How would we handle egregious crimes in an anarchic system?

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How would we handle egregious crimes in an anarchic system?

  • Zain D

    Here is something around which I have been trying to wrap my mind: how would we handle the most horrific and evil crimes – murder, rape, etc – in an anarchic system?

    I understand the idea behind privatized protection and am all on board. Ordinary citizens already utilize this to some degree with private home security. Where I was born, everyone who could afford an armed guard did so.

    My issue is with the protections afforded to those on the lower economic rungs of society. If one was simply unable to hire a private detective to look into the kidnapping of his daughter, what could be done? If somebody gets held-up on the street at night, what recourse is available to that person? Would we have to rely on charity (someone else voluntarily paying the private dick to take the case)?

    Say what you want about the police, but in between eating doughnuts and harassing law-abiding citizens, they do actually catch really, really bad people once in a while.

    I’m sure somebody out there has thought about this far longer than I have. If anyone has any reading material to share or education to impart – I’m all ears.

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  • Roger Browne

    The rich people don’t want rapists loose on their local streets either. I think enough rich people would choose to contribute towards keeping their streets free of crime, that the poor people would be able to take advantage of what I call the “free rider benefit”.

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    Properal

    Poor neighborhoods in the US have the worst security. Poor neighborhoods usually have an adversarial relationship with police and the courts. Poor in the US often do not report crimes against them because they would have to take time off work to enable the prosecution, testify and and so on, all without any compensation. And if the conviction fails they are at risk of retribution. It costs the poor person more to report the crime than to get on with life.

    For an AnCap society, if tort claims were transferable (as we might expect in an AnCap society), poor people could get justice if they were wronged by selling their tort claims to capable prosecutors. The poor person might get compensated fairly quickly and the prosecutor would have incentive to get as much restitution as he could, thus punishing the perpetrator. So there might be more of a deterrent to preying on the poor in an AnCap society, and the poor would be more likely to collect restitution, than in today’s society.

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      Zain D

      I really like this idea. Say, for example, someone had their house broken into and their TV stolen. They could hire a private detection agency that would agree to take the case for, say, 10% of the restitution amount (obviously prices will vary depending on the reputation of the agency). In some cases, however, it might not be financially viable to bother tracking down the criminals – fair enough.

      So, let’s say that the private agents track the TV thieves to their hideout. It’s probably safe to assume that these thieves will not surrender without a fight. Should the agency have the right to use force to apprehend the thieves and haul them before a private court against their will?

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      Brad Moore

      So there might be more of a deterrent to preying on the poor in an AnCap society, and the poor would be more likely to collect restitution, than in today’s society.

      I agree.  Restitution should be the goal, not retribution.

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    Properal

    Should the agency have the right to use force to apprehend the thieves and haul them before a private court against their will?

    This is a moral question.  I like to try to separate what could happen in a AnCap society from what I think should happen.  I personally think force may be used to collect stolen goods or restitution.  Some people are pacifists and don’t think that it is moral to use force at all.

     

    A private protection firm would have to weigh the costs and returns.  If excessive force can generate a tort claim then protection firms will have to be careful in using force.

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    Roger Browne

    Zain wrote:
    let’s say that the private agents track the TV thieves to their hideout … Should the agency have the right to use force to apprehend the thieves and haul them before a private court against their will?”

    Regardless of the question of “rights”, I will subscribe to a peaceful DRO whose agents would simply erect a fence around the cornered thieves until they come out willingly to negotiate a plan for restitution and rehabilitation.

    No force needed.

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      Mike Vroman

      How would that be accomplished? I know, and have known, many who would resort to all kinds of violence to get out of such a corner.

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      Wesley Bruce

      I will subscribe to a peaceful DRO whose agents would simply erect a fence around the cornered thieves until they come out willingly to negotiate a plan for restitution and rehabilitation.

      We have a name for this already its called Palestine and Gaza. Its a really big fence and its working, the terrorist attacks stopped but its not stopped in Gaza becauses they have external borders and thus rockets. Essentially the enclosed place that we put around the criminals becomes bigger than the area we are defending and then your fence becomes a badly planned border.

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    Dave Scotese

    “Say what you want about the police, but in between eating doughnuts and harassing law-abiding citizens, they do actually catch really, really bad people once in a while.”

    So do the bullets from righteous folk who know how to defend themselves.

    So do the young vindictive men who live in poor neighborhoods and don’t have time to deal with the “just us” system.

    Once you remove coercion as an acceptable form of government, everyone rolls their own solution.  If you feel compelled to pay for or set up a fund to pay for anarchic police work (what does that mean?  Investigation to find the location of suspects who do not respond to peaceful inquiries), then you will likely provide one of the many disparate solutions to this problem.

    There is a danger in the question itself because it insinuates (see what I quoted) that the end (catching really really bad people) justifies the means (centralization of coercion and acquiescence to that coercion by the public).

     

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    Bruce Koerber

    Humans are social beings. Societies advance via social cooperation and so those that have asocial tendencies will feel the worst kind of retribution – ostracism and isolation and the consequent deprivation. Either the asocial will find a way to adjust to the justice of social cooperation or they will live a wretched life, one not worthy to be called life. This justice of social cooperation is a protection and is far more important than mercy.

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    Marsha Familaro Enright

    Bruce, doesn’t it seem likely that many ostracized criminals would form their own ‘society’, i.e. gang? I mean, that’s what they do today, even under government. They get to socialize, learn, and validate each other – and then go out to commit more crimes.

