Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

crimes that aren't crimes

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • crimes that aren't crimes

    i was having a very interesting discussion with a few friends earlier today. in talking about stupid criminal statutes, the whole problem of the "nanny state" and so forth, we were trying to define and list a wide array of victimless crimes and other "offenses" that cause a good deal of hassle for average citizens. here's what we came up with...

    drug and alcohol prohibition
    gambling laws
    restrictions on crypto
    filesharing/P2P prosecutions
    public smoking bans
    outlawing fireworks
    overblown firearms restricions
    (de facto control of allegedly legal arms)
    gay marriage or civil union bans
    abortion restrictions
    (something is either legal or it's not, see gun law refernce above)
    free speech zones and other protest restrictions
    penalties for suicide or assisted right-to-die decisions
    any bans on pornography, other free press infractions
    prohibion of recording/documenting pubic spaces
    (photography, audio, video, etc... somewhat related to protest-restricting laws mentioned above)
    requirement that citizens show ID to travel within the US


    we also talked in vauge and general terms about reduction of privacy and anonymity in recent times... although that's hard to tie to specific laws or criminal statutes. what other actions or "infractions" do people here think might fall in the category of crimes that aren't really crimes?
    Last edited by Deviant Ollam; February 13, 2006, 14:21.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

  • #2
    Friend of mine calls these 'consensual crimes'. Crimes where the parties involved dont have any particular problem with whats going on (i.e. prostitutuion, drugs). Really what it comes down to, is that the negative byproduct of a lot of these crimes is already illegal. When we were discussing the subject of drugs he argued that if you want to buy drugs and someone wants to sell them too you, as long as you arent hurting anyone it shouldnt be an issue. To play devils advocate I mentioned 'but what about the people that steal to support their habit, or dealers who murder their clientele when they dont pay what they owe'. His response was simple 'but those things are already illegal, right?'. You can apply the same to gun control. Killing people is illegal, so who cares if I have a bolt action Mauser made in the late 1800s or a supressed MP5? If I'm commiting crimes with it, then nail me for it.

    I return whatever i wish . Its called FREEDOWM OF RANDOMNESS IN A HECK . CLUSTERED DEFEATED CORn FORUM . Welcome to me

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with everything noid said, but what's the reasoning for cryptography?
      Biggest Brother's watching Bigger Brother watching Big Brother watch you.

      Comment


      • #4
        I was going to bring up the age-old "crime" of prostitution, but noid was quicker on the draw. Public exposure, loitering, cruising, cohabitation, unlicensed fights, and sex crimes (e.g., sodomy, oral sex) would be other examples.

        There are usually two classes of crime here that people complain about. The first is those that result in third-party victims when executed poorly. In other words, a few people do something stupid and everyone is punished as a result. The other class is those crimes where harm comes only to those involved in the activity. The victims understand the consequences of their actions and decide to proceed in spite of them.

        Unfortunately, it isn't easy to treat such crimes as a group. I could easily argue for or against most of the listed activites, and my reasoning would be specific to the activity rather than the (usually) one or two people directly involved.

        Oh, and note that victimless crimes and consensual crimes are not one-and-the-same. Very few crimes are victimless (although many of the laws are built on potentially-false assumptions of what can harm people).

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Voltage Spike
          I was going to bring up the age-old "crime" of prostitution, but noid was quicker on the draw. Public exposure, loitering, cruising, cohabitation, unlicensed fights, and sex crimes (e.g., sodomy, oral sex) would be other examples.
          Yes..I never knew about "cruising" until a few years ago while visiting LA I saw a sign for it. It said "cruising" was driving by the same spot twice or around the same block in an 8 hour period or something ridiculous like that. I don't remember the exact words but I remember it was outrageous.
          Answering easy questions since 1987
          Si Dieu est pour moi, qui peut être contre moi?

          Comment


          • #6
            Alot of the time these laws are put into place cover a far to large area so as to prevent 'creep' in exceptions.

            The one that is buggin gme lately is the photography of public places.

