All Hands on Deck

I’ve been studying Criminal Law for my exam next week and have been considering whether public law is outdated, inefficient, and straight-up…worthless. My professor is an intensely libertarian (probably more fairly an “anarchist”) who loves to chat about Crim theory but makes no secret of the fact that he believes Crim law is a total fool’s errand compared to the vastly-superior Private Law, private security, etc.

The sense in which I disagree with him is when it comes to the vast amount of insolvent criminal perpetrators. Sure, I love the idea of keeping everything civil, but if no one ever collects, no one will spent the money to bring suits, and ultimately nothing will deter those insolvent, often-less-than-sane criminal actors from further bad acts.

I’ve spoken before about how there’s an interesting argument through a Maslow’s Hierarchy lens at criminal punishment. For a victim to bring a suit, she subjects herself to public discussion of something hard to discuss, potential humiliation, and having to bear having her attacker confronting her, his accuser. There has to be a retributive element, or it would be very difficult to convince all of these victims to come out against attackers who, statistically, are unlikely to be punished.

Here are the articles:

All hands on deck this weekend in DC in response to erratic homicide patterns

WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) — In response to a spike of fifteen murders in the past two weeks, Mayor Adrian Fenty and Police Chief Cathy Lanier announced a new police offensive. For the fourth time this year, it’s going to be “All Hands on Deck” for DC Police.

On Friday and Saturday, all patrol officers in the city will be assigned to street patrol duty in all seven of the city’s police districts.

The month of October began on a relatively quiet note. But the last two weeks has turned the month into one of the deadliest of the year.

All hands on deck ends in violence

How many anarchists would argue that keeping “all hands on deck” is nothing more than a dare?

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1 Comment

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One response to “All Hands on Deck

  1. I am slow… But I am not sure I get the question. I am getting stuck on whether ‘all hands are on deck’ to prevent killings from happening or to be more likely to arrest perps after the fact. Clearly the incentive structure never quite works out like DC plans (they did not apparently raise the cost of murder enough to deter it). –From the other side, knowing that my killer is possibly more likely to be eventually arrested is cold comfort.–

    So the right-anarchists can respond that liberal private security would have been superior. I agree to an extent. That does not seem to apply though when many DC murders are at least likely intended to be against other armed criminals.

    But then, they say that these folks are only criminals in the first place b/c certain behaviors are criminalized. I also buy that only to a limited extent. Murder has been with us always, and I don’t think its only genesis is scarcity. I also agree with you that the state can mitigate some of the disincentives that a victim would have in private remedies.

    Unlike left-anarchists, right-anarchists still require enough of a state for there to be enforced private law… That means there still have to be police to catch perps. That means you still need more police when and where murder is rampant.

    The left-anarchist perspective is at least more amusing: if only everyone was high, smelled like patchouli oil and had a community garden there just wouldn’t be any murder!

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