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      Bruce Koerber

      In addition to being ostracized there is – “and isolation and the consequent deprivation.” Implied there is no ability to socialize except as part of rehabilitation. Society would structure itself and societies would cooperate so that this structure is in place. This would be worth the cooperative endeavor and resources because it would be part of protection and part of the steps necessary for justice.

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        Mike Vroman

        It seems to me that the desire to prevent people from socializing except for the purpose of rehabilitation was the beginning of the penal system in the first place. Not to punish, at least not on the surface, but to reform criminals by sending them to reformatories. The who;e concept failed and opened the door to what we have now.

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      Dave Scotese

      The kind of people who A) socialize, learn, and validate each other and B) are criminals “even under government” are generally poor people forced into bad situations by forces they can’t understand but which have their foundation firmly in the existence of that government.  For example, growing, buying, selling and/or using certain plants makes a person a criminal, but only because of government.  And these people who form gangs really aren’t “ostracized criminals” but rather subjugated rebellious slaves, again only because of the government and all its laws.  I really don’t think we can compare the two.

      Perhaps a better existing analog to the ostracism of criminals is the ostracism of liberty-minded people.  Yes, we “socialize, learn, and validate each other … even under government”, and that is to the benefit of society as a whole.  We have to remember how coercive authority perverts meaning (like for the word “criminal”) and how those perversions infect our thinking.

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        Mike Vroman

        They generally are poor, I think you’re right there, but what of the ones who violate the rights of others because they see profit in it, or because they enjoy the sense of power it gives them?

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        • Dave Scotese

          If they violate rights violently enough, then they get killed.  If less so, they they get hurt, or possibly just thwarted so that their perception of “profit in it” is corrected. A healthy society does not provide profit to those who seek it through violence.

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    Danny Childs

    I am of the mind that such crimes would be handled much in the same way as the state used to handle them; death. In my case, if there was no state and someone harmed anyone in my family in such a way they would found and they would be killed. This is ultimately why I am not an anarchist. Let us say someone murdered my wife, they would in short order be murdered themselves. However, what if in the blind rage that came with such a thing I killed the wrong person? Does this not set me up for the same fate? There is an old saying that if one embarks on a journey of revenge they should dig two graves. There needs to be a system to temper our passions for revenge.

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    Marsha Familaro Enright

    Danny, funny that you mention death as the one punishment: I heard David Friedman give a talk about alternative law systems. He discussed the Gypsies, 17th Century England (era of the Highwaymen), and the more orderly parts of present-day Somalia. In at least the first 2 systems (I can’t remember about the third), the punishment alternatives were: restitution and banishment, or death.

    You also bring up another problem with being your own judge, jury, and executioner: it is very difficult to be objective about crimes against oneself and one’s family/loved ones. In fact, even if no crime is involved, but a property dispute, there is centuries’ worth of evidence that it is extremely difficult to resolve these without a well-known framework of law to which all parties subject themselves.

    People disagree…all the time…look at us here. It’s hard for people to maintain their cool in these ideological/theoretical debates. When tangible values are involved, not just theoretical ideas, it’s much worse. That’s why societies need an explicit, public system of law to which everyone in a given area is subjected. This system must have a system for change, if the law is not good – but a system with a means of final resolution. Otherwise people logically resort to force to protect themselves.

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    Marsha Familaro Enright

    David, sure, you’re right, that too many bad laws, abrogating rights create more criminals and such a poor economy that people have a hard time making an honest living.

    But do you think people are angels? If they only had the right ideas and social “order” – I mean anarchic “order” or however you want to designate it (I’m a bit at a loss for words)? No, there will always be people who prefer to manipulate, extort, force, hurt others. There are some estimates that 4% of the population are natural-born psychopaths. These people will be criminals regardless of the environment. And, if ostracized, will gravitate to each other to form their own society where they will find validation and support for their “way of life.”

    I grew up in a suburb of Chicago filled with Mafioso. They were not poor, they were not socially marginalized. They took great advantage of outlaw activities because they were more than happy to be the biggest user of force – they enjoyed that. They would be happy to be your defense agency and dispute resolution organization, whether you wanted them to be or not.

    They are not going to be people who will submit to mere banishment not backed up by forceful self-defense.

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    Dave Scotese

    ”do you think people are angels? If they only had the right ideas and social “order” – I mean anarchic “order” or however you want to designate it…”

    Generally speaking, yes, I do. Your estimate of 4% psychopaths says 96% basically angels, right? People are relatively good to each other even though there is a government system on top of them trying to squeeze out of them every bit of money, decency, and value. But let’s discuss the “people who prefer to manipulate, extort, force, hurt others.”

    While there is a government to stop me, I will not be any kind of vigilante. If we had more freedom, those around me would enjoy far better protection because of my actions. Among the 96% (I think it’s closer to 99%) who are not psychopaths, I’d guess that anywhere from 1/6 to 1/2 of them are just like me: refraining from any kind of brutality toward the “people who prefer to manipulate, extort, force, hurt others” only because the government is in the way. We “angels” far outnumber the criminals who care not what others feel.

    Mafiosi generally have very cozy (useful, and if forced to, will admit necessary) relationships with the coercive authorities in their area. I know the propaganda (“The Untouchables”) paints a stark opposition between the government and the mafia, but it is just that: propaganda.

    I suspect that if you divide the population into those who seek power in government positions and those who do not, you will find the percentage of psychopaths and “people who prefer to manipulate, extort, force, hurt others” in the former group is far higher. We’d be better off if we didn’t have any institution that concentrates those people and then makes the masses feel like it’s ok for them to violate us.

