Attorneys shout that businesses, drug companies, and doctors need to be punished for every transgression, even minor transgression. A minor medical error can cost a doctor tens of thousands of dollars in legal expense and compensation. If only a few people are injured by a new drug, it still can become a major class action lawsuit, costing billions of dollars. Fender-benders cost thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and tens of thousands of dollars in questionable medical and settlement costs. Say the wrong word at work, where super-sensitive feelings can be hurt and lawsuits are filed and life spirals downward. Schools, hospitals, and businesses have become legal minefields and difficult to transverse.
People demand human, legal, and civil rights and when they feel slighted, they sue. Massive amounts of education, health, and tax dollars are being diverted to the legal system. Seemingly, with all the lawsuits, judgments, and payouts, our lives should be perfect but nothing has gotten better. The health care system isn’t better—only more expensive. Businesses aren’t better—consumer prices are higher. Insurance companies aren’t better—insurance policies are more expensive. If lawsuits produced great countries, America would be the greatest country anywhere. But ask any American how the country is doing and most won’t be talking about greatness.
The adversarial system has kept America in constant turmoil. A limit needs to be established for lawsuits, including personal liability and class action lawsuits. It’s the federal government’s responsibility to regulate business, including the legal business. For the government to allow a constant stream of lawsuits costing billions of dollars and forcing business and government into constant defensive positions is intolerable. From jailhouse attorneys to class action lawsuits, we need massive change in the legal system.
Limited right to class action
Its constant uncontrolled greed: attorneys ask for massive judgments, pushing up the price on nearly every consumer product, prescription drug, insurance policy, and health care item. Class action lawsuits have cost billions of dollars while millions of so-called victims haven’t been harmed physically or financially. Many plaintiffs in class action lawsuits have no apparent damage, only the fear that something in the future might harm or injure them. In class action lawsuits, “victims” never appear in court, and if they did, they would have a difficult time explaining to a jury how they’ve been harmed. The court system should be forced to look at real damage before determining the size of any judgment.
Class action lawsuits have righted some injustices, helping tens of thousands of people, but millions more have gotten rich or dreamed of getting rich. Most class action lawsuits have become petty attempts to gain a financial windfall from businesses, insurance companies, and health care professionals. Things may be changing. Apparently, Merck & Co. has decided to handle the thirty thousand or so Vioxx lawsuits on a case-by-case basis. In a class action lawsuit, everyone jumps aboard hoping for part of the settlement. A class action can increase the number of “victims” by a hundred times or more. Most of those wannabe “victims” have no injuries, only the fear of injury and the desire for money. By defending itself on a case-by-case basis, Merck can save billions of dollars that would be paid out to uninjured victims.
Participation in class action lawsuits should be limited to two lawsuits in a person’s lifetime, regardless of the number of times an individual feels slighted. This would eliminate the vast majority of attempts to extort money from businesses and the health care community. A second criterion would be added. People would need to suffer real damage, eliminating the wannabe “victims,” who tag along even when they haven’t been injured or harmed—physically or financially. The unregulated class action lawsuit business is a thorn in every business’s side and it’s time for the government to start regulating it.
The federal government needs to take their regulatory responsibility serious for a change. It’s the government’s responsibility to regulate business and fine a company or corporation when they misbehave—that should be enough. But all too often, federal fines are nothing more than chump change to multibillion dollar companies. Regulation and fines should be increased and fines should reflect the income of the business.
An example is peanut butter. Apparently, peanut butter was contaminated with bacteria and caused diarrhea. Class action lawsuits have been filed. What should be the penalty for causing diarrhea? Nothing. The vast majority of people were not permanently injured or harmed—there hasn’t been any financial loss. The only people who have a case are those who were hospitalized or died. The rest of the “victims,” well, the occasional minor food poisoning is part of life; they need to get over it. The current class action lawsuit against peanut butter companies won’t make anyone safer or even feel safer.
But pictures of the peanut butter production plant were terrible and FDA inspectors were nowhere in sight. The federal government should fine the peanut butter company a billion dollars and fire the FDA inspectors. The billion dollars would go to food safety in America. That would make people safer and make people feel safer. Instead, money will be paid out to attorneys who might use the money for a lavish lifestyle or to some wannabe “victim” who might take a vacation in Florida. Food won’t be safer; no one in America will feel safer, while consumers will pay a higher price for peanut butter. Class action lawsuits have taken away power and responsibility that normally lies with the government and they certainly haven’t produced a better or the expected results.
Another example: toys from China have lead in the paint. No one in America has been injured, although there is the fear of being injured. The government should fine the toy make three billion dollars or more and the money should go to product testing and safety in America. This would make Americans safer and feel safer. But the government will fine the companies a few million dollars and a class action law suit will be filed. Attorneys will receive the bulk of any judgment and the class action participants will receive chump change. In the end, America will not be safer and American’s will not feel safer.
