Crime & Punishment
Every crime should be described by at least three numbers: the crime’s direct cost, the crime’s indirect cost, and the sum of the crime’s direct and indirect costs. All these costs would be determined in court, through arbitration, or through some other sort of government authorized process.
A crime’s direct costs should include financial compensation equivalent to whatever theft or damage occurred (minus the value of such property returned before a verdict has been issued), compensation for lost wages, ‘pain and suffering’ (including ‘fright’, see below), etc. The value of any damaged or stolen property that has been returned to its rightful owner before a verdict or judgment has been issued would be deducted from the criminal’s bill of direct costs. After a verdict or judgment has been issued, no deductions could be made but any stolen property would still be required to be return to its rightful owner, unless the owner chooses not to take possession of it. If such stolen property is discovered to not have been offered to its rightful owner, then new charges of theft could be imposed.
Compensation for Fright
Included in this direct cost category, and more specifically under the ‘pain and suffering’ subcategory, should be a penalty levied against criminals to compensate their victims for any fright experienced during the commission of their crimes. For example, if you left your wallet on a restaurant table while you went to get some food and somebody stole your wallet while you were away, the penalty against the criminal would be a certain multiple, perhaps a multiple of 5 or 10 times (determined by the courts) the value of the wallet and its contents. However, if someone stopped you on the street and threatened to beat you up if you didn’t give him your wallet, then the penalty for the crime would still be 5 or 10 times the estimated value of the wallet and its contents plus a certain separate amount to compensate the victim for the fright he endured. The exact amount of this ‘fright factor’ penalty would be determined by the courts and would depend on the facts of each particular case, but an example may be that in a crime, such as in a wallet robbery where no weapons were threatened or used and only verbal threats made, the penalty should be at least $2,000.
A crime’s indirect costs would include all other costs associated with processing the crime through a civil process, such as investigative expenses, court costs (for both the criminal and the winning side), detention, incarceration, deportation (if applicable), any other supervisory costs associated with the criminal’s punishment, etc.
Interest Applied to Direct and Indirect Costs
Together, the sum of these direct and indirect costs would be defined as the total cost of the crime. Interest, at normal market lending rates, should be charged on the direct portion of these costs until the criminal pays them off completely. The indirect costs of a crime would also be charged interest, but only at a rate equal to the rate of inflation. All direct cost interest charges should begin to accrue on the date the crime was committed. Indirect cost interest charges should begin to accrue on the date the trial ended. Any payments made by the criminal would first go exclusively to pay off the direct costs of the crime while all subsequent payments would be applied to the indirect costs.
However, the ability of the criminal to pay should be the largest, if not the overwhelming, factor in setting the final interest rate. Criminals in possession of sufficient assets such that a liquidation of a portion of those assets to completely pay off their crime would not cause the criminals excessive hardships both for themselves and their dependents, should be required to pay a significantly higher interest rate so as to encourage the rapid payment of the fines. The ratio of the criminal’s ‘excess’ assets to total cost of the crime would be the primary determinant for setting these increased interest rate charges. The interest rates would be set at an exponential rate so that a convicted criminal with ‘excess’ assets equal to the total cost of the crime would pay an interest rate twice as high as the minimum rate, while a convicted criminal with ‘excess’ assets that are valued at twice the total penalty amount would be required to pay an interest rate that is 4 times as high as the minimum rate. If the ‘excess’ assets are valued at three times the total penalty amount, the interest rate would be set at 8 times the minimum rate.
In addition, any personal income in excess of $100,000 for an individual or $150,000 for a married couple (adding $15,000 for each dependent) would automatically be garnered to pay criminal penalties.
After the ‘costs of a crime’ have been determined by a court, an additional punitive amount should be applied which is based only on the crime’s direct cost. The courts would multiply the direct costs by a certain number, generally between 1 and 10 or higher in extreme cases, based on the particular facts of the case, such as motive, method, the nature of the fright experienced by the victim, etc.
Generally, a higher punitive multiple would be applied to the more egregious crimes. Another general rule would be that lower dollar values for a crime’s direct cost would result in higher punitive multiples, and vice versa.
This punitive penalty would constitute the actual punishment or penalty for committing the crime. Without this punitive penalty, criminals are not really being punished for their crimes; they are merely being required to give back what they have stolen and/or pay for what they have damaged. Criminals would begin to pay off their punitive judgments after, but as soon as they have paid off the direct and indirect costs associated with their crimes.
A minimum punitive penalty of $500 should be levied against any person (over the age of majority) convicted, in court, of a crime, whether it is the stealing of a $1 pen or any other more significant crime. If the criminal settled the case during arbitration, the minimum punitive penalty should be $250. These minimum punitive penalties should be reduced by half when applied to minors.
For example, a punitive multiple of ten may be imposed for the theft of a bicycle valued at $200. The direct cost of the crime could be $200 (assuming no fright penalty or other damages), but the total amount to be paid by the criminal would be $2,000 plus any court costs and other associated expenses. Stealing a $25,000 car may have earned the criminal a multiple of 3 or 4 resulting in a total fine of $75,000 or $100,000. Stealing $1,000,000 worth of jewelry may get a multiple of 2, in which case the punishment would be $2,000,000 plus any court costs and other associated expenses. Of course, if the owners of these items were frightened or harmed, or if additional property damage resulted, the crime would thus involve more than just the mere theft of the property, resulting in direct costs that are higher than merely the physical cost of the items stolen. As a result, while the multiples, which are based on the crime’s direct costs, could still be the same value, the total amount that the criminal must pay would naturally be significantly higher.
Nominal Interest on Punitive Penalties
A minimum interest rate equal to the rate of inflation would be charged on punitive penalties. Since the government is required to automatically repay the victims for all direct and punitive costs of the crime committed against them, requiring criminals to pay nominal interest rates on these punitive penalties would prevent the government from losing money as it would likely need to wait for years before the criminals are able to repay them back. As with the interest payments for both the direct and indirect costs of a crime described above, increased interest rates should be allowed on these punitive penalties based on the amount of a criminal’s ‘excess’ assets.0 Comments
The death penalty should be given to any person who, without any doubt, committed a murder. This means that the death penalty could only be issued in cases where conclusive and irrefutable evidence links the suspect to the murder. Knowingly infecting others with an incurable disease (without the victim’s knowledge, such as in consensual sex) would also be classified as murder.
Acceptable proofs would include evidences that are as conclusive as or more conclusive than finding DNA that matches the suspect to the murder, clear photo or video images, the suspect’s revealing of information that only the murderer would know, etc.
Examples of unacceptable lines of evidence include testimony or eyewitness accounts from any other person or people, confessions by the suspect without revealing information that only the murderer would know, etc.
Using the above standards, the death penalty should be applied not only in cases of premeditated murder, but also in cases where recklessness or criminal negligence is found to have directly caused the death of another human being, even the death of a bystander who is not directly involved in the crime (who is neither a perpetrator nor an intended victim).
Justice systems which do allow the death penalty, but set lower requirements for its imposition, should immediately refrain from executing any person whose death penalty sentence did not derive from such conclusive lines of evidence as listed above.
The only exception to this rule would be if the criminal who killed did so as way to defend himself from future abuse by the victim. There should be some evidence that this abuse has occurred and that it is likely to occur in the future.
All convicted murderers should be required to pay all costs associated with their crime before being executed (although they could also factor in the prices they would likely receive by selling their body parts after being executed). Even though a criminal is far more likely to suffer a natural death before all bills are paid, and thus before becoming eligible for immediate execution, execution must not occur until all bills are paid.
Death Penalty for Extra Long Prison Sentences
There should be no such things as life sentences, multiple life sentences, or 400 year sentences. Perhaps 100 years should be the maximum prison sentence and anything over that amount should automatically require the death penalty. Most crimes should be denominated in terms of monetary fines anyway (reducing the amount of prison time a criminal is likely to rack up). For crimes which do require cumulative prison sentences of over 100 years, the criminal must first be required to work to pay off all the debts incurred, including the costs of incarceration, and then he may be executed.
Executions should occur in the least expensive and most humane way, namely, putting someone into permanent sleep using a gas, such as carbon monoxide. Even shooting by firing squad would be more humane than the electric chair or lethal injection.0 Comments
People who are arrested or charged with committing a crime should be considered neutral by the criminal justice system, not innocent until proven guilty.
Considering an accused person as innocent until proven guilty is ludicrous because an individual is obviously guilty the moment he commits a crime, not when a jury finds out that he committed a crime. If the accused never committed the crime, the accused was always innocent, even before the jury discovered this innocence. However, after a person is arrested or charged with committing a crime all the way up to the point that the jury comes back with its decision, nobody knows whether the accused is guilty or innocent. Therefore, during this time the accused should be treated under this special category of neutrality. This means that the accused may lose some of their privacy protections offered to innocent people in order to facilitate and speed up an investigation of the crime.
Upon a declaration of innocence by the jury, the individual who was once neutral would now be an innocent individual and would be entitled to compensation for any hardships, inconveniences, or extra expenses incurred throughout the investigation.
In the event that the accused refuses to answer a charge with either a guilty or not guilty (innocent) plea, the court should automatically enter a plea of neutrality. Regardless of whatever plea is entered, the suspect should always be treated as neutral until the conclusion of the trial.0 Comments
Several loopholes that can be collectively referred to as legal illogicalities should be closed. They are the following: probation, parole, plea-bargaining, bail, clemency, commutation, pardon, reduced sentence for good behavior, concurrent prison sentence, suspended sentence, etc.
These loopholes should be closed for several reasons. First, it is wrong for punishments to be in any way dependent on the behavior of the convicted individuals after their criminal offenses. In addition, parole and probation require that punishments granted for the commission of crimes during the period of conditional release or provisional freedom be far higher than would otherwise be the case.
Each crime must be treated separately. One crime should not be given a greater penalty just because it was preceded by another crime. The punishment for one crime cannot be served at the same time as the punishment for another crime. Criminals should serve their entire punishments handed to them by the justice system at the time of their conviction. Furthermore, since each crime has its own punishment associated with it, it is extremely illogical to use concepts like concurrent prison sentences, suspended sentences, etc. To defend such concepts and remain consistent, one would need to argue that the same dollar can be used to purchase several different goods, simultaneously.
Plea-bargaining borders and probably even crosses into immoral behavior because it is too much like bribing. Bail is wrong because suspects should not have to make a promise to show up in court by paying a security deposit which would be refunded upon their showing up at the appropriate court date. Instead, the government should issue a court date and then tell the suspect that if he does not show up, he will have wished he had because the penalty for not showing up to court should be several thousand dollars or equal to what the bail amount would have been, the exact amount being dependent on the particular crime and perhaps nature of the suspect.
Pardons are just plain wrong. No single person, regardless of how powerful they may be, should have the power to forgive another person for any crime and drop the associated penalties without first proving that the convicted criminal is innocent.0 Comments
Transactional immunity and use immunity (both related to the constitutionally protected right against self-incrimination) should be prohibited. If somebody did something wrong, there should be no way out of punishment.
Diplomatic immunity (such as for tax avoidance and evading prosecution of foreign government personnel) usually granted to a diplomat should also be prohibited.
No immunity of any kind should ever be allowed to protect any person from punishment for any crime or wrong for which that person can be proven to have intentionally done. Since immunity is often granted to an individual in an attempt to get them to divulge some important information about a larger case, what can be done instead is pay or compensate that person for the information provided, but still prosecute him/her on the usually smaller crime that he/she committed and for which they commonly seek immunity. In the end, the person seeking immunity may still get much what they originally wanted – a reduced punishment for their own crime.
If some decision or action committed by a person turned out to be wrong after the fact, and no intentional wrongdoing, recklessness, or criminal negligence can be proven on the part of that person taking part in the decision or action, such events should usually just be regarded as a mistake, and the offended party should just acknowledge and assume the losses.0 Comments
Non-disclosure agreements and ‘gag-orders’ should be prohibited from being used to keep any individual or entity quite about the contents unless there is a court justified reason to keep such information private. Examples of valid reasons could be to keep trade secrets secret, to keep legitimate national security information or criminal investigations secret, to ensure the physical protection of any legitimate person, to keep personal information private (bank account numbers, etc.), etc.). However, such agreements should never be used to hide any criminal or illegal behavior on the part of any party. It should be illegal for such agreements to be used to prevent one party from disclosing the fact that another party either agreed or did not agree to certain facts or payments regarding the case and settlement.
These non-disclosure agreements are a fundamental violation of the concept of free speech. Exception should be made, of course, but these types of agreements are use far too often to hide behavior which should be made public.0 Comments
A person’s health or mental status should have no bearing on whether that person should stand trial for any accused crime. The degree or severity of the punishment issued should also not be influenced by a person’s health, age, or mental status unless there is a clear risk of unintended harm to the criminal or others due to the degree or severity of the punishment. In such cases, the punishment should be less intensive, but prolonged accordingly.0 Comments
Courts should allow the placement of disclaimer notices in very visible places such as at the entrances of homes or residences of people (especially the elderly) who are not able to think and reason clearly enough to avoid being scammed by criminals. These disclaimers would exempt the named parties from being bound by the terms and condition of any contracts or agreements they have signed and would declare such documents automatically null and void. A notice of this disclaimer protection should also be present on all important documents such as driver’s licenses, SS cards, checks, and other documents used for identification, financial transactions, important business, etc.