    I guess what your position comes down to is this: You value the violence government uses to keep people from committing whatever you consider to be crimes because “societies need an explicit, public system of law to which everyone in a given area is subjected. This system must have a system for change, if the law is not good…” I wholeheartedly agree with you so far. Spooner’s Essay on the Trial by Jury alludes to the natural communal development of that system of law, resting on the past judgements of those whose judgement has proved valuable (that is “common law”).

    But you also wrote that the system must have “a means of final resolution.” Maybe you mean an ultimate coercive authority that will kill you if you consistently refuse to comply with the “public system of law.” If so, I totally disagree. I think that any such ultimate coercion must come directly from the victim, and this thought of mine is enshrined in the right to self-defense (which includes defending all that is precious to you). And this gets to what is a very important point for me.

    This “ultimate coercion” is mixed with authority to the great detriment of our species. Any privilege of using coercion that is granted to an authority perverts that authority. Rather than earning respect as authorities ought to through good advice, judgement, and research, they simply force their way, losing their essential value (judgement and knowledge) because it is made useless and unnecessary by public acceptance of violence. Coercion turns an otherwise valuable human being (a natural authority) into a horror, a brute, and a thug. That is what government is.

    Please don’t write me off as extremist. My characterization of government is extreme, but that is because as I look for signs that it is “not so bad” I find the opposite. And I do a lot of looking. If you’d like to as well, check out the Peace Revolution Podcast. It has hours and hours of “higher education material” that drives home the point that government is a perversion of human conscience, replacing, as it does, our natural tendency to decide what is good and what is bad with its own socialized parasitic deceptive fraudulent rules of enslavement.

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    Michael Bunch

    I concur with a lot of what Properal said. Personally I am a huge proponent of the Wergild system of restitution. If someone invades your rights, they must pay…and the victim gets to choose whether you pay with money or blood. For the poor, they have an incentive to pursue justice. And so do private law companies that can bring criminals justice, since they can take a cut of the payment if the victim chooses monetary restitution. I know of something similar I see everyday, where the poorest of poor seek legal aid and then give a cut of the proceeds to the legal group.

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    Marsha Familaro Enright

    Dave, you haven’t addressed my point that, regardless of how great the culture is, how much freedom people have, regardless of the incentives to encourage people to be good, there will always be people who choose to be bad and manipulate, extort, or force others for to their ends.

    And if they are merely banished or ostracized by the peaceful, they will form their own group/society for the purpose of predating on others. Hence, how effective is ostracism as a means of controlling rights-violating people?

    BTW, Mafioso arose in Italy in areas that were largely underserved by government in post-feudal Italy. From the Wikipedia article on the Sicilian Mafia: “The barons were releasing their private armies to let the state take over the job of enforcing the law, but the new authorities were not up to the task, largely due to their inexperience with capitalism.[15] Lack of manpower was also a problem: there were often less than 350 active policemen for the entire island. Some towns did not have any permanent police force, only visited every few months by some troops to collect malcontents, leaving criminals to operate with impunity from the law in the interim.[16] Because the authorities were undermanned and unreliable, property owners turned to extralegal arbitrators and protectors. As it so happened, there was an ample supply of men proficient in violence in the form of the aforementioned discharged soldiers of the barons who could not find employment with the state. Many of these unemployed soldiers were absorbed into the early Mafia clans.”

    Sounds like a largely anarchic situation in which property owners turned to private dispute resolution agencies when criminals, i.e. those violating property rights, were left unchecked by government. In other words, the Mafia got their power from lack of government, not through government.

    At root, my concern is how do peaceful, productive, rights-respecting people protect themselves? Even the best culture will have a minority of people who are strictly ethical and just; many people will behave well for the most part and be encouraged to do so, but even then, it is very difficult to be strictly fair and just; it is difficult to constantly think long-range instead of for one’s immediate interest. I’m not saying anything new: a study of history and the classics shows these are issues people have struggled with since the beginning of time.

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      Dave Scotese

      “Dave, you haven’t addressed my point that, … there will always be people who choose to be bad and manipulate, extort, or force others for to their ends.”

      Perhaps you missed this part of my comment:

      But let’s discuss the “people who prefer to manipulate, extort, force, hurt others.”

      While there is a government to stop me, I will not be any kind of vigilante. If we had more freedom, those around me would enjoy far better protection because of my actions. Among the 96% (I think it’s closer to 99%) who are not psychopaths, I’d guess that anywhere from 1/6 to 1/2 of them are just like me: refraining from any kind of brutality toward the “people who prefer to manipulate, extort, force, hurt others” only because the government is in the way. We “angels” far outnumber the criminals who care not what others feel.

      Ultimately, when there is no central institution forcing everyone to use the same method of protecting themselves from these people, there will be many different ways, not a single one, so I don’t think your concern can be addressed comprehensively.

      However, the Wiki article provides an answer your question, “[H]ow do peaceful, productive, rights-respecting people protect themselves?”

       Because the authorities were undermanned and unreliable, property owners turned to extralegal arbitrators and protectors.

      Does the Mafia seems worse to you than the government?  To me, it doesn’t.  When I consider what the Mafia might do to me as a “peaceful, productive, rights-respecting” person, and how I would deal with it, my hope is that there is no government around when it comes time for me to take action.  If there is, I will be constrained.  Is this a threat to the mafia, or is it a business proposition?  What were Capone’s main businesses? Alcohol and prostitution, right?  Assassination and terrorism are government activities, not criminals’ so much.  And when governments outlaw the use of deadly force, the criminals are the only ones left who will use it.  There goes our self-defense.

      I keep re-reading your comments and I think you might be trying to avoid the use of “forceful self-defense.”  If you want to be free of the police state, then you have to be prepared to use “forceful self-defense.”  In no way does the use of “forceful self-defense” go against the principles of voluntaryism or anarchy.  Contrarily, it is an important element of them.