Participation in class action lawsuits should be limited to two. Payouts should be based on observable, permanent injuries. Finally, the federal government should start doing its job, bad businesses, and bad business practices should be fined heavily and the money should be used to improve life in our country.
Personal injury lawsuits
A basic right is access to the legal system, but it has become an abused right. Thousands of people are making a small-time living abusing the system, from the scam artist faking a car accident, slip, or medical malpractice to the opportunist who claims back pain or a wrenched neck in a fender bender. The majority of lawsuits are small nickel and dime cases that plague businesses, the health care, and insurance industries. Most are usually settled out of court for small sums of money, but the consumer/taxpayer always pays and we shouldn’t be subject to constant lawsuit abuse.
A limit of two personal injury lawsuits should be allowed in a person’s lifetime. Included in personal injury would be automobile accidents, medical lawsuits, and suits against businesses and corporations. This would keep the petty crooks from making a living suing people and would end the constant plague of lawsuits. It would also make it easier to catch scam artists. They would have to recruit new people into their con games, making it easier for investigators to build a case.
Limited right to a free attorney
Most criminals never pay for legal services, regardless of how irresponsible he or she is or the number of crimes committed—the taxpayer always pays for the attorney. First a guy is robbed and then he’s robbed again—as taxes go up to pay the criminal’s attorney, doctor, and jailer. A drug pusher who’s never worked a day in his or a foreigner who’s never paid a single penny in taxes get unlimited legal help for an assortment of crimes, while the middle class taxpayer who’s worked all of his life, can’t afford an attorney.
Free attorneys should be limited to an once-in-a-lifetime event. In felony criminal cases, every American citizen, regardless of income, would have the one-time right to a free attorney. Each individual would have to make the decision when to use the free attorney. The only exception to the once-in-a-lifetime rule would be capital cases, when the defendant faces the death penalty. All defendants in capital cases would have government-paid legal counsel.
Free legal counsel for foreigners would be banned completely. People coming to America shouldn’t commit a crime and expect the American taxpayer to pay for an attorney, too. The constitution gives each American the right to an attorney. The constitution does not give anyone the right to a free attorney and it certainly does not give foreigners the right to a free attorney. Attorney/Judges sitting on the Supreme Court’s bench made ruled that attorneys would be free for indigent criminals but this has become an abused right.
Criminals have imposed cruel and unusual punishment on American taxpayer. They lead irresponsible lives and expect the taxpayer to pick up the tab for food, housing, health care, and legal counsel. The federal government has the legal and moral responsibility to set limits. It’s time for them to carry out their duty. This is another case where the federal government, for political reasons, refuses to regulate the legal industry. The federal government’s job is to regulate all business—to keep a sense of fairness for all citizens. America has lost that sense of fairness. If the government doesn’t have the political will to protect the rights of American taxpayers, then the taxpayer should change the constitution.
The taxpayer is jabbed in the eye on a very consistent basis by jailhouse attorneys. One estimate is that as much as 50 percent of all federal lawsuits come from jailhouse attorneys. Lawsuits against the government include complaints about food, clothes, jobs, and medical care. It’s obvious that jailhouse attorneys are smart and it’s obvious that they are jabbing at society because they are incarcerated.
A limit to the number of lawsuits that jailhouse attorneys can file needs to be implemented and the lawsuits regulated. Perhaps, one lawsuit per prison per year, no longer than ten thousand words, incorporating all the complaints that a particular prisoner has. Inmates would have to learn to cooperate and deal with one another to produce the lawsuit.
American taxpayers have not abused the judicial system; it’s the jailhouse attorneys who have abused the taxpayer. It makes no sense to borrow our grandchildren’s money to fund a judicial system overwhelmed with thousands of individuals who have committed multiple crimes and then file frivolous lawsuits.
Ending lawsuits against the government
At some point in time, the constant barrage of lawsuits against the federal, state, and local government, including the school system, has to end. Fifty years of massive litigation with hundreds of billions of dollars paid out, while the vast majority of victims haven’t been harmed at all. None of the lawsuits has made America a better place to live. People continue to sue and the government continues to pay. Partly, in some sort of income redistributions plan. Partly by the force of habit. A moratorium on lawsuits against government needs to be instituted.
In Dallas, a white elementary school principal decided to recruit white students into her school. She had several predominately-white classes and sent out a flyer with a picture of three white kids to people in the neighborhood. While that sounds terrible, DallasIndependentSchool District is mostly black and Hispanic—about three percent of the students are white—her school was mostly minority students. The principal thought it was in the best interest of the school and students to try to recruit white kids back into the public school system—in effect, to diversify.