            As someone who is a tourist when going to various cons and such, usually it's natural to want to take pictures. Post 9/11 there seems to be this big fear of taking pictures of anything, pretty much anywhere. It makes no sense to try and get tourists back to NYC but not let them take pictures.

            I can understand not taking pictures of support beams of bridges, or other obviously sensitive things, but this presiding fear or even being seen taking a picture is just gettin nuts.
            Never drink anything larger than your head!





            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by renderman
              Alot of the time these laws are put into place cover a far to large area so as to prevent 'creep' in exceptions.

              The one that is buggin gme lately is the photography of public places.

              As someone who is a tourist when going to various cons and such, usually it's natural to want to take pictures. Post 9/11 there seems to be this big fear of taking pictures of anything, pretty much anywhere. It makes no sense to try and get tourists back to NYC but not let them take pictures.

              I can understand not taking pictures of support beams of bridges, or other obviously sensitive things, but this presiding fear or even being seen taking a picture is just gettin nuts.
              When I was at Georgetown, my mom was stopped and questioned on the spot by the Secret Service for taking a picture of (then) Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's house (she was a professor at Georgetown before being named SoS). When she explained that she was just taking pictures of "nice" looking houses, we were let go.
              "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by theprez98
                When I was at Georgetown, my mom was stopped and questioned on the spot by the Secret Service for taking a picture of (then) Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's house (she was a professor at Georgetown before being named SoS). When she explained that she was just taking pictures of "nice" looking houses, we were let go.
                What's the point of even questioning her then? So can a terrorist get away clean as a whistle if she's a middle-aged woman? What would she have had to say for them to be suspicious? It just doesn't seem like there was a point to them stopping your mother.
                Answering easy questions since 1987
                Si Dieu est pour moi, qui peut être contre moi?

                Comment


                • #9
                  It seems like (once again) I am in the minority here, but it is easy to call the afforementioned things "victimless" crimes especially when no one is physically/emotionally/mentally hurt by a specific act. The real issue with drugs, for example, is what noid already alluded to, and that is the byproduct. It could also be argued that some "victimless" crimes are gateway crimes.

                  The issue of course is where to draw the line. I suspect many people here think the line has been drawn way too far against privacy rights, I personally believe we're reasonably close to where we need to be. I do have issues with some "victimless" crimes but I don't believe we need wholesale changes.

                  As one example, Deviant mentioned free speech restrictions. Is it a "restriction" of free speech to prohibit someone from yelling "fire" in a crowded theater? Some might think so. I say such speech is not "free speech" at all, because the riot that insues now causes real harm to people and property.
                  "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Second
                    What's the point of even questioning her then? So can a terrorist get away clean as a whistle if she's a middle-aged woman? What would she have had to say for them to be suspicious? It just doesn't seem like there was a point to them stopping your mother.
                    Shrugs... To be honest, I have not really thought much of the incident since then, until just a few minutes ago when I typed it. I think it is reasonable of them to ask, at least to attempt to figure out if something is suspicious. In this case, their job is not to prevent someone from taking pictures, but to protect the life of the 5th ranking person within the government.
                    "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      since we're on the topic of photography, this piece is a very good and informative read...

                      Is Photography Becoming Illegal?

                      "just because it's not law yet, doesn't mean there aren't people trying to enforce it," says Alicia Wagner Calzada, vice president of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). ... If you're standing on public property, you can shoot anything the naked eye can see, explains Ken Kobre, professor of photojournalism at San Francisco State University and author of one of the seminal textbooks on the subject.

