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Thread: What is a "Victimless" Crime and is there such a thing?

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    What is a "Victimless" Crime and is there such a thing?

    Rather than divert another thread as often happens I thought I'd start a new one by using a quote from the original thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by END_THE_FED View Post
    I would be okay with that for the most part as long as it was for crimes like theft, rape, assault, murder or fraud.

    If someone commits a "victimless crime" and happens to have a gun on them it shouldn't apply.
    What exactly is a victimless crime. The more I think about it the more I feel that someone, somewhere, is the ultimate victim of just about any crime I can think of. If not directly then peripherally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    Rather than divert another thread as often happens I thought I'd start a new one by using a quote from the original thread.



    What exactly is a victimless crime. The more I think about it the more I feel that someone, somewhere, is the ultimate victim of just about any crime I can think of. If not directly then peripherally.
    I think it's important to differentiate those things where any "victims" exist solely due to the law. For example, one might say that doing drugs which are illegal is not a victimless crime, because it destroys communities down in Central America. However, that would not be the case without the black market incentive, and so the crime is victimless, but the law creates victims.

    Other examples: driving faster than the speed limit while maintaining control of your vehicle, riding a bicycle without a helmet on, gambling/betting amongst friends, flag desecration, etc

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    Regular Member bennie1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    Rather than divert another thread as often happens I thought I'd start a new one by using a quote from the original thread.



    What exactly is a victimless crime. The more I think about it the more I feel that someone, somewhere, is the ultimate victim of just about any crime I can think of. If not directly then peripherally.
    I would like to see the full context of that conversation, can you provide a link to that thread? In my opinion anyone knowingly committing a crime shouldn’t get any exceptions victimless or not. As far as your question about victimless crime I would agree with you I don’t think there is such a thing. I guess it’s a way for someone to justify their misbehavior so they can pretend they really haven’t done anything wrong.

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    Regular Member killchain's Avatar
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    I don't believe there are many "victimless crimes." You can use speeding, but then you think about the excess wear on the road. Someone, somewhere, will have to fix that.

    Taking illegal drugs that were trafficked into the country, and who knows how many lives were affected during it's transfer. I suppose if you grew/made it yourself and took them all by yourself, them maybe it would be victimless.

    My personal beliefs though are that you do whatever you want, as long as you're not overtly harming anyone. You want to speed? Go ahead, I do sometimes too. :P

    But...

    Desecrating the Flag is not a victimless crime. The Flag is a living thing.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/us...8----000-.html

    United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1
    §8. Respect for flag
    j. No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." -John Stuart Mill

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    Seems to be a lot of debate on definition

    Interesting question regarding the definition of "victimless crime"...google that and you'll get a lot of info....

    http://law.jrank.org/pages/2257/Vict...-Critique.html

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    The definition of a "crime" is an offense against the dignity of the sovereign, which she will punish in an action at law in her own name, by fine, imprisonment, or both.

    Hence, the only "victim" of any "crime" is the state. The state's dignity is offended when its subjects behave in ways that are prohibited, regardless of whether any one else is hurt or offended.

    Just plain folks, on the other hand, may also be victims of torts as a result of exactly the same behavior that may be classified as criminal. A "tort" is a civil wrong other than a breach of contract or warranty. That is, a wrongful act committed by one person against another in which the person harmed can file an action at law to recover monetary damages or a suit in equity to enjoin the unlawful conduct in the future.

    So if A steals money from X, A has committed the crime of larceny and the tort of conversion (converting someone else's property into his own). A can be arrested, tried, convicted, fined, and imprisoned for the crime AND can be sued by X for the amout of money stolen.

    Two different victims, two different legal theories. Despite the way people (especially prosecutors who like to "personalize" criminal misconduct) talk, individuals are not "victims" of crime in the United States (not true in England, where an offense against the dignity of the Queen is a crime).

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    Interracial marriage was a crime throughout the old Confederacy until 1967. Sodomy was a crime in some states more recently than that. Two obviously victimless "crimes."
    Meet the new boss; same as the old boss. -The Who

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    Quote Originally Posted by killchain View Post
    I don't believe there are many "victimless crimes." You can use speeding, but then you think about the excess wear on the road. Someone, somewhere, will have to fix that.
    It would be an interesting an difficult case to prove that someone going 10% faster on a road than the speed limit actually causes excess wear.

    Taking illegal drugs that were trafficked into the country, and who knows how many lives were affected during it's transfer. I suppose if you grew/made it yourself and took them all by yourself, them maybe it would be victimless.
    Addressed in my first post - you should not count externalities caused by the very fact it is a crime. In that case, the victimization comes as a result of the item in question being illegal, not the fact it was done.

    My personal beliefs though are that you do whatever you want, as long as you're not overtly harming anyone. You want to speed? Go ahead, I do sometimes too. :P
    Very good.