Mexicans sued because the principal was trying to recruit white kids. In this case, the court didn’t find the school at fault. They found the principal at fault. She was fired and sent on her way. This is how irresponsible lawsuits have become in America. The DallasIndependentSchool District has a hard time recruiting good teachers, especially white teachers. If a white teacher in the DallasIndependentSchool District can get away, he or she will get away. No one wants to work for a school district where parents and children have questionable respect for teachers and where they sue at the drop of a hat. The shortsighted lawsuit made it even more difficult for the district to keep and recruit good teachers. The harm this lawsuit did to the general student population is greater than any good that it could possibly do. In the end, it was just a petty attempt by a few people to get some quick cash.
Lawsuits against our public health care system, schools, and government bodies need to be stopped. A moratorium is needed, ending the constant barrage of lawsuits, most of which are nothing more than attempts to gain a financial reward. Our government shouldn’t have to spend so much time, energy, and money on problems that could be handled by other means.
A survey found that Americans are much ruder today than thirty years ago. It seems true and it seems believable. Here in Texas, a school bus was in an accident with a delivery truck. Children were killed in the devastating accident. Following the accident, five different rounds of lawsuits were filed by the families that continued for years. People went from feeling sorry for the victims and their families to anger. Most Texans thought the victims’ families should be compensated, but compensation produced an enormous strain. People were fed up with the constant legal battle, their compassion turned to anger and rudeness.
This writer and others believe that Exxon/Mobil acted in a moral and responsible manner after the Exxon Valdez disaster, but numerous lawsuits followed that never seem to end. The lawsuits are still going on—twenty years of lawsuits. Do you think that Exxon/Mobil executives feel bad about a seventy-dollar barrel of oil?
Insurance fraud and lawsuit abuse—big corporations are hammered with thousands of lawsuits without limit. A rude nation? We have become a nation of get-rich-quick opportunists. Being rude is part of it. A constitutional amendment is needed to limit lawsuits in America. We the people didn’t blow it. Attorneys and the court system have let runaway lawsuits destroy people and business. The system needs to be fixed. The financial drain on the government, health care, and business community needs to end.
Maybe the president could write a letter to our grandchildren explaining why it’s so important to borrow massive amounts of their money to arrest, prosecute, and jail the people who are using and selling marijuana. Millions of people use marijuana, and massive amount are smuggled across the Canadian and Mexican borders. Gangs are growing marijuana in our most precious wilderness areas and around our biggest cities. High school kids can buy marijuana and other illegal drugs easier than cigarettes or alcohol. Illegal drugs are available in every city, every neighborhood, every school, and every prison in America, while violent drug gangs gain increasing economic and political power. Cities and towns in Mexico, along with our southern border, have been destabilized.
The war against drugs, like most wars, has failed miserably, and there is no end in sight. Twenty years from today, fifty years from today, we’ll still be spending massive amounts of tax money on the fight against illegal drugs. There is simply no solution in sight.
People like to get high. Most of us use one drug or another—caffeine, nicotine, alcohol or some other drug. Wealthy and middle class individuals, with cooperative doctors, abuse prescription drugs, while the young and poor abuse illegal drugs. Drugs make a person feel good. Ecstasy can produce feelings of exhilaration. Methamphetamine, which might be the most ruthless and addictive drug in America, helps an individual focus, elevating his or her mood and producing a feeling of euphoria. Marijuana and heroin increase awareness, while reducing levels of anxiety, producing a mellow feeling. It’s no wonder that people use drugs.
Tens ofmillions of people use illegal drugs; some have tried most of them, but the majority will never become addicted. Most of those who smoke the first cigarette can walk away and never smoke again, but a few become instantly hooked. Alcohol is used by hundreds of millions, but only a few become addicted—the true alcoholic might only be one out of every five hundred people. It’s the same for cocaine; the recreational weekend use of cocaine is high, but the vast majority of users aren’t addicted to the drug. Most drug users aren’t whacked out of their heads or stoned all the time. Most are just taking a timeout from work and relationships—just getting high. The vast majority of people who have used drugs have gone on to live productive lives. Clinton and Bush both reportedly used marijuana and several people have claimed that Bush used cocaine. So have others, it’s hard to get through high school, college, and work without trying three or four different illegal drugs.
Using drugs isn’t the problem. It’s the aftermath of drug use on the individual and community. A few addicts are allowed to pull down entire neighborhoods and sometimes, entire communities. The worse a neighborhood is, the more violent and crime ridden a neighborhood becomes, the more the police leave it alone. When neighborhoods reach rock bottom, addicts and pushers are allowed to pursue their addiction out in the open with limited interference from the government. Look at any skid row in America—no one is trying to hide anything. The cops know why people go there and what people are doing there. The men and women residing on skid row and other rock bottom neighborhoods are free to operate as teachers and guides to the world of illegal drug use.