However, there should be a way for any individual to contact the responsible parties who are authorized to make decisions on behalf of the person covered under the disclaimer. Perhaps one way would be to have the telephone number or website of a government agency keeping track of these authorized parties stated on the disclaimers themselves. People could then contact this agency, type in the name of the person protected by this disclaimer and see who is authorized to speak on their behalf. Or perhaps the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the people authorized to speak on behalf of the protected parties could be listed on the disclaimer notices themselves.0 Comments
All jurisdictions should be required to extradite any individual to another jurisdiction which is requesting the extradition for purposes of trial or completion of punishment. Unless the requesting jurisdiction’s courts or punishment system is deemed likely to be unfair to the accused or if its methods of punishment are deemed to violate human rights standards, extradition of the individual should proceed. Citizenship, differing laws, or decisions made by politicians (except for national security reasons) should not be factors considered during the processing of an extradition request.0 Comments
Companies should not be punished for the illegal use of their products. For example, grocery stores should not be fined for shopping carts which are taken off their premises, gun manufacturers should not be held liable for any crime costs associated with crimes in which one of their guns was used, etc.0 Comments
Foreigners in a country should be subject to all laws of that country, and if foreigners break those laws, then the country in which those laws are broken should have the authority to punish and/or expel the offender.
Affirmative action, as originally defined could be summarized as “action taken to provide equal opportunity, as in admissions or employment, for minority groups and women”. Affirmative action does not mean any type of special treatment or preferences towards any minority group, it does not mean the use of any kind of quota system, even if only to create a tendency for proportional representation, it does not mandate or imply the use of any alternative criteria specifically used for minorities or women, and it is not reverse discrimination. Affirmative action only refers to actively changing and correcting policies that are inherently unfair to any group or person because of factors other than qualification. It means that everyone with an equal qualification should get an equal opportunity at being selected.
Meritocracy should be the primary system by which the great majority of employment and admissions decisions are made. Since every employment or admissions decision cannot be based solely on an objective meritocracy test, some latitude should be allowed for subjective judgments being made by employers or administrators.
Also, there should be a fair amount of leeway for employers to make their decisions based on factors other than meritocracy, so long as such exceptions do not become commonplace or severely neglect the merits of a competing candidate.0 Comments
Nobody should be discriminated against based on involuntary factors such as race, gender, national origin, etc., unless there is a compelling reason to do so. However, all other ‘chosen’ characteristics should be amenable to discrimination for various purposes.
Religion could be a valid factor to consider in the discrimination of people because it is a chosen characteristic. However, race, sex, national origin, etc., should not be discriminated against.
Sexual Orientation Discrimination
Unlike race, ethnicity, nationality and gender, sexual orientation may be a factor eligible for discrimination in some areas such as employment in the private sector because there may be a significant element of choice involved. Though sexual orientation is likely heavily influenced by genetics, it may still be considered, to some extent, as a notable defect equivalent to alcoholism, problem gambling, general criminal behavior, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders (ADD/ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD) and other character traits which have also been shown to have significant (though perhaps not as significant as homosexuality) genetic influences. Homosexuality may be considered a genetic defect, and any available treatments and counseling should be made available, as would be the case for the attempted removal of any other undesirable characteristic, genetically influenced or not.
These traits, in which choice is a significant factor, should be allowed to be used for only certain discriminatory purposes, such as hiring for employment by a private employer, choosing a tenant for occupation of rental properties, and other long-term, close contact or otherwise relatively close relationships. All private organizations ought to have the right to discriminate, using these allowable traits, in the hiring, firing, membership, and attendance within their organizations. Refusing to provide any goods or services to homosexuals should be banned. Public sector organizations should be prohibited from using homosexuality as a characteristic for discrimination.
Nobody should be discriminated against solely on the basis of age. For example, mandatory retirement for firefighters or police officers, etc., over a certain age should be prohibited. Other factors that are age-related could be used as disqualifying criteria, such as loss of physical strength, endurance, etc., but discriminating against age alone should be unjustified.
Seniority and Job Security
Seniority should not be a factor for anything in government neither should it mean anything meaningful in the private sector. Seniority should especially not be a factor in determining job security or pay raises.
Neither place of birth (native or foreign born) nor age should be deciding or influencing factors determining whether or not a person is qualified to hold any elected public office, including the US Presidency.0 Comments
All businesses doing business in the US whether they are based in the US or not, must make readily available, within a reasonable amount of time, the names of the owners and top level management to investigators for questioning upon the request of any court or state or federal governments agency.
Furthermore, no businesses conducting business in the US should be allowed to hide, in any way, its assets, domestic or foreign, so as to prevent them from being confiscated as a result of lawsuits or in order to pay for any other obligations. Violations of these rules would result in the revocation of US business operating licenses and possible forfeiture of all company assets within the ability of the United States to obtain them, to pay off any liability or obligation.0 Comments
Companies who have engaged in certain activities in the past which were legal at the time, but which are now illegal, should not be required to rectify or provide compensation for their past actions, unless these actions were immoral or blatant violations of acceptable practices at the time. The proper governing authorities should bear the responsibility for rectifying or providing compensation, if necessary, for past actions which were not considered illegal at the time. In most cases, however, the costs (or benefits) of any previously legal activity would not be levied on any entity. Instead, the burden of dealing with these costs should just be accepted as the costs of living in a society which reviews and revises its laws.0 Comments
All permanent newcomers (residential or business) to any political jurisdiction should be informed of all relevant laws pertaining to their location and property. They would be required to abide by these laws immediately, but some laws may have various grace periods. After all grace periods have expired, no excuses, especially claims of ignorance, will be accepted for non-compliance. Visitors may be exempted from many of these laws.0 Comments
Jurors should not be chosen from out of a random sampling of citizens of the community. Being a juror should be a profession that requires a great deal of schooling, just like being a lawyer. A juror should be expected to know a great deal about the legal and scientific worlds so that they know everything about DNA evidence, fingerprints, what the law says, and virtually everything else that is necessary to know in order to make accurate and quick judgments in trials that may cover a wide range of scientific disciplines and legal regulations. Professional jurors should be trained to see right through various tactics employed by lawyers and others who may try to make their cases artificially compelling.
Choosing jurors for a trial should be done at random to eliminate the possible complaint of fixing juries with jurors sympathetic to one side or the other. Since jurors would all be professionals, the prosecutors, plaintiffs, defendants, public defenders, and the general public should be more confident that these trained, intelligent people are much more likely to decide cases fairly without easily falling victim to emotions or other deceitful tactics employed by one side or the other. Perhaps up to 18 jurors should be called for each case so that at least 12 jurors are guaranteed to remain on the jury through the end of the case. Complete reports or profiles of each juror should be made available to the judge and perhaps the lawyers for both sides so that conflict of interest issues or other disqualifiers are known right at the beginning and appropriate measures can be taken beforehand without threatening the integrity of the trial. These reports should include a fairly detailed personal and professional history and also include things like previous cases with which the juror was involved. These records, filtered of any personally identifying information, should also probably be made available to the public.
Felony cases should require a unanimous verdict while misdemeanor cases should require an 11-12 majority (at least 90%) vote of the jurors. Civil cases should require a 10-12 majority vote (at least 80%).
Jurors should be free to choose absolutely any verdict they see fit, as long as it is guided by the law. Jurors should not be limited to simply deciding whether the prosecution’s charges are valid or not. The charges brought against a defendant should only be viewed as suggested criminal offenses. Juries should be required to freely choose absolutely any types and number of charges on which to convict a defendant, regardless of whether such charges are at all related to what the prosecution originally intended on which to convict the defendant.
Peremptory challenges should ideally never be allowed under a system of where a purely random selection of trained, qualified jurors is used because there will always be the option to remove jurors for just cause. However, many lawyers still really think that peremptory challenges are a valuable tool to help please both sides in a trail and its use will likely lead to fewer retrial requests. However, these challenges should be limited to 3 jurors per side.0 Comments
Parties in dispute should first be legally required to discuss and try to resolve the dispute among themselves, of course, before escalating the matter by getting the courts involved. It is also during this stage that all parties should familiarize themselves with the costs and nature of court arbitration and legal proceedings. This will help the parties decide if arbitration or a full jury trial is really desirable or necessary for resolution of the dispute.
If, after this stage, the dispute is still unresolved, the next step would be to go to an arbitration hearing before a group of two or three judges at the local courthouse. Each party would be required to pay a fee of $100 prior to arbitration, but this fee is refunded to the party who receives a ruling in its favor. Any fines assessed to the losing party would be in addition to this fee. In arbitration hearings, the panel of judges would hear all the evidence from both sides and assess the relative merits of each party’s case and deliver a judgment. If the parties accept the judgment without any party appealing, the case has been resolved and closed.
If a party appeals an arbitration ruling, all parties should be required to be educated on the costs and nature of legal court proceedings involving trial by jury, especially for the loosing party. Also, all parties, but especially the losing party, should be given an assessment of the chances of successfully overturning the arbitration ruling. If all parties still cannot agree, then a jury trial should be scheduled.
All legal arbitrations should be done exclusively by an arm of the government (the courts) and never by a private or non-profit organization. Contracts should be prohibited from demanding arbitration services by any other entity. Contracts should also be prohibited from making arbitration rulings binding upon the parties by prohibiting any appeals to further legal challenges or by prohibiting escalation to jury trials.0 Comments
“The loser in a lawsuit must reimburse the winner for an amount equal to the loser’s expenses.” (Jay Johansen, http://www.johansens.us/sane/law/loserpay.htm.) However, this limitation should only apply when the winner spends more than $10,000 in legal costs. In other words, losers must pay winners their entire legal expenses up to $10,000 regardless of how much money the loser spent. If the loser spent more than $10,000, then the loser would be required to match the winner’s expenses up to an amount equal to whatever the loser spent on his own defense, with the only other cap being the amount the winner spent.
In legal proceedings (arbitrations, trials, etc.), when one side definitely and undoubtedly knew of their guilt from the beginning, and that fact is revealed in the course of the proceedings or during some subsequent proceedings (even if the truly guilty party was previously exonerated), then that side should be charged with the theft of an amount of money equal to what has been spent by the other side(s) (including all direct, indirect charges as well as any punitive charges paid so far) and required to pay full compensation plus a punitive multiple of up to several times the total cost imposed onto the other side.
Determining Common Court Costs
The losers in legal proceedings should pay for arbitration or court overhead costs proportionate to the length of the trial (in days), like utilities, court personnel (judges, bailiffs, stenographers, etc.), materials used (paper, copying machines, etc.), building maintenance, etc. Perhaps the formula for determining the proper fee should be based on the total costs of running the courthouse in the previous year. This figure would then be divided by the total number of trial-days for that year (number of trials multiplied by the average number of days each trial lasted) to determine the current level of this daily fee. For example, say a courthouse’s operating costs were $10,000,000 last year and 2,000 trials were conducted in that same year, each with an average length of 5 days. Each trial would then have cost an average of $10,000, but spread over five days, the costs are $2,000 per day. This would mean that a four day trial this year would cost the losing party $8,000 payable to the court. Specific trials which include any large special expenses would naturally have those specific expenses added onto the cost of that specific trial, rather than have such costs dispersed and averaged across all trials that take place at that courthouse. The overall goal, however, is to help make the courts financially self-sufficient.
In addition, the government should be allowed to charge 5% above these total processing expenses both so that it could make sure that all court costs are recovered and so that it can recoup at least some of the incurred common overhead expenses associated with processing other crimes through the criminal justice system for which no criminals have been found or for which criminals are not able to pay.0 Comments
Informants, witnesses, or other people called to testify or who are in any way required to participate in a trial or other legal proceeding should be fully compensated by the government within 6 months for any costs associated with their participation, including verifiable lost income, such as time off from work, transportation costs, etc. Though the criminals would be required to repay the government for all these costs, waiting for them to get around to earning the money necessary to pay them would often take a long time. However, the government would have an incentive to recoup these costs. Victims, witnesses and other participants need to be encouraged to participate in the justice process and quick compensation is a necessary element of such a strategy.
All relevant information should be allowed to be introduced into arbitrations, trials, or other legal proceedings. No restrictions should be imposed that would limit or otherwise control the type or amount of information that any party to a legal proceeding can introduce for consideration. Furthermore, regardless of whether information was gathered legally or illegally by the police or anyone else, that information should still be entitled to be heard if it is relevant or if any party to the case wants it to be heard. Punishing the people who gathered the information illegally should be done, but it is an entirely separate matter, needing its own case and possible trial.
In addition, if information is discovered after the close of a trail that potentially has a reasonable chance of changing the outcome of that trial, the original verdict should be immediately suspended by a judge who has reviewed this new information until it has been properly assessed and processed.
