Violent Crime Is Down But Arrests Over Victimless Crimes Are Up

Many would say that “justice” is severely lacking within multiple areas of the United States. This is a nation which purports to be the freest, and yet they have the highest prison population in the world. The United States has so many laws on the books, hundreds of thousands of them, that it is estimated that the average American commits three felonies a day that they might not even know about. It is also said that there isn't anyone within the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime or another. Currently, there are more than 2 million Americans behind bars and that is about 1 in every 100 adults.


Violent crime has been on the decline in many areas for quite some time, and yet we are continuing to see an increase in arrests over victimless crimes. Some would argue that these sorts of arrests are not only immoral in that they are victimless crimes, but that they also waste valuable resources because they allocate the funding for punishment of arguably peaceful individuals. Back in 2011, it was reported that violent crime in the U.S. had dropped to its lowest in nearly 40 years, but yet the prisons are still overcrowded and courts are still backed-up with cases.



There are ways to clean-up the system and make it more efficient but it doesn't look like anything of significance is happening to change things. Criminologists argue that the system is broken because it puts people away who it shouldn't, by criminalizing acts which they believe shouldn't be criminalized. Not only that, but they also argue that the system penalizes individuals for too long and that the application of the “justice” is too unpredictable. Laws are at times so vague to the point where individuals cannot tell if they have even broken any law, say some criminological experts. Much of the mandatory minimum sentencing also no longer allow for judges to take into account all the circumstances surrounding the event, in that these mandatory minimums take the discretion away from the judge and out of their hands. 

One option that always remains for Americans to help clean-up their system, which many aren't yet aware of, is that of jury nullification. This legal tool has a long embed history within the American legal system and it offers a method for citizens to use if they want to do away with laws that they don't agree with. For example, when it comes to alcohol prohibition in the United States, jury nullification was frequently used and juries nullified alcohol control laws because they didn't agree with the justice of the law.  




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