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Old 01-16-2009, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Highest county in the Virginia hills
129 posts, read 411,697 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zman0 View Post
What if a burglar is wrong about the house being vacant? What if I left my 5-year-old kid in the car and he's hiding behind a seat?
If someone confronts the burglar (and he does not instantly flee), then what was intended as a burglary becomes a robbery, or worse. If the car believed to be unoccupied is stolen with a child in back, then a kidnapping, at least, has been committed. I am not suggesting that these are not serious crimes.

What I am saying is that, if in fact the only crime committed is theft of property, then I don't see a valid rationale or purpose in distinguishing among various means of carrying out that theft.
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:32 PM
 
878 posts, read 1,847,248 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spark240 View Post
If someone confronts the burglar (and he does not instantly flee), then what was intended as a burglary becomes a robbery, or worse. If the car believed to be unoccupied is stolen with a child in back, then a kidnapping, at least, has been committed. I am not suggesting that these are not serious crimes.
Well, a burglary is defined as the intentional breaking and entering of a dwelling with the intent to commit a felony therein. So there's still a burglary. The reason for making burglary a crime in addition to the underlying felony (committed therein) is to punish those who violate the sanctity of a home, a place where individuals believe them to be safe. Common law burglary also required it to be at night, a silly distinction IMO, but appropriate because individuals were more likely to be home at night.

Similarly, among the theft crimes, embezzlement and theft by false pretenses were less severe than robbery, because there is no force or threat of force against the victim. Although if it makes you feel better, we could move larceny to the second group, although I believe that it has more than an economic impact on victims.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spark240 View Post
What I am saying is that, if in fact the only crime committed is theft of property, then I don't see a valid rationale or purpose in distinguishing among various means of carrying out that theft.
Well, that's why there are different (e.g.) theft offenses: robbery, larceny, false pretenses, and embezzlement. Different means of carrying out the same ends warrants a harsher punishment. If you burgle a house with a deadly weapon, it is a stricter punishment than burgling without a deadly weapon. Assaulting a family member is different than assaulting a stranger.
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:39 PM
 
Location: San Diego
2,518 posts, read 1,847,047 times
Reputation: 1298
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLAZER PROPHET View Post
Consentual statory rape has no victim? A 13 year old girl who has sex is a victim. A hars one at that. Just because she may have said 'yes' doesn't mean the effects aren't going to be felt. Also, that means an older perveted person is preying on her- and she's not a victim? Pornography has no victims? Many women are forced into it. They aren't victims?

All crimes should get an equal review for punishment.
Really? Have you actually read the biographies of most major Porn Stars? They are all former strippers who got offered big money to do porn. Or they are drug addicts who did porn to pay for their habit...either way, they weren't forced into it.

And statutory rape is a dumb law anyway because there are cases where a serious couple, one 18 and one 16, would find themselves in legal trouble because one was 16. If a 13 year old girl is in a position with an older man where she can actually agree to have sex, then it's not the man who had sex with her who should be blamed, but the parents for allowing their daughter to be in a position like that. And after all, the 13 year old said yes, and only a few hundred years ago, a 13 year old was considered to be pretty old to be unmarried.
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:17 PM
 
5,273 posts, read 11,920,316 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leftydan6 View Post
Really? Have you actually read the biographies of most major Porn Stars? They are all former strippers who got offered big money to do porn. Or they are drug addicts who did porn to pay for their habit...either way, they weren't forced into it.

And statutory rape is a dumb law anyway because there are cases where a serious couple, one 18 and one 16, would find themselves in legal trouble because one was 16. If a 13 year old girl is in a position with an older man where she can actually agree to have sex, then it's not the man who had sex with her who should be blamed, but the parents for allowing their daughter to be in a position like that. And after all, the 13 year old said yes, and only a few hundred years ago, a 13 year old was considered to be pretty old to be unmarried.

I don't disagree with anything you state, but I suggest you reconsider my side. There are, literally, thousands of very young girls coerved into sex and it's really rape of a minor. You also need to understand the emotions of a young girl. It's pretty damn sick to suggest preying on and taking advanyage of a young girl is an ecceptable thing. I get the 18/16 year old thing, but there are limits. Also, we don;t live thousands of years ago (well, some of us don't).

As to the pron issue, again, I do not disagree with what you say, but I'm reading all kinds of stuff about women forced into bondage (many from other countries) and forced into the porn industry as well as many runaways forced into it by pimps under threat of death. To me, this is a heinous crime worthy of a max prison sentence.

Last edited by BLAZER PROPHET; 01-16-2009 at 02:07 PM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,858 posts, read 43,585,576 times
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This is an interesting topic. I guess I usually weigh out crimes based on how defenseless and vulnerable the victim is. On this weigh out, then I would consider scamming an older confused retired person a worse crime than a shoot out between gangs and someone gets murdered. Therefore, for me, each crime just depends on the circumstances and can't necessarily be put in 'worse than others' degree.