The cost: There are roughly two million people in prison. Half of that number is in for illegal narcotics. At nearly three thousand dollars a month, the cost is thirty-six billion a year to keep them incarcerated. This figure does not include the salaries for police, attorneys, and judges. It doesn’t include the money sent overseas to eradicate poppy fields or coca plants. It doesn’t include the cost of robberies, burglaries, and other crimes committed to finance illegal drug habits.
There are even bigger costs—border violence and an unstable Mexico or parts of Mexico. The loss of life associated with drug use, especially in the inner city, and the transfer of billions of dollars out of American communities. All because the government doesn’t want some idiot to light up, snort up or shoot up. The idiot is not worth it. America has paid a huge price for illegal drug use. It’s time to let the people who want to get high, get high. Drug addicts are simply not worth the cost. The collective damage that the drug users have caused is no longer worth the expense of trying to eradicate it.
If a person wants to get high, we should tell them “no” a couple of times. If that doesn’t work, we need to provide him or her with cheap drugs in a decent setting where the person can turn his body into a chemical waste dump at his or her expense. Not only do we need to legalize marijuana, we need to legalize all drugs and let people buy them at their leisure—all of the drugs, including heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine.
People in Washington need to trust the majority of Americans and our good sense. Americans are not bad people or drug-crazed maniacs. Legalizing drugs doesn’t mean that we’re all going to be potheads or be hooked on heroin or be doing long, train-sized, lines of cocaine. The people who are hooked will continue to be hooked. The potheads will continue to be potheads. The individuals who abuse prescription drugs will continue to abuse their drug of choice. The heroin addicts will continue to be heroin addicts. But the vast majority of Americans who don’t use drugs won’t start using drugs. The President, Congress, and the government should trust the American people.
If this writer were to choose between tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, he would choose marijuana. Tobacco is a very addictive drug, and smokers die of cancer in their late fifties or early sixties. Alcohol is addictive and causes cirrhosis of the liver. Cocaine, especially crack cocaine, is a violent drug. Of all the drugs, legal and illegal, marijuana might be the best drug to use when long-term health is taken into consideration. Marijuana has no nicotine and isn’t addictive. It doesn’t cause massive damage to the liver. It’s smoked, not injected, which reduces the chances for hepatitis and HIV. It doesn’t produce violent or out of control behavior. Yet it remains illegal, while massive untaxed amounts are available to the public.
If Americans voted on legalizing marijuana, the vote might be 70 percent in favor of legalization. If the federal government got out of the way, a dozen states would legalize marijuana in an instant. It’s amazing that there are so many shortsighted, micro-managers in the federal government—it’s all about arrogance. The people in Washington believe their ethics and morals are better than our ethics and morals. They believe that they have to protect us from illegal drugs and from ourselves, while they have the intellectual fortitude to use massive amounts of alcohol and drugs without harming themselves, their families, or their jobs.
It’s time for the government to legalize marijuana and sell it like tobacco or alcohol. Cities and counties would vote to determine if they wanted merchants to sell it. The state would license merchants and limit the hours and days that marijuana could be sold. A five dollar per pack tax would add to the state coffers.
There is no slippery slope, but there are good salesmen. The slippery slope argument is that one drug leads to a second more addictive drug. Marijuana is illegal, and to purchase it an individual has to find a salesman. Like any good salesman, he has other products to sell. He has as bag full of samples, including cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. Like any good salesman, he provides samples of the drugs that can lead to bigger profits. By legalizing marijuana, we would reduce the number of salesmen—that will reduce the number of users and the types of drugs used.
While marijuana should be regulated and sold just like tobacco and alcohol, other drugs would be tightly controlled and sold in government-operated stores. The federal government would provide a cheap, clean, reliable supply of drugs, including legal prescription drugs in a store-like format. A heroin addict would be able to buy a week’s worth of heroin for twenty dollars. The stockbroker could buy reasonably priced cocaine. The housewife could purchase prescription drugs without a prescription.
A rave would work exactly like a nightclub. Ecstasy would be available from the government in a pure, reliable single-dose form. Government-licensed opium dens would be run by private business and the drugs would be purchased from the federal government.
The majority of drug users are recreational users. They consume the vast majority of drugs. The real estate agent, doctor, or stockbrokers using cocaine or other drugs are all too common. These people fund the illegal drug trade. By opening government-run stores, their purchases can be taxed and the tax used to offset the cost of drugs for the poor.
Drug addicts, living in the community, wouldn’t have to commit a crime, prostitute themselves, or run a scam to find enough money to purchase their drug of choice. In fact, it would be the opposite; they would have to show meaningful employment before they were allowed to purchase any drug.