                      What you can't do, he says, is use a telephoto lens and take shots through office windows or into private residences, where people would have a "reasonable expectation of privacy." That would be like eavesdropping or surreptitiously taping someone, he says. ... Photographing the outside of buildings - schools, hospitals, and even government buildings - is also legal. It's when you go inside that you need permission. In most cases, Professor Kobre says, people are evicted for trespassing rather than invasion of privacy. What surprises him, though, is the logic behind preventing people from taking pictures of building facades. "I haven't heard of an example where it makes any sense to stop anyone," he says, "because, almost in every case, you can walk a block away and use a longer lens."
                      "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                      - Trent Reznor

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by theprez98
                        The real issue with drugs, for example, is what noid already alluded to, and that is the byproduct. It could also be argued that some "victimless" crimes are gateway crimes. The issue of course is where to draw the line.
                        i agree that all activities can be seen along a scale of "totally harmless" all the way up to "quite possibly having damaging ramifications upon others"

                        to respond to the prez's question, however, i believe that in a free society there is a very bright and clear line that is drawn by the law and our history of jurisprudence... the line is crossed the moment that someone else's person or property is directly and clearly harmed. intent and prior expectation have less to do with culpability in our legal system than the end result of an activity. if you are a crackhead asshole but didn't hurt anyone when scoring your rocks, then you are relatively in the clear according to my view. if you are some kid who was pressured by the whole football team into puffing on a joint but then later drove your car and knocked someone's grandmother out of her shoes then you're a stupid dick and deserve a prosecution for negligent homicide.

                        that is where the line is drawn, in my opinion... when harm is done. if we don't follow that line, but instead work along the "what if things go wrong" notion, then citizens are in for a whole mess of restrictions before they've done anything wrong.

                        Originally posted by theprez98
                        As one example, Deviant mentioned free speech restrictions. Is it a "restriction" of free speech to prohibit someone from yelling "fire" in a crowded theater? Some might think so. I say such speech is not "free speech" at all, because the riot that insues now causes real harm to people and property.
                        i can quote oliver wendell holmes, too, my good friend. that is the perfect example of how to define the line... when does potential harm become clear enough for some restriction to come into play? could make the same argument with weaponry... how devastating should a weapon's potential be before it is restricted? (personally, i feel that something should be almost "incapable of positive and responsible use" to merit restriction... like shouting things that are likely to incite a riot and almost totally unlikely to be constructive... or like owning a weapon that can level a house but almost never could be used in a safe hobbyist fashion -- like a huge bomb)

                        just my $.02... really love everyone's comments.
                        Last edited by Deviant Ollam; February 13, 2006, 18:36.
                        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                        - Trent Reznor

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Second
                          What would she have had to say for them to be suspicious?
                          heh, i don't know but i imagine we'll find out what it takes if i'm ever stopped and questioned for photography, because my response will be a clearly enunciated "please do me a favor and fuck off" (terry v. ohio, yeah yeah, blah blah. too drunk right now to elaborate totally)

                          btw, credit where credit is due... i think that article i linked to above may have been first called to my attention by ASTCell right here on these forums.
                          "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                          - Trent Reznor

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
                            when does potential harm become clear enough for some restriction to come into play?
                            How come we rarely put any effort into verifying that these preventitive crimes have a positive effect on the target crime? What would happen if the government put self-destruct clauses into new laws if the authors couldn't demonstrate well-defined improvements after a specific time period? It is ridiculous that so many laws are passed because it "feels" like the right thing to do. How many private businesses do you know that succeed based purely on gut instinct?

                            There are many side issues to consider as well. What is the increased difficulty (and cost) of enforcing laws that the citizens do not believe in? Similarly, what effect does attacking "soft crime" have on our ability to stop "hard crimes"? What is the damage to society of creating a culture where law enforcement is viewed as the enemy?

                            PS: Two more: jaywalking and speeding.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
                              that is where the line is drawn, in my opinion... when harm is done. if we don't follow that line, but instead work along the "what if things go wrong" notion, then citizens are in for a whole mess of restrictions before they've done anything wrong.
                              I am in full agreement here with your assessment. Your rights end when your actions cause harm to someone else. But even agreeing on that point we could argue for days on what constitutes "harm".

                              Nice catch on the Holmes reference. If we keep referencing case law, we're going to have to start "deviant, theprez98, and associates," pseudo-cyber-attorneys at law."

                              "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic."
                              SCHENCK v. U.S. , 249 U.S. 47 (1919)
                              "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X