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I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; absolutely NOT a libertarian. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams.


I welcome all opinions.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Opinion:Looting during disasters
   should be a federal felony, like kidnapping or drug trafficking

Nuf said


Blogger Publius said...

Looting is already a felony. It is just called theft. Why it should be a "federal felony" I do not know? Maybe that sounds more serious. Unlike theft (or looting), kidnapping and drug trafficikng require movement, thus possibly interstate movement. Then it becomes subject to federal jurisdiction. If we cannot follow are own laws (the Constitution), then what good are laws prohibiting theft?

9/07/2005 12:58 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

"our own laws"

9/07/2005 1:36 AM  
Blogger Jay Cline said...

Why should assault with a deadly weapon be any different from mere assault?

Because it is different.

Looting during a national disaster is not the same as a couple of kids throwing a trash can through a store window. Looting during a national disaster impedes national rescue and recovery efforts and therefore can , and should, be subject to federal legislation.

Far from being contrary to our laws (the Constitution), it is quite sympathetic to them.

Why would anyone characterize the looting and lawlessness seen in the wake of H. Katrina as mere theft?

9/07/2005 9:38 AM  
Blogger Jay Cline said...

As an example, I hold up the RICO laws, designed to fight racketeering.

The individual crimes of racketeering, extortion, gambling, etc. are serious enough. But it became necessary to augment and elevate the punishment of those crimes, often tried in local and state courts, when they were part of a larger national criminal conspiracy.

"Ordinary" crimes committed in a national disaster area take advantage of the civil disarray in the wake of catastrophes and affect the ability of the national government to provide aid and assistance to those who need it most. If that isn't a fundamental purpose of the Constitution, I don't know what is.

The logic of RICO laws should also be applied in these cases.

9/07/2005 12:12 PM  

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