There are numerous functional drug addicts in America. Just like the alcoholic night watchman or warehouse worker, there are functioning heroin addicts who work full-time in various occupations and are able to maintain a job, a house, and a family. Thousands of addicts work side-by-side with people who have no clue as to their co-worker’s addiction. Heroin is similar to tobacco and alcohol, in that addicts need to maintain a certain therapeutic level in the bloodstream to function. Once that level is met, they keep going until it drops below the required level. Like the alcoholic, they learn and adapt to their maintenance dose. The government would supply these people with a cheap reliable source of drugs and the financial pressure would be off. Life would improve for them and their families. Child abuses and exploitation would drop and petty crime would be lower. Legalizing drugs will make America a better place to live.
Drug users in America can be divided into three categories, recreational users—the vast majority, functional addicts, and the dysfunctional hard-core addict. The problem with dysfunctional addicts will remain even if drugs are legalized, just as alcoholics become homeless and live on the street so do drug addicts.
The key to controlling drugs is to get the dysfunctional users out of the community. They’re the ones causing the problems. They’re committing the petty crimes. They’re passing on HIV. They’re the teachers, facilitators, and guides to the world of addiction. Breaking the cycle of drug dependency starts with getting the dysfunctional addicts out of the community.
Some addicts have been through rehab half a dozen times, when they reach rock bottom, they will commit a crime just to be sent to jail to be cleaned up. Once released from jail or rehab, they’re back on the street and high before the director of the rehab clinic or jailer gets home and takes his or her first drink of the night. Arrest an addict, spend thousands of dollars on rehab, and send him or her right back to the same old environment where they get high—that makes no sense.
Mall-like warehouses would be built to house addicts and alcoholics—for all practical purposes a fancy prison without bars. A drug warehouse would be a massive structure built to house addicts and alcoholics, keeping them out of the community and away from children. The typical warehouse would house up to thirty thousand individuals, and be built as a long-term drug maintenance and housing facility. The main cog, in the cycle of drug addiction, would be permanently removed from the community. Crime would drop. Violence would drop. The recruiters who teach and turn individuals into drug addicts would be gone.
Each individual would have a private efficiency apartment, food, and the required amounts of heroin, cocaine, or alcohol. Individual rooms would be 15 by 24 feet, with full bathrooms and kitchenettes. The polished cement floor would be uncarpeted and the furnishings would be fireproof.
At one end of the warehouse would be a Wal-Mart-like discount store. At the other end would be a government-run rehab clinic and hospital. In between would be small efficiency apartments and opium dens. There would be shops, cafeterias, Goodwill stores, and entertainment areas. There would also be a community college, high school, and job training programs.The fireproof structure would be built without stairs or balconies—cement ramps instead of stairs.
Drug addicts aren’t bad people, they aren’t evil, they aren’t criminals, they aren’t stupid, and they aren’t mentally ill—they’re drug addicts. Store clerks, cooks, janitors and a host of other jobs are being done by addicts and alcoholics in our society. In a drug warehouse, the residents would be required to work four to six hours a day, fulfilling the same role.
There would be an option to attend remedial high school classes, college, and vocational training. The goal would be to keep drug addicts crime-free, disease-free, and debt-free. Most drug addicts today end up with bad credit, a long list of petty crimes, and a history of disease, some with HIV. Most end up in jail and have no hope of breaking free from the drug lifestyle. A twenty-year-old girl hooked on drugs, ends up working as a prostitute, becoming HIV-infected and/or having children while she deals with her addiction. In a government-run warehouse, she could spend a year or twenty years. When she cleans up, she would have a clean slate, no arrests, no children, no disease, and a clean credit record. Add in the possibility of learning a skill or a college education and the reformed addict would be an asset to society.
There would be rules: once accepted into a warehouse, there would be no pregnancies, no crime, no gangs, no rapes, or prostitution. Crime would be punished the same way it’s punished in any community. To leave a warehouse an individual would have to be drug-free for a month. Individuals could be voted out—if he or she was too violent or aggressive—they would be cleaned up and kicked out.
On a much smaller scale, the Seattle city government has built halfway houses for homeless alcoholics and the city helps them buy wine or whisky. An idiot on television shouted at the mayor of Seattle that the city was trying to kill these alcoholic homeless men. That’s hogwash; they’re trying to kill themselves. You can force an alcoholic into rehab, but you can’t force him to stop drinking. We have a choice. We can warehouse these men and women as cheaply as we can and provide them access to their drug of choice, or we can wait until they rob or kill somebody and keep them in jail for life. Until the big crime happens, we the people have to walk around their urine or vomit, put up with numerous petty crimes, pay health care and multiple rehabs, all until they die or commit a major crime. Most people are sick of these people in the community.