THAT being said, when the banking system rips off the American public, they should be held equally as guilty as a drug lord crime family.
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Old 01-16-2009, 02:09 PM
 
5,273 posts, read 11,920,316 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GloryB View Post
This is an interesting topic. I guess I usually weigh out crimes based on how defenseless and vulnerable the victim is. On this weigh out, then I would consider scamming an older confused retired person a worse crime than a shoot out between gangs and someone gets murdered. Therefore, for me, each crime just depends on the circumstances and can't necessarily be put in 'worse than others' degree.

THAT being said, when the banking system rips off the American public, they should be held equally as guilty as a drug lord crime family.

It is interesting how people do view crime. Some people don't think much of crime against women. Some don't think white collar crime is really a crime. Some don't view crimes of morality as crimes. Others disagree completely. It's almost like politics.


It is indeed an interesting thread.
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
7,091 posts, read 10,493,331 times
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I think white collar crime is a terrible euphemism for theft that seems to downplay the damage it can really do. Just because some one is using deception rather then force doesn't make it any less theft, but usually it gets a much lesser punishment. Usually if some idiot rips a car off you can see a lesser punishment then if a person embezzles from a pension fund, even for more then 10x the value of the car, which is a travesty.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:05 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 9,122,554 times
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There is a lot of fuzzy thinking going on, IMHO, that causes the lines to be blurred.

Physical harm is one thing that should be judged to the maximum. Intended or not, degreed or extreme, physical harm is egrigious, because it costs the victim and their family - either in loss of life or loss of function. But I consider "physical harm" to also be the drunk driver who slams into an innocent on the road, causing them physical harm even death. The impaired driver usually gets a much lighter sentence than the person who shoots his vctim, but why? Because he can blame his choice of impairment on everyone and everything but himself, the committer of the crime.

But I also believe that those who indulge in theft -either by B&E or by fraud - are just as culpable as a gang member performing a driveby. They BOTH take what is not theirs, and harm the victim by stealing what is HIS - what he worked very hard to get or keep, and what will never be refunded or replaced - whether in the former physical-harm instance, or the latter theft instance. It is still a harmful instance. I've had my good name ruined three times by people who stole my identity, and not only did they destroy my credit, but they took from me what was not theirs, but was mine by dint of my efforts. One was fired from his job (he was a cop) but in none of the three instances were the perpetrators incarcerated nor did they have to repay the monies they had stolen from me.
It costs a LOT of money and time to come back from such an instance.

I have a funny idea about a lot of it too though. I think that those who harm others either physically or fiscally, should be forced by the courts to provide retribution and renumeration to their victims. Drunk drivers, thieves, rapists, murderers, all should be forced to continue to earn money (even if they are incarcerated), to have their wages garnisheed, and to pay back their victims - everything from funeral costs for those they killed, to the last $.25 they billed to each individual credit card. With that threat hanging over their heads, how many would even start a life of crime (aside from the idiots who say "I'll never be caught")? But no - we talk about 'closure' being only that action of incarceration, which does not impact the criminal enough to make him change his ways. To HE-double-hockey-sticks with THAT - GIMME BACK WHAT YOU STOLE! Do you think if they made a drunk or stoned driver WORK and pay his salary to the family that he injured, or pay them for the car that he destroyed, there wouldn't be a lot fewer of them out there, knowing that they can do as they please and get off with a 'slap on the wrist' until they kill someone - and even then only get a couple of years in prison? Same for a burglar or a car thief?

As for the third category, "victimless crimes" - this is simply a "moral" determination, when individual rights to be stupid are made into crimes. The ONLY crimes, IMHO, are when you take something from someone else - their life, their living, their property, or their innocence.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Moon Over Palmettos
5,975 posts, read 17,154,705 times
Reputation: 4989
SCGranny - I would vote for you as Attorney General in a heartbeat. Couldn't rep you yet and felt I had to acknowledge my wholehearted agreement to your post.

My knee-jerk reaction would be crimes against the person should bear the stiffest penalty. People don't recover from death or their minds from rape...they can (theoretically) recover from financial damage. Not minimizing the latter, just putting things in perspective in my mind.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:48 PM
 
979 posts, read 3,108,115 times
Reputation: 372
I can see the OP's point, but I still think that crimes in catagory one are worse. Think of it this way, would a person be more affected if their house was robbed/burned or if they lost a child/parent via a brutal killing? Rape is also very serious, as it can leave emotional/psychological problems for a long time, if not forever.

A crime is a crime no matter what and white-collar criminals shouldn't get special treatment. If anything, they should be mixed with "real" criminals so they can really learn their lesson.

But at the end of the day, most material things can be replaced. A human life cannot be.
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