No person should ever be given a second trial unless significant new evidence was found after the close of the first trial that may possibly have changed the outcome.0 Comments
The burden of proof in all legal cases should always rest with the party bringing the accusation. However, both sides should be required to do everything they can to both prove their own respective positions and to help clarify and promote an understanding of the circumstances surrounding a dispute. It should be regarded as criminal behavior to just sit on potentially relevant information or significant evidence that may help in arriving at a just decision, even if this evidence is held by the defense (since it is usually the defense that sits on evidence) and even if it may end up hurting the defense’s case. All parties have an obligation to help each other arrive at the truth.
It is not the prosecutor’s job to convict the defendant and it is not the defense attorney’s job to defend their client. It is everyone’s job to make sure that the truth prevails, which means that it is everyone’s obligation to introduce all relevant evidence that has a bearing on the case. It is everyone’s job to strive for the most efficient path towards a just resolution of the matter.
Many of these ideas come from Erwin Chemerinsky in an article he wrote in July, 2014.
Panel for Selecting Supreme Court Vacancies
A representative panel of experts must be created for the purpose of selecting merit-based candidates to fill the vacancies on the Supreme Court. The President should then be required to choose individuals approved by this panel for the selected vacancy. Perhaps, this whole process from the point when the seat is vacated to the point when it is filled should be required to take no more than 180 days.
Prospective Justices Must Answer Detailed Questions
Prospective supreme court justices should be required to answer detailed questions regarding their views on any issue that may come before them, though obviously not how they would vote in specific cases. Currently, it is customary for them to refuse to answer any questions on issues that might come before them.
Supreme court justices should be appointed for single, non-renewable 18-year terms so that vacancies will occur every two years. This will reduce the average length of tenure, ensure that vacancies are regularized, and increase the chances that the views of the justices are more in line with conventional or contemporary views.
Recusal and Replacement
The decision for a Supreme Court justice to be recused from a case should be made by a majority vote of the other justices or a panel of federal court of appeals judges.
If a justice is disqualified from a case, a retired justice should be chosen at random to participate to complete the group of nine to hear a case. If no living former Supreme Court justice exists, then a federal judge should be chosen from a panel of highly qualified judges.
Panel for Selecting Federal Court Vacancies
A representative panel of experts must be created for the purpose of selecting merit-based candidates to fill the vacancies on the Supreme Court and the federal courts. The President should then be required to choose individuals approved by this panel for the selected vacancy.
While it is perhaps understandable why we would want Supreme Court nominees to go through a political approval process through the legislative and executive branches of government, it is not apparent that a similar process for choosing federal court judges is beneficial. With nearly 1,000 positions to be filled, the potential for constant political interference between the various political parties and the various government bodies that need to coordinate between themselves, is such that it is all too easy for the process to get snagged by some ideological objection by one or a few members within the chain of approval.
It would be best to have these federal judges just apply for the job and have a committee review all the applications and choose the most qualified ones. If political leanings are an important consideration, then perhaps a long questionnaire could be created and all applicants would be required to answer all questions in it. If it is designed right, the questionnaire would fairly accurately assess the applicant’s position on the political spectrum. This questionnaire, in combination with the use of a weighted lottery system, would facilitate a ‘balanced’ selection process over time. To select from within this pre-qualified pool of applicants, a random lottery would be held every time an absence needs filling.
Federal Judge Workload
Federal judges should have workloads that do not exceed 365 cases per year. If workloads in any jurisdiction exceed this threshold, more judges should be added for the following calendar year. Perhaps this proposal on determining the correct levels of personnel given the workload would be the fairest way to determine the number of federal judges necessary.
For both Supreme Court and federal court appointments, the time between the beginning of an absence until the time it is filled should be no longer than 6 months. If it exceeds 6 months, the parties responsible for the delay would have their pay withheld (without interest) and be charged 1% of their average annual pay every day until the vacant position is officially filled.0 Comments
Legal discovery in civil, criminal, and virtually all other cases should be virtually unlimited between all parties. All the truth should be shared between all parties. It doesn’t necessarily always need to be before legal proceedings have begun (although it usually should be), but all evidence should be shared by the time the relevant legal proceedings have concluded.
Insurance companies should have the right to engage in almost unlimited discovery as well as the right to ask virtually any question (including about a person’s genetic information) as long as the searches and questions are potentially, or have a significant possibility of being, related to the insurance purpose or function.0 Comments
Any party should be allowed to sue any other party without any limitations. Parties should be allowed to sue any other party vertically or horizontally across any hierarchical structures, across any political boundaries, and without restrictions of any kind. People could sue animals, Martians, or the Moon if they so desire. Of course, they will be required to pay all court costs since they are likely to lose such cases. Contracts should not be allowed to limit people’s right to sue in any way.0 Comments
Prosecutors should be paid based on a percentage of the restitution levied on the guilty party. The idea is that suspects should be charged with all of the crimes that the evidence seems to suggest was committed by the defendant rather than only prosecuting the defendant with only the most solid charges and dropping the lesser ones. The tendency for prosecutors to over-accuse people of crimes they did not do or for which they have insufficient evidence will be tempered by the fact that any prosecutor (or prosecuting party) will be fined with a punitive multiple several times any total amount a falsely accused person would have been required to pay if found guilty.0 Comments
Normal civilian court systems should be used for as many trials involving military personnel as possible. Court martials should be used rarely and preferably only in cases where confidentiality for national security purposes is required. All court martial proceedings should be classified. Security clearances should be obtained by jurors, lawyers and any other people directly involved in the case or who are required to listen to the case. Certain government officials including some elected officials like the President and certain members of the Senate should have access to court martial proceedings.0 Comments
Neighborhood government organizations should be designed to function with the primary purpose being to resolve neighborhood complaints, disputes, and irritants. Their goals would be to hear and arbitrate (legally binding) all kinds of minor neighborhood nuisances, and neighborly complaints such as excessively barking dogs, noisy air conditioners, loud music, ugly yards, vegetation intrusions onto sidewalks, graffiti, junk visible from someone else’s backyard, etc. Such an organization would be the legal party that notifies the offending party of the offense and require it to implement a resolution or face escalating fines.
This organization would also serve as a method for allowing complaints to be filed anonymously so that residents and property owners could feel freer to file complaints without risking a backlash from the offending party.0 Comments
There should be a grace period (perhaps 7 to 14 days long) given to all people in legal proceedings in which they would be allowed to change their answers to any question with only half the penalty that would be applied after the grace period expired. This may also apply to people questioned by police. After the grace period expires, any lies would submit the liars to the full force of legal punishment. This grace period, however, cannot extend beyond the close of a trial.0 Comments
Any person (including the criminal himself) who may have significantly useful information about any crime or illegal activity (regardless of how small) that has occurred in the past, is occurring in the present, or will or may occur in the future, should be entitled to receive financial compensation from the government if they are the first or among the first to inform the government (such as the police or other proper authority) of such significantly useful information. Information qualifying for compensation should naturally be truthful but critical in helping lead authorities to the party or parties responsible for the crime or illegal activity. Of course, the actual amount to which any individual should be compensated for turning over such information to the authorities would depend heavily on the usefulness and timeliness of the information in finding and bringing the criminal(s) to justice.
Informants would be compensated quickly by the government (generally within 3 months of a conviction) and the criminal would then work to repay the government for these expenses. Quick and adequate compensation to informants is important to assure the continue flow of information to law enforcement authorities.
A rule of thumb may be that an informant or informants would earn or split 10% of the direct costs of the crime in which the informant’s information proved critically valuable or $100 minimum, whichever amount is greater.
Of course, if criminals inform on themselves, they would also get this 10% reward amount, but they would be responsible for paying 100% of the cost of the crime. Essentially, they would get a 10% discount if they informed on themselves. They would also get perhaps a significantly reduced charge for court/administrative costs, as well.
Police and all other kinds of law enforcement agencies should be obligated to keep all information confidential and concealed from all people not directly working on a case. This should be the standard procedure unless the informant himself agrees to reveal any of this information to the public, certain organizations, or individual people not working on the case. Law enforcement agencies who fail to absolutely follow these rules should be heavily punished and should be liable for any negative activity occurring to the informant as a result of information that was leaked by the agency and should compensate the victim accordingly. Protection should be provided to any informant who is at significant risk.
People who submit information anonymously to law enforcement forfeit their rights to the entire potential reward money. This would be because the government would bear a greater risk when basing actions (i.e. prosecutions) on anonymous information. Information would be considered anonymous if the government agency to which the information was given does not know the identity of the individual(s) submitting the information. As a matter of practice, the identity of individuals who submit information to law enforcement would be kept private and away from the public. This fact should remove most reasons for the anonymous submission of information.
If anonymous submitters change their mind after they have submitted the information, they may petition the law enforcement agency for a portion (perhaps 50%) of the reward money by providing proof that they were, if fact, the ones that originally submitted the anonymous information.
People, especially older retirees for exercise and anti-boredom reasons, should volunteer or be paid a small amount to patrol residential and industrial areas and look for law violations, especially minor ones such as littering, illegal sign or flier postings, excessive or overgrown vegetation, esp. near streets or sidewalks if vegetation blocks, hampers, or if it in someway interrupts or interferes with normal usage of the street or sidewalks. These volunteers should also note abandoned or long term storage of objects such as cars or boats that are in public view, general disrepair of properties such as fences, windows, etc, broken streets, curbs, and sidewalks, public lighting repairs, etc. These volunteers should also note graffiti and other forms of vandalism. The jobs of these volunteers would include documenting the violation and filing a report of the problem with the appropriate local government agency. It should be their job to detect and report all early signs of urban decay while it would be the local authority’s job to enforce compliance with the laws and to insure that problems are taken care of. Volunteers should be encouraged to patrol outside of their own neighborhoods.0 Comments
Governments should place video cameras in as many public places as practically possible. Cameras should be positioned so that all freeways, major streets and possibly even residential streets are monitored with high enough resolution cameras to enable the camera monitoring personnel to help positively identify all significant people, activities, and events involving accidents or illegal activities. For example, these cameras would be used to help determine the party at fault in accidents, enforce speed limit laws, record illegal vehicular maneuvers, read license plates, record vehicle break-ins, record acts of vandalism and graffiti, monitor all public spaces, etc., and gain detailed information about actual or potential accidents and any crimes or other illegal behavior. Sidewalks, sporting facilities, malls, parking lots, and virtually all other public spaces should be monitored with cameras. In addition, private businesses should be encouraged to buy and place cameras around their facilities. Residents could also do the same. Everyone should be told that if their video cameras record crimes and the evidence is used to catch the criminal, the owners of that camera will be given a portion of the fine imposed on the criminal as a reward for such information and as an encouragement for others to try to capture, in detail, criminal events on camera. Mass transportation vehicles should have cameras that are able to record what virtually every passenger is doing. Cameras should be installed in public restrooms (though perhaps not viewing immediate toilet areas). Rare or fragile natural landscapes, historical sites and other areas that wish to be preserved but which may potentially be at risk of vandalism should also be video monitored. All such cameras would be used to help enforce the laws and catch law-breakers.
Ideally, all these cameras should send their live data to law enforcement centers where people are monitoring them. If something were to occur, such as an accident, theft, of act of vandalism, etc., the monitoring personnel may send the appropriate help or law enforcement personnel, potentially saving lives, aborting criminal acts and provide a wealth of information upon which to catch the criminals responsible. In addition, all these cameras should record on a loop lasting anywhere from a month or longer. This way, if a complaint or notification of a crime is received in the future, there would be a historical record of video to which to refer.
One person who is a significant subject of the captured footage should be entitled to receive a copy of that footage within 48 hours of the request. The police retain the right to freely distribute whatever other footage they want, so long as they do not unduly violate a person’s reasonable right to privacy.0 Comments
All interactions between law enforcement personnel (police officers, prison guards, soldiers, etc.) and the public should be mechanically recorded in some way such as through video and/or audio. These records should be kept for at least one year, but preferably indefinitely, and should be referred to when needed to help settle a dispute. One way law enforcement personnel could meet these requirements would be to wear small, unobtrusive audio and possibly video recording equipment as part of their uniforms. Such devices should not enable the wearer to turn them off. These devices should also be designed to record as many variables as practical, like direction from which sounds come, movements and orientation of the officer or person wearing the device, etc.0 Comments
Reporters, investigators, or anybody else with a legal or compelling purpose can use deception in their search for truth only if genuine attempts have been made to exhaust other commonly used methods that are customary and reasonable, namely, asking direct questions.0 Comments
Only in cases where a criminal clearly has or clearly can be assumed to have the information needed by law enforcement to solve or prevent other critically significant crimes, law enforcement personnel should be allowed to use torture, or any other means, as a way to compel the flow of that information. Critically significant crimes would include crimes or potential crimes in which human life is at risk of murder.
