Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The State-Sponsored Criminalization of America

Radley Balko has a follow-up on the drug raid video I included as part of my recent post Arizona, Missouri, Pennsylvania: A Cautionary Tale. Lots of bloggers have linked to it (the YouTube video, not my post), and upwards of a million people have now viewed it.

According to Radley, that raid was just one of 100 to 150 conducted each day in America, mostly for  consenting crimes such as possession of marijuana. That's 35,000 to 55,000 such raids a year. 

Add to that the number of citizens who will be "detained" by the police due to Arizona's new illegal immigration bill. Consider as well that other states are considering similar "show us your papers" bills.

Add to that the number of people who will be pursued correctly or incorrectly by insatiable tax collection agencies. "Your name is Tom. You live just off of 5th Street. Nice car Tom. Nice house. What's not so nice is you owe Pennsylvania $4212 in back taxes. Listen Tom, we can make this easy ..."

Add to that the number of people who will have money and property confiscated by the government, without trial or court order, as part of drug forfeiture laws.

Add to that the number of criminals we will soon create because some of us will refuse or be unable to purchase health insurance.

Add to that the number of people who will be caught by the traffic cameras so beloved by cities. The cameras actually increase the number of accidents, but they are gold mines for cities always eager for more "revenue."

Add to that the number of returning vets that Janet Napolitano wants to keep a close eye on because she believes they are more likely to become domestic terrorists. 

Add to that the number of people wrongfully convicted. That number may be as high as 10%, a number which I will soon defend in this blog and elsewhere. Given that we now have 2,300,000 people in prison or jail, that means a quarter million of them may be wrongfully convicted.

Add to that the notice I received from my city that I was watering my lawn at the wrong time of day.

Okay, the last one is not as serious, but you get the idea. Welcome to the state-sponsored criminalization of America.

So again I ask the question: Have we reached the point where we now have more to fear from the State than from the criminals we hoped it would control?

No comments:

Post a Comment