Victimless Crime & PunishmentSubmitted by tniswong on Mon, 10/14/2013 - 19:38
I'm a long time lurker, and I finally have something to share.
After reading the sickening story about an autistic kid getting set up by an undercover pot sting (http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/10/09/riverside-cop-tricks-a...), I started thinking about the problem the US has with prison sentences for victimless crimes.
I came up with the following amendment that I think may help with this. Keep in mind, it's a baby-step designed to gradually shift the culture away from mandatory prison sentences for certain nonviolent crimes.
The goal is to require, as a pre-requisite to incarceration, that there be a victim who was damaged, intent to damage, or criminal negligence. In place of incarceration for these crimes, a proportional maximum fine may be assessed that won't disproportionately affect people with differing economic backgrounds.
If you would, kindly comment with your thoughts on how well it might hold up, any glaring holes that you see, or any changes you would make. Be constructive!
In all criminal prosecutions, when it is shown that the accused had no intent to inflict damage, no party has suffered damage, and the accused was not acting negligently, the maximum penalty shall be limited to a fine not to exceed one-twelfth of all income earned or collected by the accused over the twelve months immediately prior to the date of conviction.