Either at the time of sentencing or at any time thereafter, the courts could determine what the likely value of the withheld information is so as to help determine the amount of torture that should be allowed to force the divulging of the information. (The authority of a law enforcement entity to conduct torture would be determined, in part by a credit system, which is based on the historical confirmation of that law enforcement agency’s ability to gain the desired, but accurate, information during previous torture cases.) The torture would be reduced according to how much information is given and how true the information turns out to be. If a criminal does not offer any information, then the torture would continue throughout the entirety of his sentence. Criminals may offer as much information as they want and at any time they want, however, if any of this information falsely accuses another person of something, that criminal should receive at least double the penalty that the falsely accused would have received if convicted on the false accusations. In addition, the prisoner would be fined (or suffer additional torture) for each unit of time that he delays in divulging the necessary information or until investigators find out that information through some other means. If investigators find the information through some other means, the tortured criminal who withheld that information would be charged with the theft of the amount of money it took to gain the information through those other means. The tortured criminal would also need to pay a punitive multiple penalty on that amount.
The torture that would be used would be the kind that would only inflict safe pain. No type of torture would be used if there existed with it a possibility of permanent damage or significant permanent physical or psychological marks. The single highest person in charge of the investigation should always approve every method of torture used. In some cases, torture may be imposed without court authorization. The criminal would be responsible for paying all torture costs incurred.0 Comments
Every single person existing within the United States (including citizens, immigrants, visitors of at least 72 hours, etc.) should be required by law to have a Civilian Records file with the government that includes their fingerprints, DNA samples, photographs (including face, obvious tattoos or other unique features such as missing limbs or fingers, etc.), and possibly other unique information. It should be required that this information, including photos and any other unique identifying characteristics like tattoos, missing limbs or fingers, etc., be updated when needed, but at least every 5 years. Also, information like the names of extended family members, job information, and other relevant personal data which may be useful to law enforcement agencies should be collected, especially for use during times of emergency. This information would be placed in a nationwide database and used primarily to aid police and investigators in solving crimes.
In addition, every single person should also have, as part of their Civilian Records file, a record of every legal infraction, regardless of how big or small, committed by that individual anywhere on the planet. This record would include everything from traffic violations (including parking tickets, speeding tickets, etc.), thefts, assaults, murder, fraud, littering, and every other instance of legal noncompliance. The mere passage of time should not be able to expunge any entries from such a record. Only false accusations should be expunged from the record. False convictions should be noted. If a person has no history of even one lawbreaking activity, then his/her criminal section of their Civilian Records file would naturally be empty.
The country in which an individual is currently visiting should be entitled to the complete Civilian Records file of that individual, from birth, even if the visit is for as short as 72 hours.
These detailed records should be kept confidential and access limited to only the entitled law enforcement agencies. However, once these records have been filtered of any data that can potentially be used to identify an individual, such data may be made available for purchase on the free market, especially for use in data mining research operations. The types of data that could be filtered out of these records before they are released to the public should include some or all of the following: the criminal’s name, specific date of birth, photos, fingerprints, DNA samples, specific location of past or present residences, specific date, time and location of a criminal or legally non-compliant offense, or any other information that may create a significant possibility of the individual being identified.
Conceivably, some data filtered out for purposes of one study could be included for another study. Nevertheless, as long as identifying information is removed, and cross referencing could not reconstruct individual records, the rest of the data could be released.
Certain private individuals may have a good reason for obtaining access to a partial or full disclosure of an individual’s Civilian Record. Examples include, potential or current employers (checking their employees), co-workers who spend a large amount of time working with the person in question, parents (checking on personnel providing childcare), a spouse or immediate family member, and other people with similarly compelling reasons.
Perhaps two or three different levels of access could be allowed. Level 1 access may allow an individual to view the part of a person’s record that discloses only serious criminal offenses like burglary, assault, rape, murder, etc. Such information like social security numbers, or other extra sensitive information may be excluded from such reports. Level 2 may be more expansive, while Level 3 may be the entire, unfiltered Civil Conduct Record for an individual. So, if an employer wants to check up on a potential employee, the employer may ask for Level 1 access to so-and-so’s Civilian Record. This should provide the employer with enough information to make an adequate assessment concerning the potential employee’s criminal life. The government would need to approve the level of access for each of the petitions submitted by inquiring entities.
The actual subject of a Civilian Record would have the sole authority to authorize any stated employer free temporary access to their own records (such as for a background check by a potential employer). The courts could overrule the Civilian Record subject’s objection to a particular party accessing his records. The courts could also, with sufficient justification, allow entities (notably, law enforcement) access to such records without the subject’s knowledge.
Information in these records should not be altered or removed merely because of the jurisdiction in which these records are viewed. For example, people’s criminal records cannot be changed simply because the individual has moved into a different jurisdiction. Likewise, a person cannot escape punishment for a crime merely because he fled to another jurisdiction. In other words, a person will carry his same record with him regardless of where on the planet he goes.
Access to these records should be allowed only under close supervision by law enforcement authorities. Only handwritten notes can be taken during the viewing of such records, but no limits should be placed on the type or amount of information that can be written. No photocopying, photographing or any other comparable methods of reproduction should be allowed. All notes taken should be required to be treated with confidentiality and require to be viewed by people granted the same level of access and should be destroyed when no longer needed.
The immediate release of an individual’s partial or full Civilian Record should be authorized if such a release would potentially significantly benefit the public, such as potentially help mitigate a public uprising or outrage (such as against the police). Sometimes such records would demonstrate a pattern of non-compliance or criminal behavior, the knowledge of which may benefit and quell the public.0 Comments
FBI and CIA Merger
The FBI and CIA should be merged into one intelligence agency. They are both involved in intelligence gathering, and it would a make more sense to organize them as complimentary subsets within one intelligence organization than as completely independent organizations, especially in this modern world where the boundaries between wholly domestic or wholly international activities are increasingly becoming blurred. This would also encourage the personnel of the two organizations to communicate more effectively with each other.
Every law enforcement agency (and industry-wide third party responsible for creating a national database for comparison purposes) should be required to keep their own records of every case in which a search was conducted, in which a person was arrested and in which a person was charged with a crime. Every single one of these cases would be tracked through to their final legal resolution.
Each law enforcement agency would earn a certain number of credit points for each case conducted within their jurisdiction depending upon the particular facts of each case. The basic crediting structure would be as follows. A full credit point would be given when a suspect charged with a crime was actually convicted of the crime. A half credit point would be given for each crime a suspect is found to have committed which was not part of the original charges. These half-credits could still be applied regardless of whether the original accusation turns out to be true or false. Credits could also be subtracted from law enforcement agencies when their searches, arrests, or charges turn out to be unfounded. For example, a quarter credit would be subtracted when searches turn out to be unfounded. Half-credits would be subtracted when arrests turn out to be unfounded. A full credit would be subtracted when a suspect has been accused of a crime he did not commit.
This type of crediting structure would tend to incentivize increasingly accurate intelligence gathering methods and decision-making as well as to create a more streamlined and systemic approach to law enforcement in which the courts could more efficiently prosecute against crimes with the flexibility that is often needed as new information is uncovered. The whole idea behind assigning these credits is to develop a system by which law enforcement agencies can prove to the public that they have a reputation for accuracy. This way, whenever they act to arrest or search someone, they would have sufficient credibility (based on their past actions) to automatically justify such actions to any reasonable member of the public. Law enforcement agencies without a sufficiently high credit rating would be significantly restricted (to different degrees depending on their actual credit rating) in how they can autonomously arrest and search individuals. In some cases, certain agencies may be prohibited in autonomously arresting or searching individuals because they have such a poor credit record.
Nevertheless, most law enforcement agencies should not always be required to obtain permission (search warrants, arrest warrants, etc.) from higher authorities or external agencies, like judges or courts, either to carry out searches of people or locations or to arrest and detain individuals. Rather, every law enforcement agency should each be allowed to independently earn the privilege to self-authorize, arrange, approve and perform searches, arrests, etc., by earning a sufficiently high credit rating.
The ‘credit’ rating should be determined in a standard way either statewide or nationwide (preferably) so that a comparison between jurisdictions could be more easily achieved.
These full and half credit points would be combined with the subtracted full and half points and then divided by the total number of arrests and searches taking place within that political jurisdiction (or area over which the law enforcement agency has jurisdiction). The resulting figure would illustrate the total level of actual law enforcement effectiveness of that law enforcement agency or jurisdiction.
However, perhaps a more important credit figure could be determined by dividing the number of full credit points with the total number of searches and arrests conducted throughout that law enforcement’s jurisdiction. This figure would directly reveal what percentage of the time the law enforcement agency accurately suspected criminal activity before taking further action against people. The higher this score or rating is, the more accurate this law enforcement agency is in arresting the correct people and conducting the correct searches. Thus, law enforcement agencies with such ratings below a certain threshold (say 90%, for example) should be required to obtain search warrants and/or arrest warrants from the courts, whereas those with higher credit ratings could approve searches and arrests themselves. In other words, law enforcement agencies need to be correct 9 out of 10 times in order to have earned the privilege to make warrantless arrests and searches. Agencies who abuse this power would have it reflected in their poor credit rating and their ability to conduct warantless arrests and searches would be curtailed or eliminated altogether.
This principle of using a credit system can be applied in a similar way to the use of torture.0 Comments
Every 12 months (maximum), police officers serving on patrol duty should be required to pass fairly tough physical tests designed to be passed only by the most physically fit one-quarter to one-third of the population of the county or state they are patrolling. Those who do not pass the physical test should be prevented from performing patrol duty or other functions where physical force may be reasonably required and instead be shifted over to other police functions. Perhaps a decrease in pay may be part of the penalty for not being physically fit and an encouragement to become and stay fit.
Candidates and current police and other law enforcement officers should be assessed for their mental behavioral qualities so that there is a greater tendency to select people who are more empathetic, caring, sensitive, etc. Police and other law enforcement personnel need to focus more training on the ‘soft’ skills like ethics and integrity, community policing, and mediation/conflict resolution and need to de-emphasize the ‘hard’ skills geared towards firearms, self-defense and health and fitness.
These ‘soft’ skills are important because it is precisely these public servants who are required to be able to act to moderate tense situations with people who either don’t like law enforcement or don’t trust them and who are likely to direct negative comments or physical actions towards them. Law enforcement personnel need to be able to de-escalate such situation and need to be able to prevent the natural human tendencies for their own emotional escalations to contribute to a degradation of civility toward barbaric levels.
To prevent the appearance of weakness, it is important for all law enforcement officers who are deployed in a capacity which requires interaction with the public, to be required to attend mandatory counseling sessions at least every three months.
Law enforcement personnel in certain high-stress jobs should be reassigned often to different law enforcement area so that they are not constantly in the same environment. This would allow them time to recuperate from any psychological stresses that inevitably build up.
Police Weapons Limitations
Police forces should only be allowed to have enough quantities and types of weapons that would effectively allow them to control relatively large-scale uprisings throughout their jurisdiction. Tanks, grenade launchers should not be necessary for this purpose. If these tools are required, then the military should be called in.
Taser and Stun Gun Design
Tasers and stun guns (especially for law enforcement usage) should be designed to be obviously different from each other in appearance. Perhaps they should be bright yellow so that officers in the middle of a struggle would be able to minimize the chances that the wrong weapon would be pulled out. It sometimes happens that officers pull out their real gun and fire it before realizing that it was not their intended weapon. A bright color differentiation would be the best way to minimize that risk.0 Comments
Government inspectors (such as for health and safety) should be allowed surprise entry and unrestricted access to all parts of the property being inspected. Likewise, subordinates (employees, athletes, students, etc.) should be drug tested at the will of their supervisors (as long as the testing is not too invasive or time consuming). Any proper law enforcement entity should have the right to conduct surprise inspections of any person or any place under their jurisdiction so long as such actions can be fairly reasonably justified or if such actions are part of an advertised deterrent technique (such as random drug testing).
The police and other law enforcement agencies should use sting operations as a tool to keep crime at their lowest possible levels. Sting operations should be especially used as a lure to catch individuals with criminal inclinations when the level of reported crimes increase or intelligence indicates that one or a few individuals may be responsible for a string of crimes (two or more). Criminals caught through sting operations would face punishments that are no different than if the crimes were committed against real, private individuals. The only difference is that the ‘victim’ in such cases would be the government agency which set up the sting. All compensatory damages as well as punitive awards would be paid to such government agencies.
Law enforcement agencies could work either by themselves or in conjunction with any other parties they see fit for purposes of catching criminals. Although such practices should be discouraged, illicit goods (drugs, guns, etc.) could be bought and sold by law enforcement if so doing will likely lead to the finding of compelling incriminating evidence. Trafficking in such illicit goods for such purposes should always be approved and permitted by the courts. Otherwise, a law enforcement agency with a high enough credit rating could self approve such activities by gaining the approval of the highest elements with that law enforcement agency.0 Comments
The law enforcement agencies of every individual political jurisdiction on the planet should make every effort to cooperate with all other political jurisdictions regarding law enforcement activities.
This means that law enforcement agencies should be allowed to briefly make minor intrusions into neighboring political jurisdictions in order to capture a criminal who may be fleeing into that jurisdiction or which for some reason, the native law enforcement authorities take too long to arrive and cannot get to the criminal in a timely manner. However, immediate notification and attempts to coordinate with the law enforcement agencies of the intruded jurisdictions should be a top priority.
