminal trespass cases as well, charges he says are most often brought against the mentally ill and homeless.
He also said his office will no longer prosecute theft cases involving personal items worth less than $750 unless evidence shows it was for economic gain. -CBS DFW
Not enforcing laws to deter minor acts of stealing and such have huge consequences. Needless to say, Dallas shop owners are not happy and very concerned as to the implication of such policies. Expressing a similar sentiment, the President of the National Black Police Association, Sgt. Sheldon Smith said he worries it will lead to more crime. “It opens the door for some people to think they can commit crimes,” Sgt. Smith said. Others in law enforcement voice similar concerns. Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown said her office will continue to enforce the laws as mandated by state legislation. "I absolutely think it's sending the wrong message," said Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata. When viewing this trend, two things that rapidly become apparent. The shop owner cannot just let $600 worth of merchandise walk out of his store and it is not the job of police to step into the role of judge and jury.

Middle-class Shoplifting is On The Rise
Sadly this is not a problem just in Dallas or even just in America. Due to a crumbling justice system which has forced courts to prioritize crimes by seriousness, Canadian prosecutors are now letting petty criminals walk free for crimes such as shoplifting, minor assault, and fraud. Because of a 2016 Canadian Supreme Court ruling known as the Jordan decision that protects offenders from unreasonable delays through the legal system, prosecutors are now being forced to focus on major crimes such as homicides and sexual assaults. Cases involving less serious crimes are either being dropped outright or shunted into restorative justice programs in order to move justice along.  

Canadian courts have more or less adopted a "triage system" which means they manage cases by the seriousness of the alleged offense. The Retail Council of Canada which represents over 45,000 merchants has expressed grave concerns over this development. Last year, the retail council estimated that shoplifting cost Canadian retailers up to $5 billion a year in losses. "It's really concerning for retailers, retailers of all sizes," said the council's Atlantic director, Jim Cormier. In order to recoup their losses from shoplifting, some retailers are skipping criminal court completely and instead opting to take offenders to civil court. Still, anyone in business will tell you this is not their job or what they signed up for. Asking businesses and individuals to police society is indeed a lousy alternative to law enforcement doing its job.

Vandalism Often Considered A Low-Priority Crime
In a well-functioning society, it is expected that people will simply respect private property and the rights of others. It is the fear of people coming into our space and not honoring and respecting our customs and laws that cause many people to have a problem with immigration. As proof their concerns are valid we need only note that officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told Congress last month that around 87% of illegal aliens detained and then released into the United States while they await their asylum hearings fail to show up to their court dates. This then forces the agency to attempt the expensive task of locating and deporting each offender.

The idea that today many immigrants do not aspire to assimilate into our culture and protect our best values is key to understanding why many Americans wish to see borders closed. The rejection of traditional values hits communities hard and damages our way of life. All of us want to be able to go for a walk and feel safe as we go about our day. When individuals are selfish, rude, arrogant, boastful, proud, disrespectful, ungrateful, undisciplined, slothful and completely obsessed with themselves life becomes very difficult for those around them.  People that feel entitled to everything, but they don’t want to work for it often don’t see a problem with treating others like dirt. Unfortunately, this tends to generate a great deal of discontent that has real consequences for society.

Many conservatives blame these problems on institutions going to easy on crime while many progressives claim we must show more compassion, however, the fact is most people simply do not wish to deal with the problems wrongdoers bring with them. For years I have advocated police be able to issue a citation or ticket for these low-level crimes. after someone receiving several of these, it would at least serve as notice to the fact they were a "multiple offender of society's rules" so that we can focus on ways to bring more pressure upon them. It has long been my contention that you cannot legislate decency. Too many laws poorly enforced does little to curb the ills of our culture which translates into the idea that we must try harder. 

In our modern world where people move more often than in the past, the restraints that caused people to behave have been lifted and ties to communities are often weak. This topic flows back into how to get people to comply and has resulted in people embracing more surveillance and cameras in order to discourage crime. Still, a lack of enforcement that results in a catch and release scheme usually deters nothing. The idea of granting people a "social score" like the program being put in play in China and other parts of the world stinks of Orwellian totalitarianism. Taking away the freedom of people is not the answer. This means a good place to start would be redoubling our efforts to teach the values we hold dear and allow society to function. We must do better at elevating the importance of these qualities and make a greater effort to teach young people that our values are key to a healthy society.

3 comments:

  1. In other words, we have passed the point-of-no-return when law enforcement can no longer enforce the laws. This is just another of countless examples of the continuing decline of Western Civilization.

    This is how civilizations end; not with a bang, but a whimper.

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  2. You want people to obey the law...its EASY...just STOP letting
    the folks at the top 1% get away with felonies OVER AND OVER..

    Hillary Clinton coomited over 14v felonies with her private server...

    Jeffrey Epstein is DOCUMENTED with sex with over forty underage girls..

    Boeing executites allowed deliberately changes that killed hundreds...

    A big pharma corporation just paid billions in fines for CRIMINAL acts and yet gets to ADMIT NOTHING...how can this be ?

    And you are SURPRISED the "law" is ignored and laughed at. The ONLY
    people the law is applied to is the serfs/wage slaves/proles and its
    and open secret. Steal billions and pay a little fine, steal a piazza and get years in a jail cell with Bubbha... UNTIL the FBI picks up
    Ms Clinton and the Boeing CEO just as quickly as the local thief we
    waste time.

    Keep in mind I'm a Midwesterner more law and order minded then most
    but articles like this leave me in despair...

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  3. Very nice post.  In my view this will lead the aggrieved to seek vigilante justice as in done in 3rd world countries.  There are lots of videos on the web about this.  When structured systems fail other methods will fill the void that is left.

    ReplyDelete