    But...

    Desecrating the Flag is not a victimless crime. The Flag is a living thing.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/us...8----000-.html

    United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1
    §8. Respect for flag
    j. No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
    There's a difference between "represents a" and "is a" living thing. I think making flag desecration illegal runs afoul of the very core of this country's first amendment. The Supreme Court agrees, and has done so more than once: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Eichman

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    You ever seen the show where penn and teller burn a flag in the white house.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NymRecFWgAs

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    West Wing

    This bit was incorporated on the TV Series "West Wing"....a pretty engaging series available on Netflix from 1999 -2003 (88 episodes)....it seriously represents a liberal democratic bias, but some of the topics in the various episodes are almost scary with their predictions and agenda that we are seeing played out in the last 18 months from health care to the Oil disaster in the gulf to the current efforts to refocus the leaning of SCOTUS through appointments.

    Quote Originally Posted by nofoa View Post
    You ever seen the show where penn and teller burn a flag in the white house.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NymRecFWgAs
    Last edited by jt59; 07-27-2010 at 06:30 PM.

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    If I carry concealed without a permit, I'm committing a victimless crime. Nobody is hurt and there are no victims. If I use the gun to rob someone, robbery is a crime with a victim.

    If I use drugs in my house, nobody is hurt. If I commit theft to support my drug use, the theft has a victim

    If I harm someone while under the influence of drugs there is a victim.

    If I hurt myself by abusing drugs and you and others have to pay for my treatment, you are victims, but not of my drug use. You are victims of the laws forcing you to pay for others' (in this example, mine) care. Unfortunately the government that makes and enforces these victim producing laws are the ones defining "crime" so this is a case of a legal crime perpetrated (by government) against real victims (you) which will go unpunished.

    A couple good reads on the subject:
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/lora/m.lora21.html
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance204.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwordinger View Post
    If I carry concealed without a permit, I'm committing a victimless crime. Nobody is hurt and there are no victims. If I use the gun to rob someone, robbery is a crime with a victim.

    If I use drugs in my house, nobody is hurt. If I commit theft to support my drug use, the theft has a victim

    I totally agree with you.

    However, the State doesn't see it that way. And they don't argue that either of the above-mentioned "crimes" has a victim that is another citizen.

    The "victim" in these "crimes" is the State, because you are cheating them out of income, in the form of taxes or other revenues. Most popular "recreational" drugs aren't illegal--they are just heavily regulated and taxed. Morphine, Methamphetamine, Marijuana, powder cocaine--ALL these are Schedule II drugs, meaning you need to have a special permit to handle them and you have to pay special taxes to sell or buy them. When you buy/sell these products outside of the approved tax structure, the state feels that you have cheated them out of "their" money.

    Same goes for a CC permit. Carrying concealed doesn't harm anyone on it's face. The "damage" done by CC without a permit is that you have "cheated" the state out of a rather substantial fee every 2-5 years (depending on the state).

    It all comes down to money. Actually, MOST laws that regulate behavior have NOTHING to do with actually regulating behavior at all--they are just a means for the state to create a revenue stream from a wide-spread activity that law-abiding citizens feel a need to engage in...

    It's all about money...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    I totally agree with you.

    However, the State doesn't see it that way. And they don't argue that either of the above-mentioned "crimes" has a victim that is another citizen.

    The "victim" in these "crimes" is the State, because you are cheating them out of income, in the form of taxes or other revenues. Most popular "recreational" drugs aren't illegal--they are just heavily regulated and taxed. Morphine, Methamphetamine, Marijuana, powder cocaine--ALL these are Schedule II drugs, meaning you need to have a special permit to handle them and you have to pay special taxes to sell or buy them. When you buy/sell these products outside of the approved tax structure, the state feels that you have cheated them out of "their" money.

    Same goes for a CC permit. Carrying concealed doesn't harm anyone on it's face. The "damage" done by CC without a permit is that you have "cheated" the state out of a rather substantial fee every 2-5 years (depending on the state).

    It all comes down to money. Actually, MOST laws that regulate behavior have NOTHING to do with actually regulating behavior at all--they are just a means for the state to create a revenue stream from a wide-spread activity that law-abiding citizens feel a need to engage in...

    It's all about money...
    Marijuana is schedule 1. So is LSD, psilocybin, and peyote (unless you're Native American)

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nofoa View Post
    You ever seen the show where penn and teller burn a flag in the white house.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NymRecFWgAs

    White House staffer asks Penn, "Did you go to law school?"

    and Penn responds, "No, Clown School..."


    What's the difference?...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Quick! Who's got the popcorn smiley??

    This thread'll be messier than a Gallagher show
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    I totally agree with you.