Part of this cooperation between law enforcement agencies also entails the responsibility of each political jurisdiction to prevent, or make a reasonable effort to prevent, any crime committed within its own jurisdiction from spilling over and negatively affecting a different jurisdiction. If it is unable to do this for any reason including lack of funding, expertise or corruption, then that jurisdiction which is negatively affected by a crime spilling over from a different jurisdiction should automatically be granted the authority to enter the offending jurisdiction to stop or prevent that crime from either occurring or negatively affecting its own jurisdiction.
For criminals whose crimes take place in two or more political jurisdictions, including if those jurisdictions are countries, each jurisdiction should be entitled to impose its punishment on that criminal for the crimes he committed in that jurisdiction. This does not mean that a trial must be held in every jurisdiction, but just that each jurisdiction has the right to make sure that crimes committed in that jurisdiction are properly punished. If one jurisdiction does not agree with the type or amount of punishment levied against the criminal, that jurisdiction should have the right to appeal that decision to some higher court. Each jurisdiction should have the right to reap the benefits of any punishments levied on the criminal for the crimes committed in that jurisdiction.
High Speed Police Chases
As a general rule, police should not engage in long vehicular pursuits of suspects because of the inherent danger that it poses. Instead, they should either immediately take decisive action to end such pursuits or, the better option would be to let them go but monitor their tracks remotely, then move in when it is safer to do so. A network of security cameras throughout everywhere would in this effort. permanent high-resolution aerial surveillance, such as through drone mounted cameras, would be a very effective measure of tracking.
Domestic Obligation to Enable Enforcement of the Internal Laws of Foreign Countries
No country should be allowed to facilitate any activity taking place within its borders if it is known that that activity is part of an illegal activity according to the laws of that other country. For example, many countries do not consider it a crime to evade other countries’ taxes. When such activities are suspected, but especially when that other country has reported its own suspicions about such activities, it is incumbent upon the host nation to at least cooperate with the foreign country in its investigations on the matter.0 Comments
Site Specific Police
Major government installations (bases, national monuments, government buildings like the Capital, the White House, etc.) and large infrastructural complexes (airports, seaports, major parks, etc.) should be allowed to have special police forces for those specific areas to augment the regular police forces of that political jurisdiction. These special police forces would be given the same basic training as the regular general police in that jurisdiction and would have the same comprehensive police authority in those areas, just like the regular police forces would continue to have. They would be able to arrest anyone, give ticket for anything they want, and do anything the regular police forces could do. However, they may undergo some additional special training to prepare them for the specialized nature of policing around their assigned site. There should be no specific delimiting boundary within which these police forces could operate but they would merely be operating generally within and around their assigned sites.
The number of special forces with the authority to carry firearms, execute warrants, and make arrests should be very limited. Over the past few decades, too many agencies have been armed with this authority, contributing to an unacceptable rate of erroneous threats, raids and arrests. Inexperience, underdeveloped enforcement policies, and attitudes that often give rise to unjustifiably overzealous or even reckless enforcement methods seem to be more common within civil agencies who have been given these powers than within agencies which have traditionally been responsible for criminal enforcement, such as the FBI.
The authority to carry firearms, conduct searches and make arrests should generally fall only to local (city or state) or federal (FBI) law enforcement personnel. Of course, there should be exceptions in which personnel from other agencies should be allowed to carry firearms and make arrests (like U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement). However, the standard way for agencies to seek enforcement of their various rules and regulations should be to contact the law enforcement elements with such authority (maybe even ride along with them in an observer and informative way), describe the nature of the violation and what people, evidence or information they are seeking.
For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Labor, the Department of Education, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have the power to carry firearms, conduct raids and make arrests. Generally, violations relating to these organizations are civil, not criminal, in nature. Raids do not need to involve surprise swarms of agents breaking in with weapons drawn. Usually, this use of overwhelming force is completely unjustifiable and results in resentment and distrust towards the government from the parties that were affected.0 Comments
Suspicious packages ought not to be destroyed by explosion or other destructive technique, but should be mechanically disassembled in a safe or remote area. Most of the time, these packages are harmless. The minority of the times that they are real explosives, the precautions taken to insure the safety of everyone around would be sufficient to keep everyone safe in case it explodes.
Prisoners trained in explosive defusing, preferably those sentenced to death, should be allowed to sign up for specific defusing assignments in order to earn money to pay for their crimes.
Since the government is the only civic institution charged with and given the broadest authority to maintain law and order throughout society, the commission of a crime represents the government’s failure to adequately fulfill its role to prevent it. Victims should never have to suffer permanent financial losses due to crimes for which either the criminals cannot afford to compensate their victims or for which the government cannot even find the criminals responsible. Governments must have a vested interest in finding all criminal entities (including individuals, businesses, or other responsible entities) and solving crimes.
Therefore, governments should be responsible for permanently bearing the direct costs of crimes for which the responsible criminals cannot pay or for which the responsible criminals cannot be found. Governments should compensate the victims of crimes for all direct costs (with interest) of the crime as soon as (within 3 months) the legitimacy of their victimhood is ascertained (generally after a legal proceeding). Naturally, some crimes would have direct costs that continue to accrue over time, such as lost wages. In such cases, the government would be obligated to compensate the victim periodically into the future, when such costs accrue over time, not all in one lump sum with the rest of the compensation money.0 Comments
In cases of false arrests, false imprisonment, false conviction, false seizure of property, lack of return of property, etc, the innocent party should be compensated with a large amount of money by the law enforcement agency, private party, or other entity involved. Generous compensation should even occur in cases where an unnecessary amount of damage was done in a legitimate search. In cases of false imprisonment and false arrest, the falsely imprisoned or arrested should be entitled to receive a minimum compensation amount equal to the minimum wage rates for each hour, or portion thereof in which this individual was under the direct supervision or detention of law enforcement authorities. The minimum compensation should be $100. In addition, such individuals should be compensated for the amount they would have earned at their regular jobs for each hour of job absence due to such false arrest or imprisonment. Any other provable loss of income from any legitimate source due to such false arrests or imprisonments should also be compensated. All such figures relating to 24-hour minimum wage compensation and lost income should be added together and a punitive multiple should be applied based on the particular circumstanced of each case.
In cases involving the false seizure of property, compensation to the victim should be determined in the same manner as if the property was stolen. The value of the items seized would be added up and a punitive multiple would be applied to that amount.
In cases where an accused had been falsely convicted and placed into prison for a significant length of time, they should also be compensated for the estimated wage earnings they most likely would have earned if they had never been falsely arrested/convicted. For example, if a black, 25-year-old male is arrested and put in prison for 20 years, the following criteria could be used to come up with a number for compensation. The unemployment rate and average annual earnings for people with similar criteria would need to be gathered. Let’s say the unemployment rate is 25%, this would mean that we could calculate the full-time wage earnings for the total amount of time the suspect had been incarcerated, and we would multiply that total number by the inverse of the unemployment rate, thus, 75%.
People who have legally accused others of wrongdoing when they know those charges to be false, should be given the punishment that would be given to the accused if the accused were to have been found guilty of those charges. In addition, a punitive multiple should be applied. For example, if a person accused another person of stealing a $200 bicycle, but the accuser knows the charge to be false, the accuser himself should be charged with stealing the equivalent of a $200 bicycle and should be required to pay the originally accused party both these $200 plus court costs, plus any punitive multiple that would likely have been applied. Assuming a multiple of 3, the accuser would be charged with the attempted theft of ($200 x 3) + $1,000 court costs = $1,600. Thus, the originally accused party would likely have been required to pay the accuser $1,600 if the originally accused party were to have been convicted. Thus, the accuser’s bill for lying about this theft would be $1,600, requiring a punitive multiple to be applied to this amount. In the end, the original accuser could end up paying two or three times the $1,600 amount ($3,200-$4,800) to the party that it had originally accused.0 Comments
If, at any point in the future, it is revealed that a supposed victim completely lied about the occurrence of a crime, that ‘victim’ should be charged with the theft of an amount of money equal to the total monetary compensation (including any punitive awards) earned as a result of the false accusation. All these numbers would be added up and defined as the direct cost of this new crime. A punitive multiple would be applied to this sum. The ‘victim’ would then be required to pay all of this in addition to any indirect costs associated with this newly discovered crime.0 Comments
Convicted criminals, who were wronged or injured during the course of their crime or punishment, should not be eligible to receive punitive compensation for any wrong committed by others against them during the commission of the crime. The perpetrators of wrongs committed against criminals would still be brought to justice in the same way as any other lawbreaker; however, the criminal will not be entitled to receive any of the ‘pain and suffering’ compensation or punitive awards, only compensatory payments for direct medical expenses associated with any crime committed against a criminal.0 Comments
People who have endured a long-term aggravation by another party, and who can prove that they have gone to the police or other proper authorities multiple times in the past attempting to deal with and solve the problem legally should be given a significant credit that would be applied against any punishment they would receive if they took it upon themselves to solve the problem unethically. Any credits earned in this way should never be allowed to reduce the punishment to zero because it is a civilized person’s responsibility to wait for the government to intervene when all options short of violence, vandalism or theft are exhausted, even if the government is excruciatingly slow. Some examples of when a person might snap under a long-term aggravation would include constantly loud music, an incessantly barking dog, severe aesthetic pollution, long-term spousal abuse, etc.0 Comments
Punishments for virtually all crimes (either against property or against people) should be denominated primarily in terms of money rather than prison time, hours of community service, or other methods. Property crimes would be the easiest to denominate in terms of money, but scores of crimes against people could also be denominated in terms of money as well as given additional penalties, if needed, such as prison time. However, prison time should be primarily reserved for criminals who pose a significant threat to the safety of people.
Nevertheless, whenever the punishment for certain crimes are stated in terms of monetary fines and/or prison time or whenever the courts or criminals are able to choose between serving prison time or paying a fine, the amount of the fine should always be at least roughly equivalent to the amount it would have cost to incarcerate the criminal in prison. For example, when the violation of a certain law says that the penalty imposed could be a fine as well as jail time, it is often the case that the fine is a ridiculously small amount compared to the amount and cost of prison or jail time. For instance, it is common for the fine to be $1,000 and for the jail time to be months long, such as three or six months. This is ridiculous. It can easily costs about $1,000 every week to house an individual in prison. If anything, the fine should be set at the higher amount so that the government would not end up spending more on housing the prisoner than what it would get from the levying of the fine. Even if the courts choose to impose only either the fine or the prison time, but not both, the amount of the fine should be directly related to the length of imprisonment and roughly equivalent to the cost of such an imprisonment.0 Comments
Penalties for crimes should generally not be influenced by where the crime was committed, whom it was committed against, why it was committed, or where the case is tried. In other words, there should not be a separate category of crimes, such as ‘hate crimes’ with punishments that are automatically higher than ‘regular’ crimes. Also, trials held in state courts should not, as a matter of statute, yield different penalties than those same crimes tried in federal courts.0 Comments
Every male sex offender including male and female trafficker, including a first time offender, responsible for a clearly and undoubtedly unauthorized intimate sexual violation or trafficking of another person ought to be castrated and made impotent. They should never again be allowed to produce offspring. Castration (of either one or both testicles, depending on the severity of the crime), would dramatically reduce the natural sexual urge, though testosterone level could be artificially increased through medication. Perhaps, for these people, or at least the more violent ones, it should be made a crime for them to purchase and/or consume any testosterone drugs.
Of course, the above punishments would be in addition to the formulas and calculation used to determine the normal financial and physical (forced supervision) penalties that would be levied on criminals. These would depend on the actual facts of the case and the determination of the courts and juries.
The punishment for sex offences, as a general rule and with the exception of castration and the removal of the penis, should not be life-long. Furthermore, no sex offender should ever be barred from voting. The requirement for them to live a certain number of feet away from schools or parks is ridiculous and only makes finding a place for them to live much more difficult.
Consensual sex with underage people should not be classified as a sex offense. It should still be punished, but nowhere near the degree to which other more significant sex crimes should be punished.
‘Victimless crimes’ such as viewing anonymous child pornography or ‘accidentally’ engaging in indecent exposure (such as during public urination) , while still a crime, should not be categorized as a ‘sex offense’ using its commonly understood usage by the public (namely forced sexual acts with another person).
There appears to be significant irrational public fear regarding any individual who has ever been convicted of a ‘sex crime’, as if they are all equal. Because of public pressures over the years and emotional initiatives placed on ballots, the laws regarding punishments to this class of offenders have gone over the top, resulting in exaggerated punishments that have caused the lives of many convicted offenders to be permanently ruined beyond what should be deemed fair. The pervasive nature and often permanent punishments imposed have caused many of them severe residency and employment hardships. Such prospects are not conducive to their rehabilitation.0 Comments
Criminals’ punishment should include, as much as possible, work or service in the area, field, or scope in which the crime was committed. For example, if a person steals money from a dependant elderly person, that criminal should be sentenced to work for the police or other organization that works to solve and prevent crimes against the elderly. Or if a person wrote graffiti, that criminal should be sentenced to clean up or remove graffiti from a certain area or for a certain length of time. People who litter should be required to pick up litter, etc. (May 13, 1999 LA Times)0 Comments
All lawbreakers, regardless of how small or how big the crime, should be required to take educational courses designed to explain to the lawbreaker or criminal why what they did was wrong, why the law that prohibits what they did exists and how it came to be, and why that law should be respected. The courses lawbreakers and criminal would be required to take would depend on the type and severity of the offense and would be in addition to any fines levied. All this should apply even to people who get traffic tickets. For example, if somebody gets a ticket for passing a red light, as part of their punishment, they should be required to take a course in traffic signals that explains, among other things, how they work, how the lengths of green, yellow, and red lights are determined, etc. Ticketed drivers should also be taught all the relevant statistics concerning violations of whatever traffic law they broke (in this case it would be statistics concerning the number of people killed or injured as a result of red lights being run, amount of property damage, per capita calculations, etc.). (Much of this basic road infrastructure information and victim testimonials, etc., should be taught in driving schools anyway.)