It’s simple, skip the crime, skip the court, skip the jail and skip expensive rehab clinics—that don’t work—and all the other interventions and simply get them out of the community and into a safe clean environment. Crime would drop dramatically, automobile accidents would go down, and the homeless would disappear.
More importantly, the heavy drug users would be out of the community and would not continually drag down individuals into their self-made hell. The old saying, it’s lonely at the top but mighty crowded at the bottom, is true. Addicts love to recruit more addicts, in a never-ending chain of addiction. It’s time to end the charade and have a meaningful program that works for those unfortunate enough to be addicted and for those who are unfortunate enough to have to pay for it.
How would we pay for this? Well, we are already paying for it. America would simply switch resources from the criminal justice system to a drug warehouse system. An example of the cost: three young black kids killed a convenience store clerk and robbed five convenience stores to fund a three-day drug binge. The cost to society is high, the life of the young clerk, gone. The loss of three young black kids and their potential, gone. The loss of the young clerk’s lifetime income and taxes is gone. The cost for three murder trials and a lifetime of incarceration—three million dollars or more.
Over the last ten years, in Plano, an upscale Texas city, there have been more than twenty heroin deaths in high school-aged kids—good kids with real potential, but a little mixed up and temporarily acting out. Most of these kids would have come around, finished high school and college—the loss of their lifetime income, over sixty million dollars—one small city, one great loss for America. By providing, a clean, reliable source of drugs, the number of salesmen would be reduced and opportunities for kids to obtained drugs would be limited. By legalizing drugs, these kids would still be around and most would be productive members of society.
Besides reducing crime, legalizing drugs would lower the cost for homeowners, auto, and health insurance. Police could focus on the bad guys instead of addicts. Gangs would lose their hold on communities and violence would drop. Tens of billions of dollars spent on illegal drugs and exported out of our country would stay in American communities.
A pound of opium in Afghanistan costs around fifty dollars. By the time its cut three or four times, and processed into heroin, it’s worth tens of thousands of dollars. A ten-cent-a-day habit in Afghanistan is a fifty-dollar-a-day habit in America. Cocaine is also cheap at its source and expensive on American streets.
If we let American drug companies handle the process, a ten-cent-a-day habit in Afghanistan and a fifty-dollar-a-day habit in America would become a thousand-dollar-a-day habit. Instead, the United States military, which already has bases in Afghanistan, would purchase opium from farmers at the going rate of fifty dollars a pound. If prices rise in Afghanistan, the government would go to the golden triangle in Asia. They would purchase cocaine from Columbian farmers, from Peru, or from other competitive sources at the lowest possible price. The drugs would be shipped to an American military base, where it would be processed by a government-owned corporation and distributed from there. Prescription drugs that are abused would be purchased from drug companies at the lowest negotiated price.
Legalizing drugs won’t mean drug use will go up. Americans won’t become heroin addicts or cocaine addicts overnight. By legalizing drugs, we get rid of drug dealers, who are some of the best salesmen on earth, meeting the biggest demand on earth. Take away the money and there won’t be drug dealers circling every high school in America. The number of drug pushers could be reduced by 95 percent or so and the police could focus on getting the occasional dealer off the street with long-term prison sentences.
With the hardcore drug addicts and alcoholics out of the community, they won’t be available as teachers and promoters of illegal drugs—the drug facilitators will be gone. Individual responsibility would change. Drug addicts have a “catch me if you can attitude.” Legal drugs means the responsibility of addiction will be placed squarely on the shoulders of the addict, exactly like the abuse of alcohol is today.
If the President reassured the American public that the current federal and state drug-abuse programs would end illegal drug use in the next five years, he would be laughed out of the White House. There is absolutely no end in sight to illegal drug use. High school kids have easier access to illegal drugs than they do tobacco products. Our borders are wide open and becoming increasingly violent. The federal government keeps insisting on stopping drug use and failing miserably. It’s time for change. Get the addicts off the street, let people buy pure, safe uncontaminated drugs. Be flexible and let the program evolve. It simply can’t be any worse or any more expensive than the current war on drugs.
 Wine is also very high on the list of healthy drugs to abuse.
In Dallas, prostitution is big. Check the internet under Dallas hookers or the Yellow Pages under escorts, and there are never-ending lists of numbers. Drive around and there are bathhouses, massage parlors, and men’s clubs fronting for prostitution. Various streets are known for their streetwalkers, when the police crackdown on one street, they pop up on the next. Just as it’s impossible to wipe out illegal drugs, it’s also impossible to wipe out prostitution.
In Dallas, off Royal Lane and 610 Loop are twenty Asian bathhouses, all fronts for prostitution. The hookers are Korean women who came to America on tourist visas to work the Asia prostitution circuit that runs across America. City police and federal immigration service’s ran a raid. Forty women were arrested and three hundred thousand dollars of easily earned cash was confiscated.
