More headlines: Harry Browne on Crime

(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)

Keep federal government out of common crime enforcement

Q: Would you do away with the criminal justice system? A: No, but I would certainly get the federal government out of it. There’s no warrant in the Constitution whatsoever for the federal government to act on common crime.
Source: The Alan Colmes Show, WEBD NY 1050 AM Aug 26, 1999

War on Drugs causes gang warfare and police corruption

The Drug War has produced a huge black market, providing untold riches for anyone who will flout the law. This money finances criminal gangs who would be powerless without drug money. Legal drug, tobacco, or alcohol companies don’t conduct gang warfare and drive-by shootings, but criminals will do anything to secure a rich monopoly territory. End the War on Drugs, to reduce police corruption. With so much black-market drug money, criminals easily gain immunity by making weak policemen rich.
Source: “7 Ways” 5/16/99 Jul 13, 1998

Legal drugs cost less so addicts would steal less

End the War on Drugs, to end muggings and burglaries by addicts. They would no longer need to steal to support their habits. Illegal drugs selling today for $100 might cost as little as $2, because legal competition -- with no need to circumvent the law -- would drive drug prices down.
Source: “7 Ways” 5/16/99 Jul 13, 1998

Pardon non-violent drug offenders to free prison space

Browne does not building more federal or state prisons; nor funding for “boot-camps” as alternative sentencing for adult first-time felons. Browne says, “End drug prohibition and the War on Drugs, and immediately pardon all federal non-violent drug offenders, in order to free prison space for murders, rapists, and child molesters.”
Source: 1996 National Political Awareness Test May 1, 1996

No prison for victimless crimes nor white-collar crimes

No one should be in prison for prostitution, gambling, buying or selling handguns, pornography, or selling drugs. As much as you may disapprove of these activities, all of government’s high-cost huffing and puffing hasn’t slowed them, and it won’t. Government is incapable of stopping these enterprises.

People who are guilty of fraud, embezzlement, or other white-collar crimes shouldn’t be locked up either, if there is any reasonable prospect that they can make restitution-to their victims, not the government. Prison time should be reserved for repeat offenders who don’t make restitution.

Possession of a weapon (of any kind) should be considered a crime only if it’s used to injure or threaten someone.

[We should] clear the prisons of non-violent offenders. They are no threat to society, but locking them up diverts prison cells, police resources, and court time from the violent thugs who are threatening us.

Source: Why Government Doesn’t Work, by Harry Browne, p.129 Jul 2, 1995

5-point plan reduces govt role in crime enforcement

    The crime wave of the past 30 years isn’t a result of soft-on-crime attitudes. I believe there are 5 steps needed to lower the crime rate substantially & bring back the peaceful society America had 35 years ago. All 5 call for less government.
  1. Stop locking up non-violent offenders. Prison facilities should be reserved for those who murder, rape, assault, and rob.
  2. End Washington’s War on Drugs. If drugs were legal, there would be no drive-by shootings, no unjust entries or arrests, & no pushers hanging around schoolyards.
  3. End property seizures. Asset-forfeiture laws invite law-enforcement agencies to finance their activities by taking property on flimsy pretexts.
  4. Repeal gun-control laws.
  5. The laws start by banning something no reasonable person is likely to want-and then become more and more restrictive, until the ban is total.
  6. Keep the federal government out. All crime is local; it occurs in the jurisdiction of some police department or sheriff’s department.
Source: Why Government Doesn’t Work, by H. Browne, p.129-36 Jul 2, 1995

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