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    Bruce Koerber

    Law is discovered not created by humankind. That is the challenge for humanity: to accept and understand this truth. Until this process of discovery is universally applied and then recognized human civilization will struggle with bits and pieces and uncertainty. Even after law is discovered and applied there will be those who will act in ways that are contrary to the standard of justice (that which promotes social cooperation) but I suggest that it is possible that part of the discovered law will provide guidance about how to handle these deviants.

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    Marsha Familaro Enright

    Still no answer to my original question: “doesn’t it seem likely that many ostracized criminals would form their own ‘society’, i.e. gang? I mean, that’s what they do today, even under government. They get to socialize, learn, and validate each other – and then go out to commit more crimes.” In other words: how effective is ostracism with certain kinds of people? What do you then do about the criminal gangs? I’m trying to be on topic with this thread.

    Dave, have you ever been around Mafia types? Have you at least seen movies about them? Are you aware of the lengths of brutality to which Capone and his cronies would go? I’m a little afraid to imagine you dealing with them. They really don’t care if you’re peaceful and productive if you get in their way. And they’re experts in the use of force.

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      Dave Burns

      “doesn’t it seem likely that many ostracized criminals would form their own ‘society’, i.e. gang?

      I resisted answering this, because it requires the sort of armchair theorizing that I think is not really productive. Of course, it was in response to an idea that is also fairly speculative, requiring the same sort of guesstimation.

       

      I think you are overlooking some factors.

      The mafia are not ostracised. When they go to the grocery and buy food, the grocer sells them food.

      The mafia attempt to work in secret. Ostracism depends on everyone knowing whether they are dealing with someone who has been ostracised.

      The mafia could not exist without legal prohibitions of victimless crime. Grand larceny and murder for hire are considerably less profitable than vice.

      I agree with you in a sense. True ostracism may not be practical, or it may put the outlaws in a position where they have nearly no alternative to escalating their criminal behaviour. This puts you back in the position of trying to figure out what to do about it.

      But I would prefer to have someone actually try this rather than prevent them from trying. Most of my favourite social innovations seemed implausible to me before they caught on.

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      Dave Scotese

      Dave, have you ever been around Mafia types? Have you at least seen movies about them? Are you aware of the lengths of brutality to which Capone and his cronies would go?

      I probably have been around Mafia types, but not knowingly.

      I have seen plenty of propaganda about Mafia types, but not much in the say of well researched documentaries, although I have listened to podcasts detailing the connections between the federal government and the Mafia in the context of the assassination of JFK.

      I am aware of the severity of the brutality of which humans are capable, but with specificity to Capone himself, I don’t know.  The mention of violence as a tool used by Capone to expand his businesses in the Wiki article on him provides no reference.  Additionally, as far as I know, Capone was never tried for assault, battery, murder, or other violent crimes, but only for tax evasion.  I feel that we are at a severe disadvantage in our ideas about the mafia because of the propagandistic use to which the federal government has put media outlets both of fiction and non-fiction.

      I think other commenters have provided better answers to your question than I can provide.  To me, it does NOT seem likely that ostracized people would form their own society.  Australia is the best counterexample I can think of, but the people exiled there (supposedly) were not ostracized through publication and awareness of their misdeeds, but tried, convicted, and shipped off by a state.  But, as the other Dave pointed out, guessing at this requires “armchair theorizing that (I also) think is not really productive.”

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      Brad Moore

      “doesn’t it seem likely that many ostracized criminals would form their own ‘society’, i.e. gang? “

      I think it’s pretty safe to say that the majority of gang activity is attractive because of prohibition. Laws make it lucrative, on many fronts. Take that away, and I think much of the violence is gone.
      “Gangs”  aren’t inherently bad. It’s the fighting over turf, etc, that brings the violence.  End prohibition and the landscape would look much different.

       

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        Marsha Familaro Enright

        So Brad, are you saying that gangs are only formed due to prohibition? That criminals would not band together into gangs to attempt to use force to get what they want otherwise?

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        • Roger Browne

          Most criminals will respond to incentives. In modern society there are many artificial barriers which make it hard to live a productive voluntary life. Take away those barriers and most of todays criminals will no longer find crime to be the best/easiest path towards what they want to go.

          That just leaves the psychopaths. Current thinking is that psychopathy develops when two things are presents: a predisposing gene combined with childhood abuse. Take away the abuse and the number of psychopaths will drop.

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        • Dave Burns

          Gangs exist now. What is protecting us from them? The marvelous efficacy of the constabulary?

          So, perhaps the real question is, what shall be done about serious repeat offenders?  Is that where this is headed?

          While I hope that innovation will reduce crime generally, I don’t think it is fair to just assume that. OTOH, I am not insisting that ostracism is the answer for every sort of offence.

          Marsha is pointing to a real problem, though I don’t think she has expressed it completely to my satisfaction. Ostracism needs some sort of backup. What is it? Execution? Disabling? I am assuming that no taxes means no prisons, is there some way to fund prisons voluntarily? How to put safeguards on these measures, so they are not abused?

          Get rid of taxes first, then figure this out? Put it like that, and maybe the issue will never come up.

          Without assuming some sociological or technological innovation/solution, I suspect if the problem of repeat offenders became truly serious, people would start killing them instead of capturing them. I guess I am saying, the fallback position would be, if ostracised persons formed gangs to systematically commit crimes, effectively this would be treated as a capital crime. Let me emphasize, I do not really think this fallback position will see much use.