The city was able to shut down most of the bathhouses, but not all. The raid was a huge waste of money, effort, and time. It barely made a dent in the Dallas prostitution business. The government can push prostitution around, but it raises its ugly head quickly and easily right down the street.
What is the city of Dallas going to do with forty Asian hookers, put them in jail? A year in jail could cost twenty-four thousand dollars per hooker. Forty hookers, that’s nearly a million wasted tax dollars. That would be insane. The girls will be deported, but most will come right back in the United States.
The girls will visit with their families, while they get a new passport in a different name and a new tourist visa from the American government. Then they’ll fly back to the US and work in another city and another bathhouse. The whole government effort was wasted. In the raid, the girls lost a big chunk of their savings. They’ll have to work twice as hard to make up for the lost time and effort. Even worse, the amount of cold hard cash lying around hasn’t gone unnoticed—criminals read, too. This writer is holding his breath for the first take down bathhouse and dead Asian hookers. Apparently, just like banks, bathhouses have vaults of money, too.
It’s not just Korean girls; American girls can make a fortune in the Middle East and Japan. Israel imports Russian and Eastern European girls. Islands in the Caribbean, like Aruba, import girls from Latin America. And it’s not just American men—the American media always points at the American male. Men from every country spend freely on bar girls and bathhouse girls in every tourist haven. Arabs, Asians, and Europeans have money to spend and all men are tempted by the sins of the flesh.
Here in Dallas, the people, most would associate with the word “scum,” are buying or building hot-sheet motels. A small motel, surrounded by high walls, where men and women can drop by and buy illegal drugs or a prostitute, probably both, do their business and be gone—all behind closed doors and out of sight of children and Dallas residents. It makes sense to have a nice area where prostitutes can work in a safe environment, where drug dealers don’t have to worry about drive-by shootings. Where an innocent passerby won’t be blown away by stray bullets and where a person could buy drugs or sex in a relatively safe environment. Make no mistake, hot-sheet motels in Dallas are dangerous places. The police and ambulances know the route by heart, but it makes sense to locate evil under one roof. That’s much better than having evil walking the streets and standing on the street corners.
But in the name of safety, the mayor of Dallas has proposed closing down hot-sheet motels as quickly as they are identified. But that’s shortsighted, it will not stop drug use or prostitution. It will just move it back onto the street, where it is more dangerous for dealers, the prostitutes, and the innocent passersby. It’s where neighborhood kids can watch the transactions as they occur and where Dallas residents spend their mornings cleaning up used needles and condoms.
It doesn’t make sense to close down hot-sheet motels, but it would make sense to assign half-a-dozen cops to each motel. The police would watch, keep order, and make sure that guns were not being sold. The cops would get to know the criminals and they would learn who’s evil and who’s not—prostitutes, drug dealers, and drug addicts are not bad people, our society has made them bad.
Even worse than closing down hot-sheet motels is putting the name of those convicted of solicitation on the internet or in the local newspaper. This shortsighted, political ploy seems to be a favorite of local politicians throughout America. A person has to be pretty dried up to put the names of convicted johns on the internet. America’s sensitive politicians and the media can’t wait until they can ruin some guy’s day and sometimes his life.
On payday, a guy spends the night drinking with his friends. While driving home to his wife and kids, he sees a hooker, soliciting johns. After making a u-turn and an illicit offer, he’s busted. His picture goes up on the internet, a nosey mother-in-law, aunt, or neighbor can’t wait to tell his wife, a divorce follows. The wife and kids drop below the poverty line, the kids have no father, or at best, a weekend father, all because he had the urge to get laid. The john is wrong, politicians are wrong and the law is wrong.
Current laws on prostitution are a joke. The sex trade in the Dallas area is nearly as big as the drug trade and untaxed, while the city spends tax money trying to curb a biological hunger that will be filled one way or another.
Undercover police officers, at one gentlemen’s club, had twenty-one girls offer sex for money. But what can the police do? Arrests them and put them in jail? An overnight stay in jail is a minor inconvenience. With a six-month stay in jail, the girls would lose their apartment leases and their cars would be repossessed. They would work twice as hard when they got out trying to catch up.
Dallas is a smorgasbord of illicit temptation; some “spas” advertise Thai women, others black, white, Korean, and Latino. Even Dallas suburbs are struggling with spas, bathhouses, and massage parlors offering illicit services—something that would have been unheard of twenty years ago. Illegal prostitution can’t be controlled and needs to be legalized.