Criminals should be taught in detail, even shown videos, about how their crimes (or types of crime) can or have affected both the victims of the crime, their families, others in society, and even themselves. All kinds of statistics related to that offense should also be taught. Criminals should be educated with how other countries and societies and even how at other times in history criminals, or merely accused criminals, were treated by both law enforcement authorities and the general population. One of the goals should be to get to the point where criminals themselves appreciate both the humane and rehabilitative natures of modern criminal justice systems.
Criminals should be encouraged to apologize to the victims without expecting anything in return, much less good will from the victim or their families.
Criminals who do not have marketable skills should be required to take courses to develop one.
Criminals and all other lawbreakers, even traffic violators, should also be educated as to what exactly they need to do to resolve their matters quickly and efficiently. For example, every traffic ticket or other legal infraction or criminal papers that are handed out to lawbreakers, should include a clear set of sufficiently detailed instructions on how to resolve the matter quickly and efficiently. Maybe such papers should always have a telephone number that people could call to have any related questions answered.
Criminals must begin paying the government immediately since the government paid the victims immediately. Governments are the entities that should bear the responsibility for searching for, bringing to justice, and billing the responsible criminals. Criminals would be liable to pay the government all direct costs (namely, restitution), indirect costs (which include investigative, court, detention expenses, etc.), and the punitive multiples (the actual penalty component of this punishment) at an interest rate equal to the rate of inflation.
The major assets of suspects should not be allowed to be sold, given away, or otherwise transferred out of their ownership until a verdict of innocence is declared. This is to prevent the preemptive shuffling away of assets in order to avoid having them confiscated to pay criminal expenses.
Juveniles convicted of crimes should generally be punished in the same way as adults. Their penalties (at least the financial penalties) should not be lower just because they are juveniles and they would be required to be paid under the same terms as required of adult financial penalties. Parents (as would absolutely anybody in society be able to do for absolutely any criminal) could pay or help pay off these penalties to avoid the need to pay accruing interest, but that would be up to the juvenile to decide how and when to pay.
Perhaps juvenile jail sentences could be moderated compared to adult sentences for equivalent crimes. Parents should obviously be charged with a crime (i.e. being as accessory to the crime, reckless negligence, etc.) when there is evidence to prove that parents knew or should have known that their child was about to commit a crime and did not do enough to try and prevent it (namely, notify authorities).0 Comments
One way or another, criminals must be required or forced, if necessary, to pay off all costs associated with their crimes.
Suspect’s Assets Frozen Until Determination of Guilt or Innocence
When a suspect is arrested, a restriction should be placed on the transfer of ownership of all significant assets to any other person, unless approved by a judge. This is to preserve any assets that may be potentially needed in order to pay for this crime for which society has not yet determined his guilt.
Criminals Negotiate Payment Plan With Government
As soon as a criminal is convicted, the government would enter into negotiations with the criminal and try to develop a payment plan that would pay off all these bills in a timely manner, but without kicking the criminal into homelessness or unsustainable poverty and still retaining the criminals’ rehabilitative desire and prospects.
A criminal having sufficient assets could fulfill their obligations immediately. Or if a criminal has a decent job that the government feels will suffice to pay off these criminal expenses in a timely manner, and if the government ‘trusts’ the criminal to honor his debts, then the government should let the criminal go free on the condition that timely payments be submitted.
Trusted Criminals Are Set Free; Others Are Supervised to Various Degrees
If the government doesn’t ‘trust’ the criminal enough (i.e., thinks the criminal is a public safety risk or might somehow escape from his obligations), then the government could impose any of various levels of supervision on the criminal, ranging from remote supervision, like requiring them to call a monitoring office every day or wear a tracking device, to 24-hour imprisonment.
Though negotiations between the government and criminals would determine the actual repayment plan, the following could serve as general guidelines. Within a month of conviction, the government would have the right to immediately confiscate some or all ‘luxury’ items (luxury boats, jet skis, collectibles, cable TV subscriptions, etc.) as the first step to paying off these debts, unless the criminal can prove that he could pay off these debts within one year. If a significant portion of the debt still remains or is very likely to remain, after one year, the government would have the right to confiscate all non-critical assets (those which are not needed to preserve the criminal’s most basic living conditions) in order to pay off these debts.
If the criminal has been sentenced to prison for a long time (such as for over 5 years), the government would be entitled to liquidate all of the criminal’s assets to pay off their criminal debts. Even if full payment (including paying-forward) for all costs associated with a crime has been made by the criminal, the full prison sentence should still be served.
Every criminal in prison would be provided with job opportunities to help them pay off their debts. Because government is the social institution responsible for both creating and enforcing the laws that the criminals have broken, governments should have priority over the utilization and employment of prison labor and the labor of others under government detention or supervision programs while private and non-governmental interests should be second. The commission of every crime represents an offense to the government, thus entitling it to some form of compensation. Perhaps one of the main employment opportunities for prison labor should be the sorting and preparation of wastes for recycling. Such sorting could take place on or adjacent to prison grounds or at any adequately supervised location. These jobs could provide the prisoners with at least a minimum wage job and the government with low-wage labor. Criminals could also search through a government database listing jobs dealing with aesthetic pollution or other small non-critical jobs aimed at making civilian infrastructures more pleasant to look at and use. However, there are perhaps hundreds of other possible jobs that prisoners could perform.
Anybody (such as family, friends, even strangers) could feel free to come and perform work on a criminal’s behalf, in order to help that criminal pay off his debt faster. Such people could also either donate directly towards payment of the criminal’s debt, could join the prisoner (if the prisoner approves) and work along side him or could just do some other similar government-offered job in any other location but must contribute the earning towards the prisoner’s account.
Convicted criminals also have the option of using any of their possible criminal talents to augment the effectiveness of law enforcement, and be paid to do so. By using their talents and connections with other possible criminal friends, such convicted criminals could both inform the government of more effective methods of enforcement against particular criminal behaviors and provide law enforcement with information that could be used to apprehend other suspected criminal friends.
They could also possibly be compensated for helping prevent possible future crimes from occurring. As part of their work, convicted criminals who have been placed in prison could possibly be released back into their communities for purposes of gathering information on other criminal activities. These convicted criminals would be compensated just as would regular informants who would turn over similar information to law enforcement.
For criminals whose sentences included a certain amount of torture, a reduction in that amount of torture may also be used as an incentive to participate with police to help reduce or solve crimes.
All criminals, including those sentenced to death, should be allowed and encouraged to sell themselves (bodies and/or minds), at market prices, for medical experimentation (non-life threatening and non-debilitating), vaccine testing, experimental drug testing, long-term carcinogenic chemical testing, psychological testing, organ selling, nuclear radiation exposure (possible clean-up operations), etc. In some cases, to attain information that may not be attainable through other, more conventional means, individuals sentenced to death (and any other criminal volunteers) could be required to undergo a short period of torture for a maximum of half an hour, provided the individual is not in extreme pain for over 5 minutes. Death penalty convicts could also be trained as bomb disposal or defusing technicians or other life threatening tasks. They would be compensated generously and would be able to make large progress towards paying off their debts. If they die in the process, that would be the risk they have chosen to take. Each activity would pay the criminal a different amount for his services as a human test platform. In return, the criminal would earn more money which he must use to pay off his direct, indirect, and punitive debts.
Often times, a criminal or criminal entity (such as a business) will not be able to pay for the total direct, indirect, and punitive costs of their crimes, even if they are forced to work their entire lives, in which cases they still must be forced to work their entire lives. In these cases, the government, who has already paid these costs to the victim, will then need to absorb this loss. Since the government is ultimately responsible for creating a safe society, the commission of a crime represents the government’s failure to perform its purpose. Therefore, it should be the government, rather than the victim, who should bear a loss when it comes to paying for crime.
In cases where a criminal dies before his financial obligations are fulfilled, such criminals would have all of their assets pass to the control of the government and liquidated in order to fulfill their financial obligations. Any remaining assets (or special items which the government deems more proper to pass on to the criminal’s spouse or other willed party) would be distributed according to a will or other legal document or convention, as usual.
The government should have the right to prevent any dead criminal’s assets from being distributed to any willed party for a maximum of 5 years if an investigation is still ongoing or if there is enough suspicion of possible other crimes committed by the criminal which have yet to be solved.
A criminal who has unjustly or deceitfully transferred assets to any other party whether before or after his conviction or death, would subject those parties to potential government confiscation of those assets to pay off criminal liabilities. Liabilities could be potentially partially reduced if the parties into which the assets have been transferred would be critically or catastrophically impacted by the seizure of their total liability amount. The courts would determine what a critical or catastrophic impact would be and such thresholds should be progressively more conservative as the years go by, until, after 10 years, the assets would be virtually untouchable by the government.
If a victim dies before being completely compensated for a crime committed against him/her, the criminal would still be required to fully pay his obligations (direct costs of the crime and punitive penalties) to either the next of kin to the victim, close friends (either at the time of the crime or at the time of death), or to whomever parties the victim has willed his/her property. Blood relationships may be superseded by relationships held between the deceased victim and his friends, caretakers, etc., if it could be shown that these people were more close friends than family members. (Perhaps a standard question in will documents could address this eventuality.)
If nobody can be found that is sufficiently ‘close’ to the deceased victim to receive part or all of the awarded amount, then the award or remaining portion thereof would be evenly divided and placed into the general funds of each level of government (city, county, state, federal) in which the crime took place (unless members within that level of government were involved in committing, aiding, covering up or protecting the perpetrators of the crime).
If both the victim and criminal have died more than 5 years before a link is established between the two, the criminal’s estate would owe nothing and the victim would not be entitled to a punitive award. However, the victim’s spouse, relatives, or close friends perhaps may be entitled to some compensation of the direct costs of the crime depending upon the particulars of such a crime, specifically how much such people may have suffered as a result of the victim’s suffering.
The following example may help illustrate how this kind of criminal justice system would work. If a criminal steals a $200 bicycle parked on the sidewalk, the government should be required to compensate the victim within a reasonable period of time (like within 3 months of the occurrence of the crime) with $200 times a multiple of perhaps 2, making the total compensation amount $400. If the criminal is caught, tried and found guilty, the criminal would be required to repay the government the $400 it gave the victim. In addition, the criminal would have to pay all court, investigative, detention, and possibly other costs associated with processing the crime and the criminal through the criminal justice system. (Let’s assume such charges add up to $2,000.) If the criminal confronted and threatened the bicycle owner with harm during the theft, a multiple of 5 could be applied bringing the net crime bill to $1,000 ($200 x 5 = $1,000 net crime bill, plus $2,000 court costs = $3,000 total crime bill).
If it is revealed that a person lied about his $200 bicycle being stolen after he parked it outside a store, and after the courts awarded him compensation for the bike plus a multiple of 2, then that person would be charged with the theft of $400 ($200 x multiple of 2 = $400). His penalty would then be $400 plus a multiple of this amount, which would depend on the particulars of the case, and any additional administrative, court or other costs. Assuming the courts settle on a multiple of 3, this fraudulent ‘victim’s’ bill would come out to $1,200 plus any additional administrative costs. If these additional costs add up to $2,000, then the ‘victim’ would have a bill for $3,200.0 Comments
No criminal should be allowed to personally profit from any book, movie or anything else based in any way on the crime. That is, all profits from such revenue generating activities should first go towards paying off the victims and all other costs associated with the crime. After all these expenses are fully paid, all additional profits should be evenly divided among all the levels of government in whose jurisdiction the crime was committed (federal, state, county and city).0 Comments
Criminals should be encouraged to apologize (either in writing, verbally, or perhaps both) to the victims without expecting anything in return, much less good will from the victim or their families.
Apologies should only be given by people who actually did the wrong thing for which they are apologizing. Apologies should be allowed into courts without any restrictions, assumptions, implied meanings, etc., being connected with the apology or derived from it. The jury should interpret an apology and everything else that is presented, in any way it sees fit.