          In an era of ubiquitous cameras and cheap flying drones, I think gangsters will face a disadvantage. If everyone knows where they are all the time, they will fail.

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        • Marsha Familaro Enright

          Roger, I’m sure there would be far fewer criminals in a better society. That’s not what I’m questioning. It’s what the peaceful productive people should do with/about those that arise. Humans have free will and are complicated, so I would never claim that I know no one would become a criminal because of x, y, or z conditions.

          Further, humans are also extremely clever and history teaches us that, whatever technology arises from human creativity, people with bad intent will figure out a way to use it to their advantage.

          That’s why I think it’s important to have some clear ideas about what to do to protect against them.

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        • Dave Scotese

          I don’t think we should wait for the government to go away before we figure out how to protect ourselves from people with bad intentions.  What is everybody else doing now?

          I myself take responsibility to protect my property and I avoid relying on the state as much as possible.  They do get in the way an awful lot, but that scares (most of) the bad guys as much as it hampers me.  Self defense classes and techniques, as well as protective firearms are called for.  It’s a good idea to prepare now since things might get worse before they get better.

          There is a smartphone app called PeaceKeeper that seems like a great tool as well.  Knowing your neighbors, and getting to know the people who live near the places you go will provide protective benefits if those with bad intent come after you.  This is even more true now, while a significant part of “those with bad intent” are part of the government which is still with us.

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        • Roger Browne

          > “Ostracism needs some sort of backup”

          I disagree. Ostracism by peaceful people is a total solution.

          Suppose 95% of the population are peaceful, and agree that Fred is an undesirable criminal. Those 95% won’t trade with Fred, socialize with Fred, or let Fred onto their property. So what are Fred’s options?

          1. Fred could negotiate with the 95% for restitution and rehabilitation. This solves the problem at least as well as any current “solution”. Or,

          2. Fred could seek refuge with the 5% who are not participating in the peaceful society and are not ostracizing him. Who are those 5%? They might include, say, churches whose teaching requires them to accept and protect all souls. More likely, though, the other 5% are other criminals who refused the restitution/rehabilitation option. So what happens next?

          2.a. Fred may manage to rehabilitate himself within this community of outcasts. History has shown that people in extreme circumstances can rediscover their own ability to do good. For example, some of the convicts transported to Australia in the late 18th Century managed to rehabilitate themselves even under the brutal regime. In due course, Fred may wish to renegotiate restitution/rehabilitation with the peaceful ostracizing 95%. Or,

          2.b. Fred may thrive as one of the 5%. Honor amongst thieves, etc. If so, that’s a fantastic outcome! The problem is solved for the peaceful ostracizing 95%. Or,

          2.c. Fred may fail to thrive amongst the outcasts. In this case, too, it’s not a problem for the peaceful ostracizing 95%. Maybe the outcasts will kill Fred, or maybe they will have nothing further to do with him and he will starve to death. Neither of those options causes any practical or ethical problem for the peaceful ostracizing 95%.

          Under every one of the above scenarios, there is a good outcome for the group of peaceful ostracisers. They don’t have any further problem from Fred, and they don’t need to resort violence.

          The problem is not with the concept of ostracism. The concept is failproof. The difficulty is with the practicality of the mechanisms of ostracism. Ostracizers could erect a fence around the cornered criminal, then offer him safe passage to a place outside the enclave of peaceful people if he refuses restitution/rehabilitation.

          Probably modern technology allows more sophisticated solutions which don’t depend on geographical separation. For example, doors which lock whenever an ostrasized person approaches. But it’s not necessary for the concept to work.

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        • Dave Burns

          I’m a bit confused, either I don’t understand what you wrote, or you don’t understand what Marsha is asking about. Please clarify what you think would happen to a serious repeat offender under your total solution/ostracism by peaceful people.

          I think Marsha is assuming a scenario like this: Fred bands together with two or three other persons who have been ostracised, and they choose to escalate the ruthlessness and violence of their interactions with the 95%. They kick in some doors, kill some people, steal some stuff, and get caught. What is done with them, are they ostracised again? Ostracised harder?  Or do we put some other mechanism into play?

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        • Roger Browne

          If I knew all the answers in advance, I’d be running for office 🙂

          In the situation being discussed, where Fred and his gang have escalated their violence, did the escalation occur during the original period of ostracism or was it after restitution/rehabilitation?

          If it occurred after rehabilitation, then we are dealing with recidivism (repeat offending), and we would indeed “ostracise harder”, perhaps for life even.

          If the escalation occurred during the time of ostracism, well it seems the ostracism wasn’t effectively implemented. How it can be more effectively implemented is left as an exercise for the reader 🙂

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        • Dave Burns

          Imagine that someone who was ostracised goes berserk shortly thereafter. How would properly implemented ostracism prevent him from killing people at random, if for some weird reason he decided that was what he wanted more than anything? If you don’t even have a hint for us, why would you say that ostracism is a “total solution?” Maybe I read too much into that? It sounds a lot like “ostracism is all you need.” That is absurd. Maybe you meant something more sensible, but I don’t know what.

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        • Marsha Familaro Enright

          Thanks for clarifying Dave Burns. Yes, exactly the kind of situation I’m wondering about. As per Dave Scotese’s comments, of course, you want to be able to defend yourself. But there are at least two reasons for wanting an agency that can help you with that:

          1. If you want to be able to do any kind of specialized work, you don’t want to employ the division of labor to take care of on-going problems with criminals.

          2. It is often very difficult to resolve conflicts between people, even the most reasonable, when important values are involved; that’s why a system is important, like a court system.

          These are some of the reasons Rothbard and most of the voluntarist theorists propose defense and judiciary agencies.