    However, the State doesn't see it that way. And they don't argue that either of the above-mentioned "crimes" has a victim that is another citizen.

    The "victim" in these "crimes" is the State, because you are cheating them out of income, in the form of taxes or other revenues. Most popular "recreational" drugs aren't illegal--they are just heavily regulated and taxed. Morphine, Methamphetamine, Marijuana, powder cocaine--ALL these are Schedule II drugs, meaning you need to have a special permit to handle them and you have to pay special taxes to sell or buy them. When you buy/sell these products outside of the approved tax structure, the state feels that you have cheated them out of "their" money.

    Same goes for a CC permit. Carrying concealed doesn't harm anyone on it's face. The "damage" done by CC without a permit is that you have "cheated" the state out of a rather substantial fee every 2-5 years (depending on the state).

    It all comes down to money. Actually, MOST laws that regulate behavior have NOTHING to do with actually regulating behavior at all--they are just a means for the state to create a revenue stream from a wide-spread activity that law-abiding citizens feel a need to engage in...

    It's all about money...

    Marijuana is Schedule I it shouldnt be but it is.
    http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/scheduling.html
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    Quote Originally Posted by bennie1986 View Post
    I would like to see the full context of that conversation, can you provide a link to that thread? In my opinion anyone knowingly committing a crime shouldn’t get any exceptions victimless or not. As far as your question about victimless crime I would agree with you I don’t think there is such a thing. I guess it’s a way for someone to justify their misbehavior so they can pretend they really haven’t done anything wrong.
    The thread was posted by Dave workman and linked an article of his.

    There was a conversation about ex felons having full rights restored and more specifically firearm rights restored. I made a comment in favor saying that if one is released from prison
    then his debt is paid and should have all rights, saying also that not allowing ex cons to have guns only punishes the ones who wish to turn their lives around.
    Someone stated that anyone who commits a crime with a gun should get life. I made that comment in partial agreement,but I made it thinking the person meant that if an ex felon committed the violent crime not realizing he meant a first time offender.
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    The definition of a "crime" is an offense against the dignity of the sovereign, which she will punish in an action at law in her own name, by fine, imprisonment, or both.

    Hence, the only "victim" of any "crime" is the state. The state's dignity is offended when its subjects behave in ways that are prohibited, regardless of whether any one else is hurt or offended.
    I've read a common definition, or at least the archaic definition, as "an act of evil," since, at one time, only evil acts were considered crime, like under Common Law.
    Now, "crime" means disobedience, and with the forgetting of jury nullification, the criminal justice system has gone off the rails. Anyone see that last Penn and Teller episode?
    In case you didn't, there's a guy Richard Paey who got put in a wheelchair because of a car accident, and his house got the SWAT team because his monthly, doctor prescribed prescription of painkillers (not marijuana, some factory stuff) amounted to the quantity needed to convict of drug trafficking, so since he qualified for conviction, he get 25 years, mandatory minimum, for his 30 day supply of his prescription. That, is a victimless crime, though he got more than most murderers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cynicist View Post
    I've read a common definition, or at least the archaic definition, as "an act of evil," since, at one time, only evil acts were considered crime, like under Common Law.
    Now, "crime" means disobedience, and with the forgetting of jury nullification, the criminal justice system has gone off the rails. Anyone see that last Penn and Teller episode?
    In case you didn't, there's a guy Richard Paey who got put in a wheelchair because of a car accident, and his house got the SWAT team because his monthly, doctor prescribed prescription of painkillers (not marijuana, some factory stuff) amounted to the quantity needed to convict of drug trafficking, so since he qualified for conviction, he get 25 years, mandatory minimum, for his 30 day supply of his prescription. That, is a victimless crime, though he got more than most murderers.
    That was not a victimless crime MR. Paey was clearly the victim
    There was another episode this season where they talked about kids getting arrested and charged for child pornography for sending nude pics of themselves with a cell phone
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cynicist View Post
    I've read a common definition, or at least the archaic definition, as "an act of evil," since, at one time, only evil acts were considered crime, like under Common Law.
    Now, "crime" means disobedience, and with the forgetting of jury nullification, the criminal justice system has gone off the rails. Anyone see that last Penn and Teller episode?
    In case you didn't, there's a guy Richard Paey who got put in a wheelchair because of a car accident, and his house got the SWAT team because his monthly, doctor prescribed prescription of painkillers (not marijuana, some factory stuff) amounted to the quantity needed to convict of drug trafficking, so since he qualified for conviction, he get 25 years, mandatory minimum, for his 30 day supply of his prescription. That, is a victimless crime, though he got more than most murderers.
    What?? See that's no crime what so ever, at least on Paey's part. IF he had a prescription for the drugs, and presumably a DR to verify such, how the heck did he end up charged in the first place, let a lone convicteD?
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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