If a criminal does not wish to apologize, his/her fine should be increase slightly and they should be forced to write something meaningful to the victim or victim’s family so that the criminal will get a sense that the person or family he harmed is real. (May 13, 1999 LA Times)0 Comments
People should be required to take medications, especially for psychiatric disorders, if by not taking those medications they pose a significant danger to themselves or anyone else. For people who cannot be trusted to consistently enough take their medications, perhaps automatic dispensing devices should be permanently attached or installed on or inside such people to ensure that they always receive their proper doses. Tampering with such devices or, for any other reason, habitually not taking the proper doses at the required times should result in a fine as well as in placement under more severe supervision. Such supervision could merely mean more intensive monitoring by medical personnel or anything all the way up to 24 hour incarceration.0 Comments
Once a criminal finishes his punishment and pays off all the associated debts, all restrictions that were imposed as a result of the criminal offense should be lifted and the criminal should have all of his original rights completely restored, unless restorations of those rights are very likely to lead to further crimes.
Generally, there should be no lingering punishments, such as a ban from voting, restrictions on travel, public notification of criminals’ residences in neighborhoods, etc., unless such restrictions are absolutely necessary and their intended purposes cannot be met in another, less permanent way. Some punishments with permanent effects, like castration, for example, would be exempted from this requirement that the criminal be restored whole.0 Comments
The act of cheating or taking something of value from a victim or causing the victim an expense in either time, money, or something else of value should all be classified as theft. Tax fraud, false or misleading insurance claims (including claims for self-inflicted injuries or damages), over-billing customers, bribery, ransom demands, willfully wrong IRS judgments, etc., should be treated as theft. Compensation plus a punitive multiple should be paid up to several times the amount of the fraudulent or dishonest economic transaction.
Forcibly demanding illegal payments, such as ransom demands, wrongful IRS judgments followed by threats to pay, etc. should be considered a completed theft of the original amount demanded even though that amount may not have actually been paid by the victim.0 Comments
The definition of terrorism should be as follows: Any action or threat that is meant to, or whose primary goal can reasonably be assumed to, frighten, hurt, or kill individuals who are not directly involved in hindering the legitimate goals advocated by the proponents of such an action or threat.
This would include hate speech that calls for the killing or harming of other people due to some invalid criteria as race or different gang affiliation. Under these rules, any individual such as a white supremacist, a singer, a gangster or anyone else who openly admits to seriously hating or wanting to harm or kill other people (the threat doesn’t have to be directed at a named individual), would be able to be arrested and charged with terrorism for the mere statement. A successful conviction would result in very severe punishments. If the threat or action resulted in the death of the targeted person, then the death penalty should be applied.
Terrorism should not be made into a new class of offense. It should either be treated as a military attack (if it is significantly sponsored by a state) or as merely a crime in the conventional sense. No special governmental departments should be created to deal specifically with the threat of terrorism. No special funding for anti-terrorism related expenditures should be made. We already have the military to address military threats and the police to address criminal threats. Anti-terrorism efforts should fall mostly within the police domain, though at times, the military could be involved if the evidence warrants.
Anybody can initiate terror (both civilian and military personnel), and thus be a terrorist. Terrorism should be defined by the target and/or goal of the act, not necessarily by the type of act or who commits it.
Resistance against political or military rule (if their goals are supported by a sizable portion of the suppressed population (perhaps at least 20%)) employing actions or threats meant to frighten, hurt, or kill individuals directly associated with their political or military subjugation or control should not be considered terrorism. If less than the critical percentage of the population support the major thrust of the resistance movement, such acts should be considered criminal offenses. In either case, however, if the targets of these attacks or threats are against civilians or others not directly involved in hindering the political aspirations of the offensive group, then it should be called terrorism.
The bluntness of the weapons employed should also be an important factor to consider in whether to define an act as terrorism. The technological or financial ability of the ‘terrorists’ to use more surgical weapons/methods in order to reduce collateral damage, but their decision not to, will facilitate the defining of that action as a terrorist act (depending on the actual amount of collateral damage).
The more significant an opponent’s individual target is or the higher it’s value, the higher the collateral damage would need to be in order to classify the action as terrorism. For example, attacking or killing the head of the opposition would justify much higher collateral damages (including more innocent civilian deaths) than would an attack on a rank-and-file soldier or police officer. To use another example, the carpet-bombing of large areas during WWII would be far more justified than such actions today (especially by modern countries) because of the much more ready availability of technologies and weaponry that could accomplish the same objectives with far less collateral damage, especially involving innocent civilian deaths.
Penalty for Terrorists
The death penalty should be applied to actual and attempted terrorists if it is learned that their planned terrorist acts were mainly targeted towards and would have almost certainly caused the death of innocent individuals or if their plot included the use of either nuclear explosives, ‘dirty’ nuclear/conventional explosive bombs, deadly, contagious, or severely debilitating biological agents, deadly or permanently debilitating chemical agents, or the use of explosives with an estimated energy yield with a cumulative total of greater than one ton of TNT.0 Comments
Military & Political Espionage
Military and especially political espionage should be globally illegal. Each should be punished severely. Prison time should be given until the possessed knowledge is outdated and/or heavy fines should be applied to any person working as a military or political spy against the United States and who transferred or can be proven to have been on the verge of transferring classified and/or ‘sensitive’ information relating to intelligence or national security to foreign entities. In cases where the leakage of information has resulted in the death of another person, the spy should be given the death penalty but only at the end of very lengthy debriefings and other punishments and perhaps also after the convicted spy had paid for all costs associated with his crime (at least court and detention costs). Penalties for lower magnitude military or government spying should include the immediate revocation of all security clearances, a lengthy prison sentence or very close supervision, and a large fine, an order to never communicate without supervision with people who have access to classified information or with people who may reasonably be assumed to desire important information that the spy may have or know. Punishments for espionage should also include intensive education consisting of lengthy explanations as to why it is essential that certain information not be divulged.
Exceptions would be allowed if the transfer of such information would have clearly benefited the populations of both countries (or all parties) involved. Immoral or clearly illegal activities would also be exempt from punishment if such information was first revealed through the proper channels or chain of command.
The spying on any business or industry (foreign or domestic) is obviously immoral and should be globally illegal and punishments should be severely enforced. These crimes should be described as thefts and denominated mainly in terms of money. Though many foreign governments habitually engage is such activities far more often than Americans, all should be prosecuted with the same heavy standard. Attempts to justify these actions (including bribery) by claiming to ‘level the playing field’ with competitors should be completely invalid defenses. It should be widely advertised that, as with any other crime, any person who has information about any past, current or future crime that would lead to the capture of the criminal(s), that person should be rewarded with an amount of money equivalent to an average of about 10% of the total financial penalty imposed on the criminal(s) (namely the spies and the beneficiaries of such illegal information). Courts should assign a value for the illegally obtained information and punishments should be widely advertised, as they should for all crimes. This way the general population would always have a general idea in their minds as to how much money a person would earn for turning over information to the authorities. Then when a spying episode surfaces, the entire population would theoretically already know what the rewards would be. This may make for a potentially quicker resolution and capture of the spy.
In addition to punishing specifically identified criminals responsible for espionage, national government should also have the right to impose (or have an international authority impose, if one were to exist) tariffs on the imports of products from countries which have benefited from such spying. For example, there was a case in the 1980s when the French intelligence agency (DGSE) helped win a $2 billion fighter airplane deal with India. Such actions should be punished by an international authority (ideally) through the imposition of a fine on the French government (ideall). However, the second option would be for the victimized party (the U.S.) and any other nations who agree in principal, to impose tariffs on all imports from France and keep them in place until a predetermined amount of revenue has been raised.
Additional punishment options could include sanctions of some sort or temporary bans on imports of certain products from offending countries.
Naturally, espionage (especially economic) and bribery constitute forms of corruption that make the world less fair for everyone.
It is currently the case that some countries engaged in significant spying against the United States are those that receive significant military or economic aid from the US. This aid, either in the form of military or other economic aid, should be used, at least in part, as leverage to encourage such countries to cease their spying on us and to actually encourage them to help police this area and find out who else is spying on us. Enforcement could be done by withholding an aid amount equivalent to whatever the estimated damage of a spying scandal has been. Further, aid could be increased when such countries submit information that leads to the proper resolution of other spying activities against the US. Such a punishment and reward principal has been previously proposed in these points. This principle would work the same regardless of the entity or the scale of the entity that is participating.0 Comments
Bribery should be given a punishment equivalent to that given for theft. Both the person offering and the corrupt person receiving the bribe should be charged with the theft of an amount of money equal to the bribe, and the person receiving the bribe should be required to surrender the entire amount of the bribe to authorities.0 Comments
The penalty for defamation (also vilification, slander, ethnic slurs), false light (defined as technically correct but still misleading) and libel should mainly be financial. The penalty system described below refers to the punishment and compensation for the defamation itself. Other damages which may be proven to have resulted from such defamation (such as lost income due to customers being deterred, loss of job, etc.) would be in addition to those described below and would be treated as a form of theft guided by the principles stated here.
Such a penalty for defamation should be determined in two parts.
First, a base penalty should be determined by the courts, be dependent on the actual facts of the case and based on the nature of the defamation. The more serious its nature, the higher the penalty. For example, accusing someone of murder may possibly result in a $1,000,000 fine, while accusing someone of stealing a sandwich may result in a minimum defamation fine of $1,000. (A minimum defamation fine is set due to the minimal deterrence an incrementally decreasing fine amount would have. In addition, lower value judgements would tend to ‘waste’ courts’ time.)
Second, an additional penalty should be determined based on the number of people exposed (either actually or potentially saw or heard the defamation). These people should be divided into a few categories: 1) those well-known to the victim (family, relatives and close friends), 2) those known to the victim (friends and acquaintances) and 3) those who ‘know’ the victim (for example people who just recognize their name, as a politician, an actor, radio personality, etc.). An estimate of how many individual fall into each of these categories would need to be agreed upon in court.
Then a certain monetary figure should be applied to each of these categories. For example, a judge could rule that the additional fine amount for each person in category #1 would be $10, and for category #2 it would be $2 and for category number #3 would be 5 cents.
Example: Let’s say a US Senator was falsely accused of accepting $100,000 in bribes. We’ll assume the courts have determined that the severity of this false accusation is worthy of a $100,000 fine. Now let’s say that the Senator has 200 close family and friends, 500 acquaintances, and 5,000,000 people who recognize his name because he is a popular politician. According to the formula above, the criminal (originator of the defamation) would need to pay $100,000 (the original base defamation fine) plus $2,000 (200 x $5 for the #1 family and friends fine) plus $1,000 (500 x $1) plus $250,000 (5,000,000 x 5 cents. This equals out to be a total fine of $253,000 against the criminal and awarded to the victim.
Distinction Between Intended and Incidental Audiences
There should be a distinction between the intended audience (such as the intended recipient of a text message) and the incidental audience (such as the newspaper that got a hold of that text message and broadcast it to the whole nation). The particular charge for each viewing within each category in order to determine the final fine amounts, would need to be determined by the particular facts of each case in court. However a rule of thumb could be that the incidental viewings should cost at least 100 times less than the intended viewings.0 Comments
The punishment for disowning or inhumanely treating a daughter (such as under Islamic law) because she was raped should be loss of custody of the daughter, the requirement to pay full financial support to the daughter until she becomes an adult and a $25,000 fine for every year until she becomes an adult or until they accept her again into the family and she agrees.0 Comments
People who are involved in the production and sale of counterfeit items, such as currency, art, clothes, ‘blood diamonds’, illegally harvested ivory, etc., should be charged with the theft of an equivalent number of authentic items at full-price. For example, if 1,000 pieces of counterfeit pants are produced and sold, and the authentic item sells for $20 in the stores, the counterfeit producers should be charged with the theft of $20,000 ($20 x 1,000 units) and ordered to pay a punitive multiple that would be decided by the courts. Equipment used in the production of the counterfeit items should be liquidated first to pay the imposed fines. Then any additional fine amounts that are still outstanding should be required to be paid by the criminals. For counterfeit operations that total at least an estimated $25,000 per year, then any transportation equipment used to facilitate the production, shipping or marketing of such counterfeit items should be liquidated to pay off this amount. Market prices should determine the amount that is received for such liquidated goods and the criminals would be required to find the buyers. The government may possibly survey the ultimate buyer quickly to make sure that such equipment is not planned for further illegal use. If the equipment is only valuable for counterfeit production, then the government should not allow its resale and its market value would be zero. In exchange for the forced liquidation of their transportation vehicles, criminals should be given the opportunity to pay 200% of the estimated market value of their vehicle(s), instead.
The production of imitation uniforms or uniform parts (including badges, etc.) should be prohibited. No person should be allowed to wear real or fake uniforms unless they are employed at a place that requires the use of uniforms. The purpose is to prevent people from posing as police officers or phone or gas company employees and thereby gain entry to a home to steal or do other damage or harm. True employees at organizations that require uniform and who use them to facilitate the committing of a crime should be charged an extra penalty because of the deception. Soldiers who are not really soldiers should be prohibited from wearing authentic soldier uniforms.
‘Spoofing’ telephone numbers, email addresses or the manipulation of any other information to mislead or conceal it’s true origin or the falsification of any other true characteristic should all be illegal and heavily penalized.0 Comments
The importation and selling of exotic species should be banned (preferred), heavily restricted, or at least taxed to various degrees depending on the potential dangers posed to ecosystems due to their potential introductions into or removals from the wild. The rule of thumb regarding allowing the importation of any living species should be to ban all imports (even exports) unless the species in question is on a ‘clean’ list of approved animals for importation. Such a ‘clean’ list would be constructed by academics and researchers who have vetted the species to ensure against possible harmful effects in the local ecosystems into which importation is allowed.
