Reds and Blues Lead Mass Prison Break
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  • Andrew Allison

    Re: “The last category of explanations is perhaps the most intriguing: that criminals simply have fewer opportunities”.

    That is an extraordinarily facile suggestion. It assumes that petty criminals are smart enough to figure out that it’s not worth the risk. If they were, why were they in jail?

    A more likely explanation might be that the high level of public surveillance in Europe is indeed deterring crime, and that budget constraints in the US are encouraging the release of perpetrators of victimless crimes. The number of people incarcerated for simple possession of marijuana, for example, is a national disgrace. Logic and health and public safety statistics clearly demonstrate that the penalties for possession of tobacco products or alcohol should be the same as those for marijuana. Let’s not even get into the rampant abuse of prescription medications. Unhappily, our country learned absolutely nothing from the enactment of Prohibition in 1920, and the mushrooming criminal enterprises which resulted.

  • Eric J.

    What about demographics? Aging population=fewer young men who are most likely to commit crimes.

  • Nick Bidler

    I would say that rather than ‘fewer crimes,’ there are infinitely more crimes that are untraceable, cheaper, and involve less risk.

    Piracy is a serious crime, but I think it should be penalized according to the price of object ‘stolen.’ As the law stands now, ‘shoplifters’ who download songs without paying are treated as foreign spies conducting corporate espionage.

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