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        • Youliy Ninov

          Ostracism is for people who think that the use of force (any force) is wrong. The problem is that ostracism can not work properly in general. In some cases it may give positive results, but surely not always. There are peoplel who like to use force, they enjoy it and if not stopped by an opposing force they will go on and escalate their violence. Ostracism will never stop them because they do not care. If they need some company they can easily find people like them. And their survival is guaranteed. When they need something they just go and take it. They do not risk any physical damage when they are just ostracised.

          That is the reason why defensive forces (police) under objective control (courts) is necessary.

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        • Brad Moore

          What I’m saying, Marsha, is exactly this:

          “I think it’s pretty safe to say that the *majority* of gang activity is attractive because of prohibition.”

          How do gangs survive? Crime.
          What crimes (generally)?  Supplying drugs, guns, sex.. All products of prohibition.

          I’m trying to think of a gang that would exist, as it does today if prohibition were ended.
          I can’t think of one.  Can you?

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        • Marsha Familaro Enright

          Well said, Youliy!

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        • Marsha Familaro Enright

          Brad, have you ever heard of a “protection racket”? Gangs do this to businesses, whether the business is doing something illegal or not, if the businesses don’t have sufficient protection from them. That’s why peaceful, productive people band together and form governments, i.e. defense agencies, to protect their property.

          Note my comments on the origins of the Mafia, above.

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        • Marsha Familaro Enright

          Also, take a look at Godfather II for a classic, historically based example of a protection racket in NYC.

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        • Youliy Ninov

          Brad,

          “I’m trying to think of a gang that would exist, as it does today if prohibition were ended.
          I can’t think of one. Can you?”

          I can. For instance : gangs involved in :sex slavery; selling  drugs to children ( don’t you think the last must be banned? (not by the state by by the private property owners));  selling guns in regions where this is forbidden (by the private property owners, not by the state), etc, etc.

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        • Brad Moore

          Sure, Marsha, but gangs don’t form to run “protection rackets” , and they certainly wouldn’t sans-state when businesses are paying for private protection services. If their current provider couldn’t keep them safe from “the mob,” they’d find one that could. The beauty of the market.

          The Mafia, as we know it,  exists BECAUSE OF the state.

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        • Brad Moore

          Youliy,
          Private citizens can’t “ban” anything, outside of excluding it from their own property, so your post doesn’t make much sense in that regard.
          Also – How much of a market do you figure there might be for “sex slaves” when selling sex is legal?  What’s the upside?..I don’t see an argument for “more sex slavery” sans-state.
          Risk =/= Reward.

           

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        • Marsha Familaro Enright

          That is historically incorrect. See the history of the Mafia.
          In addition to the kinds of gangs Youliy mentioned, there are robbery gangs – see The Great Train Robbery, Ocean’s 11, 12, 13; kidnapping gangs – see Ransom, the Getty heir kidnapping; jewelry thieves – see To Catch a Thief – and I’m sure there are many more I’m not thinking of. None of these are involved in prohibited activities.

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        • Marsha Familaro Enright

          I don’t know where you live or what history you know, but gangs DO form to run protection rackets. You could even say, they’re rival defense agencies to the govt, within the same territory. It’s a market right now.

          Of course, people want a defense force that respects and protects their rights and would seek that. Doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be gangs that wouldn’t.

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        • Dave Scotese

          Youliy,

          You mentioned people “who like to use force, they enjoy it and if not stopped by an opposing force they will go on and escalate their violence.”  The opposing force might be built into whatever people want to protect.  The use of violence by those who want what they haven’t earned might even provide energy to the systems that defeat them.  Protective mechanisms and prevention are far better than after-the-fact attempts to undo damage that has already been done.

          “Defensive forces (police) under objective control (courts)” are probably, over the long term, less effective than ostracism because the people “who like to use force, [and] enjoy it” actually become the police, kind of like George Stigler’s “Regulatory Capture.”

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        • Brad Moore

          Name one gang that was formed to run a “protection racket.”

          Maybe be you know something about that, that I don’t.

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        • Brad Moore

          Also, Marsha, you say there are “robbery gangs”..

          Yes. There are criminal elements. There will be criminal elements. No one can claim otherwise. That doesn’t need to be mentioned.

          The majority of gang-related activity, and therefore the existence of the majority, as we know them to be , is based on prohibition. This isn’t even remotely debatable.

          Also, referencing Hollywood movies isn’t an argument.

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        • Marsha Familaro Enright

          Brad, I brought up criminals and gangs because people on this discussion insist that criminals can be handled with ostracism, and I posited that the ostracized criminals would form gangs. So what do you do about them. And you, and many others, keep insisting that that wouldn’t happen. Hence, I’m bringing up counter examples that criminals exist and form gangs government or no government.

          Doubtless, much gang activity is fueled by prohibitions; that’s the low-hanging fruit to people willing to initiate force on a regular basis; I acknowledged this before.

          I referenced the movies as examples of different kinds of criminal gangs, not as an argument. You were asking for examples and all were based on real cases except for Ransom.

          School yard bullies form protection racket gangs – or maybe you grew up where this didn’t happen? But if you want to read about widespread protection racket gangs, here’s a book: https://books.google.com/books?id=a9iTBwAAQBAJ&pg=PT176&lpg=PT176&dq=gang+formed+to+run+protection+racket&source=bl&ots=DWoGZvrhGh&sig=N-D35-Q_DCajkxNF59SpBI3FTKo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=nPRVVamIIIehyQSH84DABQ&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=gang%20formed%20to%20run%20protection%20racket&f=false

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        • Brad Moore

          “Brad, I brought up criminals and gangs because people on this discussion insist that criminals can be handled with ostracism, and I posited that the ostracized criminals would form gangs. So what do you do about them. And you, and many others, keep insisting that that wouldn’t happen. Hence, I’m bringing up counter examples that criminals exist and form gangs government or no government.”