Everybody, but especially primary school children should be intensively educated about the potential problems associated with the global transplantation of species. Perhaps the revenues generated due to both the taxation of these activities as well as the revenues generated through the fines and penalties imposed upon the violators of these rules could be used to educate the general public and to help fund exotic species removal programs.
People stealing or trafficking illegal materials, such as elephant ivory tusks, endangered animals (birds, monkeys, etc,), certain kinds of wood or plants, drugs and maybe some minerals or anything else of value, should be charged with theft and be required to pay up to several times the estimated market value of the material in question.
The confiscated material would be owned by the level of government responsible for the seizure and would be returned to the rightful owners if possible, unless it is illicit materials. If they are live animals, attempts would be made to return them to the wild, if that is from where they were taken. The government may have the option of declaring the seized materials legal (such as elephant tusks) and could sell it on the open market, keeping all the revenues that are generated. Such actions would tend to slow the slaughter of more animals by partially satisfying the market with the seized supply. It would also prevent the stash from going to waste.0 Comments
Any information, distributed on any medium, which instructs or encourages others to participate in or perform illegal or wrong activities, should be banned. For example, the creation or distribution of instructions or products on how to make pipe bombs, evade police, grow or sell illegal drugs, commit murder, etc., should all be banned. Furthermore, nobody should be allowed to buy or use anything that would assist them in breaking the law or preventing enforcement of the law. For example, police radars or laser detectors, telephone dial tone recorders, anti-photo license plate covers, hacking lessons or hacker software, etc., should all be illegal. Spoofing, in all forms, should also be illegal.0 Comments
It should be a crime to use US currency to fund or aid the commission of a crime, especially, for example, terrorist acts, international drug dealing, international prostitution, etc. Perhaps the penalty for using US currency in such a way could be set at somewhere between one and five cents per dollar used.0 Comments
No person should ever have the right to withhold information concerning any illegal activity from any appropriate law enforcement agency. Neither clergy nor any other religious personnel, neither parents nor any other family member, neither friends nor any other entity, not even journalists or the criminal himself, should ever be given any legal protection or allowance to withhold the divulsion of information concerning any past, present, or potential future crime from law enforcement. It is every individual’s, including every criminal’s, absolute obligation to do their part to prevent and solve crime, even when it involves them.
Journalists should not be allowed to claim press freedoms or any form of media shield protections or any other privileges that would otherwise allow them to withhold from a court any type of information, including but not limited to notes and unpublished information. Such information may be requested to be reviewed behind closed doors by the judge so that he/she could make a final determination regarding its relevance and/or the level of protection or privacy such information may warrant.
Any individual withholding such information for any length of time considered longer than reasonable by the courts (generally, after a two-week grace period) would be considered as an accessory to or facilitator of the criminal behavior and this would, in fact, be considered a crime on its own. In addition, the punishment for withholding such information should be equivalent to the punishment the actual wrongdoer would receive if convicted of the offense. If the information is divulged, leading to the wrongdoer being caught, the person withholding the information should only be given a punishment equivalent to a percentage of the punishment the wrongdoer receives, namely, a fine for each unit of time (like each day), beyond this two-week grace period, that has passed without divulging the information. In addition, if investigators find or attempt to find the information through some other means, the individual(s) withholding the information should be charged for all or a percentage of the investigative expenses of those other means which have accrued after the end of such a grace period.
Accordingly, no individual should ever have the right against self-incrimination. If somebody did something wrong, it is their obligation to do all that they can to rectify the situation. This would include fully divulging their role in the matter and offering any other relevant or useful information. This section of the 5th Amendment to the US Constitution should be revoked immediately.
Official files and any other important historical information that could, with a reasonable possibility, be used for future historical reference, should be required to be kept. Any person who is involved, in any way, illegally destroying records with potential value should be punished severely with heavy fines depending on the details of each particular case. But as an example, this case of Veteran’s Affairs Cleveland medical center employees deciding to destroy or deliberately misfiled up to 1,800 records. The penalty imposed should be constructed to reflect the magnitude of the crime, and should be based on each unit (record) misplaced or destroyed. Naturally, every case is different and the courts would need to come up with a just cost, but in this case, perhaps a penalty of $1,000 per record should be the minimum. This cost may reflect the costs (including emotional costs) to the victims of these lost records if they happen to request them, as well as the costs to other associated entities who may need such records for research or statistical purposes. To give these criminals an incentive to correct their misbehavior, they would be given the option (perhaps the requirement) to find as many records as possible within a certain period of time (like 12 months) in order for the judge to reduce the ultimate fine amount by a certain percentage.
Historical information is very valuable because it cannot be easily recreated, if even at all. So the penalties for what can be described as the permanent loss of such potentially information information should be very heavily punished.0 Comments
Worms Viruses, Etc.
It should obviously be illegal to author or promote, in any way, any computer program (worm, virus, etc.) that has any illegal or malicious intent. The authors of such programming codes should be charged with the theft of an equivalent amount of money estimated to be the final total damage costs for which their code was responsible. This same principle should be applied to any form of vandalism or any other crimes.
Unauthorized Computer Information Access
All information/data on any computer, server, network, etc., (public, private, government, corporate, etc.) not intended for public accessibility (i.e., protected by any kind of security feature, including firewalls, passwords, etc.) should be considered to be private, and all unauthorized access would be treated as a violation of privacy, at a minimum (depending on the nature of the accessed information).
Trash placed on the curb intended for collection should also be considered private property because of the potentially sensitive nature of documents that could be placed in the trash. Government or private collection agencies should have the right to sort through the trash in preparation for recycling or for salvaging items of interest (though obvious document searches for personal information should be prohibited).0 Comments
Illegal drugs should be made legal only if no reasonable or acceptable substitute for medical or rehabilitative reasons exists for those drugs. However, such drugs should be offered only through a prescription and only for medical or rehabilitative reasons. All other illegal drugs should remain banned.
However, the use of and the possession of ‘personal use’ quantities of virtually all illicit drugs should be decriminalized. This means that punishments other than prison terms should be given to offenders. Enforcement measure like fines would become the primary means of combating the problem.
Plants from which drugs are derived should also be permitted to be grown by any person as long as the plant is not altered or changed physically or chemically from its natural state in order to produce or aid in the production or concentration of chemicals capable of producing unnaturally significant bodily effects. For example, people could be allowed to grow the coca plant (from which cocaine is derived) and chew on the natural leaves of the coca plant or to make tea from the leaves to obtain its mild benefits. The mere growing of a drug-producing plant should generally not be prohibited; only unacceptable uses should be prohibited. Perhaps a permit for the growing of such plants should be obtained from the local government jurisdiction so that the government knows where such plants are located and can follow up on their status if necessary.
Any person knowingly (or even if they should have known) working towards or contributing to an illegal or immoral activity, should be given the full penalty (if they played a critical role) associated with that illegal or immoral activity or a certain fraction of the penalty if they played only a minor role towards the illegal or immoral goal. Not even scientists working for their corrupt or immoral governments should be exempted from such prosecutions.0 Comments
Pornography is like a drug which desensitizes its viewers to sex, requiring ever greater doses and ever more exotic forms to maintain satisfaction. The ideal solution is for pornography to be banned but, like the alcohol prohibition of 1920-33 showed, any product with a large, determined market cannot be benignly banned.
However, the next best thing would be to heavily regulate and heavily tax this industry so that it operates safely and also so that an effective degree of resistance could be placed on the demand. The adult film industry should be required to ensure a healthy, disease-free labor environment and provide proper compensation for its employees. A vice tax of 100% should be imposed upon the transaction of any pornographic item (including films, toys, etc.). This tax would be distributed proportionately among the different levels of government with jurisdiction over the place of sale (city, county, state, national).
Ideally, prostitution should also be prohibited because of the intrinsic wrong of selling and casually using one’s deepest physical acts with direct, negative spiritual implications. Furthermore, studies have shown that the vast majority of prostitutes would have strongly desired to not have been a prostitute. The demand will always exist, but a properly regulated market is preferable to a black market.
Prostitution services should also be charged a vice tax of 100%. This tax money should be equally distributed into the general funds of every level of government with jurisdiction over the place of sale. Brothels should exist in narrow zoned areas, health and labor standards must be enforced.
Such behavior should be outlawed in public.0 Comments
Law enforcement agencies should seize all property that can be shown to have been purchased with dirty or ‘laundered’ money or money otherwise obtained illegally or immorally. The punishment for knowingly holding property obtained through such means should be similar to the punishment for the theft of property with an equivalent value, namely a penalty of up to several times the market value of such property. If the sellers knew that dirty or ‘laundered’ money was used to purchase their property, they should also be punished with a punishment similar to the buyer’s.
If, after being purchased with dirty money, the property was legitimately sold or given to innocent buyers or receivers, those innocent people should be allowed to lawfully keep the property unless the property was unlawfully or unfairly obtained from the identified legitimate previous owner, in which case that previous owner would be entitled to the immediate return of the property if he/she so chooses. If this previous owner chooses to take possess of the property, he/she would be required to exchange any direct compensation he/she may have originally received, for the property itself. If the legitimate owner does not desire the return of the property but was unfairly or partially compensated at the time of the illegal removal of the property from his/her possession, the legitimate owner would be entitled to an inflation adjusted proportional compensation of the uncompensated portion of the property’s value at the time of the theft or loss, plus a punitive multiple based on this amount.
Any money or compensation needed to correct the situation should all come from the party or parties who either originated or used dirty money or acted illegally or unfairly. At no time should innocent parties be required to suffer financially. If the government cannot find the people responsible for such unjust transactions, the government must bear the direct cost, not the victims.
Banks or other financial institutions should be required to report suspected and actual laundered money to their respective law enforcement officials. Such institutions who fail to to so in good faith should, as punishment, be held liable for the entire amount of such moneies that have passed through them. Preferably, to reduce the financial risk to such institutions, they should catch such activities while the money is still inside their systems. It should be reminded, that these institutions, as any other entity, either individuals or businesses, could stand to profit from their reporting of any criminal activity if these principles were to be implemented.0 Comments
Governments should set a maximum Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.04% in order for a person to operate any type of mobile vehicle/machinery or heavy machinery. Employers could set a lower limit if they so desire. Governments could also set a lower limit for certain workers, such as pilots, nuclear plant operators, etc. People in public should never have a blood alcohol level of greater than 0.12%.0 Comments
Pedestrians who illegally cross a non-residential street in a way that causes an unlawful disruption or delay in the flow of traffic (causing a vehicle to at least tap on their brake lights, delay through traffic or delay left or right turning vehicles), especially if pedestrians do not obey traffic signals, or if they interfere in any manner that creates greater risks for either themselves or others, should be fined at least $250. If sufficiently able-bodied pedestrians began crossing the street legally on the green signal, but did not finish crossing before the light turned red, they should also be subjected to the $250 fine. If there were no cars near enough to be reasonable affected or disrupted by the illegally crossing pedestrian, then no ticket/fine/warning should be given.0 Comments
Any person who takes a shopping cart outside the defined boundaries of a store’s or shopping center’s parking lot should be charged with the theft of that shopping cart. The thief would be required to pay the store both restitution and a punitive multiple based on the cost of the shopping cart.0 Comments
Those who are caught shooting guns randomly into the air (like for New Year’s or any other occasion) at any time in an urban area should be charged with littering, vandalism, and low-level endangerment of human life and fined the minimum amount for all these offenses.
If a bullet actually hits somebody accidentally, and kills them, then the shooter should be charged with involuntary manslaughter. Naturally, any damage that is found to be caused by a bullet should be charged to the shooter. The gun’s registrant should also be penalized if somebody else was illegally shooting the gun.0 Comments
Cursing should be illegal in public places, with increased penalties for cursing in confined public places like buses, trains elevators, etc., and still higher fines if children were present. Curse words should be ranked on a two or three step scale, based on the degree of vulgarity. Fines should be levied for each offense where curse words are spoken several times during a short period of time. Minor offenses in which curse words number one or two over the course of a conversation or other reasonable length of time should require that only a warning or small fine (such as $5 per word) be given. Such language used within earshot of minors should require much stricter enforcement and possibly increased penalties. Roads, parks, sidewalks, schools, and public/government buildings are some examples of the public places in which cursing, vulgarity, or other types of obscene language should be prohibited.0 Comments
Heckling, especially at sporting events, that is of a derisive or abusive nature, or that is clearly defamatory, untrue, or malicious, should be illegal. Penalties should be set at perhaps a minimum of $1,000 per verbal heckling incident. In cases where the heckle is non-abusive or non-threatening or contributes to the general enjoyment, then no punishment should be imposed.0 Comments
There ought to be a public dress code requiring all people in public places to avoid wearing anything that is:
- sexually explicit or with clear sexual implication
- sexually revealing (including the intentional revealing of underpants in an intentional and significantly lewd or indecent manner)
- or anything with a defamatory message or implication.