Monday, July 11, 2011

Bad Laws Don't Solve Problems

I have always taken a dim view of laws passed in reaction to specific crimes. Well intended, they are passed in anger and grief and tend to be over-reactions which actually hamper law enforcement and the justice system. If a child is murdered, for instance, what good does it do to pass a new law making it a crime to murder a child, when murder is already a crime punishable, in many cases, by death. What are we going to do, execute the murderer twice?

Of course, in the aftermath of the Casey Anthony verdict we have a rush to pass "Caylee's Law," making it a crime to fail to report a missing child for more than 24 hours, or the death of a child for more than one hour. My initial reaction was that we need to wait until cooler heads can consider this law, and Radley Balko at Huffington Post has a superb dissertation explaining why that is the case.

2 comments:

bruce said...

it's a well written article and a good read for everyone rushing to vent in the aftermath in this case. the proposed law is pretty heavy overkill for what it is trying to do, and really is more vengeance than justice. And the vengeance will not be on the purported murderer.

bartendercabbie said...

I think you are correct here. I never understood this either. I am not sure I quite understand the "hate crime" thing. A crime is a crime is a crime.

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