          I’ve said nothing of ostracism.
          I’ve at no point suggested there’d be no criminals or gangs; I’ve stated the opposite.
          You’re either being dishonest, or you’re not reading my posts..

          Also, that link you provided actually helps prove my point, as the group mentioned was founded based on the drug trade, and then became a political party. An elementary search will provide that info.

           

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        • Marsha Familaro Enright

          Really? You have to start with accusing me of dishonesty? If you followed the line of the discussion, several people proposed that ostracism would be an effective way of dealing with crime. I said: wouldn’t it be likely the criminals would form their own “society” – i.e. gang – and continue committing crimes, so how effective would that be.

          That’s the line I’m arguing with/about. I thought you were responding to my posts about that. End of story.

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        • Marsha Familaro Enright

          I’ve been thinking about this some more. Yes, gangs form whenever something is prohibited – like murder, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, slavery, as well as drugs, prostitution, and alcohol.

          Some people do not want to work and be productive – and they often get a thrill out of initiating force or duping people to get what they want. There are going to be people like that in any society. So what do you do about them?

          So far, the answers I’ve seen are ostracism and killing them.  Really? No other solutions?

          Of all the possible initiations of force I offered, I noticed you ignored the others and focused on the idea that protection rackets only start with already-established gangs formed in response to government prohibitions. Offhand, I don’t have an historical example I know about, but I did observe school yard protection rackets when I was growing up. So if the bully kids can think of that, no doubt the grown ones will do it.

          The government is NOT the only source of force – so go back to the question that started this thread and let me know if you – or anyone here – have any ideas that are realistic.

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        • Youliy Ninov

          Brad,

          “Private citizens can’t “ban” anything, outside of excluding it from their own property, so your post doesn’t make much sense in that regard.”

          They can, and have the  right to do so. An example: I own a piece of land the size of New York (for example). Do I have the right to determine the laws which are valid on it? Yes of course! If you claim the opposite, then what you in effect say is that I have no right ot use my private property as I see fit. In effect you say that my land is not mine only, but yours also.

          If you force me not to ban the drugs on my property (for instance) you would be initiating force against me, i.e you would break NAP.

          So, private property owners have every right to ban whatever they wish, be it even conterproductive or simply stupid. By the way how would you feel if I just enter your house (your private property) and refuse to obey what you say, for instance I refuse to leave it and decide to spend the night there? The last is what I am trying to explain.

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        • Youliy Ninov

          @Dave Scotese,

          ” The use of violence by those who want what they haven’t earned might even provide energy to the systems that defeat them.  ”

          Correct! The last is however very useful and absolutely inline with the system I support. What I suggest is that the police feeds itself on  the criminal activity. In such a way the following would happen: The bigger the crime the bigger and better organized the police. When the crime is smaller the police would be hard to notice.

          “Defensive forces (police) under objective control (courts)” are probably, over the long term, less effective than ostracism because the people “who like to use force, [and] enjoy it” actually become the police, ”

          Do I understand correctly that you are against the existence of police? If you just claim that the police works in a wrong way I would agree, but I would never agree that police is bad in general. Whithout the police the free market would not be able to exist, or if it exist to a certain extent then it would be in a very primitive form. What we have today could never exist.

          By the way, people who like to use force exist anyway. A fact. Why not to use them against the real criminals? What is wrong? As long as they use their force against criminals everything is OK. Actually, in order to be able to persecute ciminals properly one has to be able to think like them, i.e. to have some of their qualities. However it is not important what you are but what you do. And if you use the mentioned qualities for a good purpose, then what is the problem?

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        • Youliy Ninov

          Marsha,

          I have to say, that I like very much your way of  reasoning. I could have said absolutely  the same. 🙂

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        • Marsha Familaro Enright

          Excellent points Youliy. I especially liked “it’s not what you are but what you do.”

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        • Marsha Familaro Enright

          Thanks Youliy!

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        • Dave Scotese

          Youliy wrote:

          Do I understand correctly that you are against the existence of police?

          Yes.  You are speaking of a group of people whose paychecks come out of a fund that is created from the loot called “tax revenue.”

          You might want to call some people “police” who are paid from a fund that is created from payments voluntarily supplied by willing customers.  If you want to use the word “police” that way, then I will stop agreeing that I am against the police. I am against people who are paid with stolen money.

          You wrote:

          As long as they use their force against criminals everything is OK.

          I disagree.  Two things:

          1. The initiation of aggression has bad consequences.  I will not support anyone who does that, even if they do it against criminals.
          2. If they use their force against people who are not criminals, I will not support them.

          Here is a revised version with which I will agree:

          As long as they use their force ONLY against criminals and ONLY defensively, everything is OK.

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        • Youliy Ninov

          @Dave Scotese

          We obviously support the same positions with regard to police but I think you  do not express yourself correctly, so that you can be correctly understood.

          From you statements it is clear that you are not against police per se, but against the way it works and is funded. The last is 100% consistent with my position.

          And when I suggested that police use force against the criminals I suggested that it use its force for defense, so we agree again.

          So I agree with your statement 100%:

          “As long as they use their force ONLY against criminals and ONLY defensively, everything is OK.”

          I discussed the problem because I have observed that many anarchists are against the police in general, which is totally wrong. The existence of police is necessary for the free market to exist and prosper.

           

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        • Dave Scotese

          Youliy,

          Thanks for confirming my suspicion that many “disagreements” between liberty minded people are actually just misunderstandings.  If you make it clear that “police,” in your opinion, must be funded by willing clients, and that they may only use force defensively, then I think you’ll find that nearly all the anarchists who “are against the police in general” actually agree with you 100% as well.  The “statist quo” is designed to produce this effect of making misunderstanding look like disagreement among those who see the light.  In other words, the state casts confusing shadows as much as possible.  It’s Plato’s cave all over again.

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    Bruce Koerber

    Justice is that which promotes social cooperation. What this is referring to is society; not the outcasts of society. There is no justice if deviants cooperate.

    So let’s put things in perspective. The ostracism that will be the consequence of deviant recalcitrance will end up leading to isolation which is indeed a severe deprivation (since humans are social), enough so to lead to rehabilitation (most likely).

    To change this scenario into an opportunity to be a part of a gang is to change the terms of the solution to the problem.

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    Marsha Familaro Enright

    Thanks for your topical reply, Dave Burns. First of all, of course, if somebody wanted to try ostracism, feel free! However, I don’t think I’m armchair theorizing, I think I’m asking the question based on knowledge about actual, factual situations which might be relevant to it.

    I brought up the Mafia because Dave Scotese claimed “The kind of people who A) socialize, learn, and validate each other and B) are criminals “even under government” are generally poor people forced into bad situations by forces they can’t understand but which have their foundation firmly in the existence of that government.”

    And I said that I knew Mafioso personally and they were not poor, marginalized, etc. They were people who enjoyed using force to get power, position, and money. There will always be people like that, although, hopefully, a small group in a good society, but that’s just the reality of human variability.

    However, getting back to whether I’m armchair theorizing: we already know that there are people who will pursue real criminal, i.e. rights-violating, behavior as a way of life. People who like to steal and hurt, they get a thrill from it, or a sense of power, even in the idea that they can get some wealth without having to work.

    And, very often, good, productive, peaceful people don’t want to have anything to do with them. So they become socially marginalized because of their behavior – and they gravitate to each other. Even if they don’t form a gang, they tend to be “friends” and validating of each other, with all kinds of rationalizations for their behavior. And they teach each other more bad stuff, and sometimes work together, or form a gang of thieves. Some of these people might reform and find their way back to a productive life, but many remain in an endless loop of short-term gratification and self-perpetuating bad behavior from the “reward” of successful crimes.

    So, this is the kind of real-world evidence I’m basing my thought that ostracism would not be especially effective with some types of people and another method – likely using organized, regularized, self-defensive force – would be necessary.

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      Dave Burns

      Sure, that’s real world. But change some inputs and the outputs look different. The people who support the idea of ostracism support something that is sufficiently different from the status quo that I think our predictions of the outcome stand on thin ice. This is not too conceptually different from “repeal welfare and the poor will all starve” or  “reduce military spending and the terrorists will attack”. These outcomes seem conceivable, that is, any new policy or paradigm can backfire, people’s response to new circumstances will not always be the best. But I would have predicted that bitcoin would flop, so what do I know? People think with metaphors and similies, this is more or less like that, so the results will be similar. Only, sometimes they’re not as similar as we thought. It seems pretty clear that you would not want to participate in an experiment where people tried out ostracism, and I’m not sure I would either. But I don’t think that settles anything.

      If you think you are describing a case of real world ostracism, I think you are using the word differently from those who advocate it. Or maybe I just missed the point.

       

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    autonomous

    Egregious criminals, probably most efficiently and least painfully, should be quickly executed.  Dead people are the least likely to be repeat offenders or recruiters to their cause.  The problems with that solution are 1) who, in an ideal society would be willing to be an executioner, and 2) the act of taking another’s life does great harm to the one taking that life.  These two problems would have the same effects on those who try and pronounce sentence on the offender.

    Some of the problems with dealing with offenders of social norms at any level can be seen by a careful study of the Milgram Experiments at Yale in the early 1960s.

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      Dave Scotese

      I have always believed that if the situation ever arises where the best solution after consideration according to some people is to end a human being’s life, there is only one person who can carry out that decision, and it is the human whose life is to end.  So he commits suicide only if he is among the group believing his death is the best solution.  If there is no time for consideration, then any victim can end the criminal’s life as an act of self defense.

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      Michael Bunch

      I don’t think it’s as big an issue as you describe.

      I. The executioners would be the victims, most likely. You break into a home and try to assault someone, you may end up missing your head. You rob a bank, your head may resembling a punch bowl. You try to mug someone on the street, you may resemble swiss cheese. But I would imagine there wouldn’t be a death penalty in a private legal system, in the sense that courts probably wouldn’t have that power (based on the history of law in the West).
      II. Not for everyone; it’s a mix of cultural and individual factors.

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    Wesley Bruce

    A friend, Bill, wrote this a few months ago. In short there are no christian theological arguments against the death penalty and there is no law without the possibility of the death penalty however once that is established you have the opportunity of mercy, i.e. restitution, restoration, reform, exile, etc all as an alternative to killing the criminal. Justice has always carried a sword! or other fatal weapon.

    http://billmuehlenberg.com/2015/05/01/on-capital-punishment-part-3/ It may be useful. It’s where I stand.[Note: Two criminal drug smugglers from Australia were executed in Indonesia this week. Its a big debate this month.  ]

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    Dave Scotese

    I could use some input from all the fine minds on this thread.  I just opened a new discussion at: https://liberty.me/discuss/t/letter-to-scammers-employer/

    Thanks to all who take a look!

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