The government needs to legalize the private solicitation of a prostitute’s service in motels, hotels, and homes. Bathhouses, massage parlors, and brothels would be licensed, inspected, and regulated. It’s necessary to legalize prostitution, not because the laws are a joke, not because it’s impossible to wipe out a biological hunger, but because of HIV and other STDs. AIDS is an expensive disease and it spreads from prostitute to clients to others. By legalizing drugs, one pool of HIV would be controlled and by legalizing prostitution, a second pool of HIV could be controlled. Most STDs make frequent stops on the prostitution circuit. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are five million cases of gonorrhea per year; many of those cases are facilitated by prostitutes. STDs could be cut by a third if prostitution was legal. With legal drugs and prostitution, STDs could be reduced by as much as two thirds—a huge medical benefit that would save tax dollars.
There is a cavalier attitude among prostitutes regarding STDs. They think, since they are doing something illegal, the transfer of a deadly disease doesn’t matter. There is also the prevalent belief that prostitutes became infected by their clients, so passing it on can’t be that bad. The treatment for STDs and HIV is usually paid for by the taxpayer—prostitutes don’t have medical insurance or a steady income. While they are treated for STDs and HIV, they continue their trade, infecting others. That is sickening and it needs to be stopped.
The first step of any sexual solicitation law would be to stop streetwalkers. No one would be allowed to walk the streets in hooker garb to attract customers. The first time a hooker was arrested for the solicitation of johns on the street, would be three days in jail and a hundred dollar fine. The second time would be a five hundred dollar fine and a month in jail. The third time it would be ten years in prison and the fourth time it would be twenty years in prison. A real law with real consequences would virtually end prostitutes patrolling the streets.
Prostitutes would be license: weekly HIV and STD’s exams would be mandatory along with full disclosure. HIV-positive prostitute would be forced to tell their clients before providing any service, with severe penalties for passing on any STD diseases—a minimum of ten years in prison. Because both brothels and prostitutes would be licensed, a visiting nurse along with an inspector would make weekly inspections. The nurse would complete the mandatory STD check and the inspector would check for cleanliness. The responsibility of STDs would be placed squarely on the prostitute. He or she would not be allowed to work when infected with genital warts, gonorrhea, syphilis, or Chlamydia. In the case of incurable genital herpes, hepatitis B, or HIV, full mandatory disclosure would take place—long-term prison sentences and permanent loss of license would put teeth in the law.
There is always the concern of sexual exploitation of women. Women working as prostitutes know exactly what they’re doing. They aren’t forced into prostitution. They aren’t the poor little weak victims, portrayed by the media. They’re not being exploited by johns. The media and politicians hammer at the sexual exploitation and sex slave angle because it makes good stories—people like a good story on hookers and sex slaves. A few women are exploited, a few children are exploited, a few women are forced into sexual slavery, but it’s rare. Why go to all the trouble to enslave someone, when so many men and women are willing to work in the sex industry? A sexual solicitation law would force hookers to get a license and interact with people outside their profession. With legal prostitution, the women and children forced into prostitution or sexual slavery will be easier to identify and helped. The sexual solicitation law would also require continuing education. Prostitutes need classes on recognizing STDs, first aid, and personal security.
Banning sin doesn’t work. It should be legalized, taxed, and regulated. A constitutional amendment should ban all advertisement of tobacco, alcohol, drugs, prostitution, and gambling—no commercials on television, newspapers, magazines, radio or billboards. People are weak and are tempted by sin, they’re going to drink, gamble, seek our sex, or use drugs—but the mass advertisements of those sins shouldn’t be allowed
Grocery stores, convenience stores, and gas stations shouldn’t be allowed to sell lottery tickets, beer, marijuana, and pornography, including the major men’s magazines. Sin stores should be allowed for those over eighteen that could sell liquor, marijuana, lottery tickets, and pornography. They could also give away magazines, brochures, or promotional material for drugs, prostitution, marijuana, alcohol, or gambling, but only to those eighteen years or older.
One of the sickest sights in America is watching a man or woman with two or three kids in tow, buying beer, cigarettes and a lottery ticket at the corner store or grocery store as if all three items are normal healthy purchases. They’re not and they shouldn’t be purchased around kids. Children shouldn’t be bombarded with ads and/or news accounts for liquor, tobacco, men’s clubs, brothels, gambling, and illegal drugs—kids need a break.
 As if American males are some kind of perverts—we’re not. Reporters love to disparage the American male especially the white American male.
Illegal drug use and prostitution are public health issues, but nearly fifty percent of the effort of the criminal justice system is spent dealing with drugs and prostitution—we can’t stop drugs from crossing our boarder, illegal immigrants or girls who want to work as hookers in America. When drugs are legalized and prostitution is licensed and regulated, petty crime, robberies, and burglaries will drop. There may be a temporary rise in crime while things are sorted out in the inner city. But with drug warehouses and cheap legal drugs, crime will drop dramatically. Instead of paying the police to regulate and control bathhouses and crackhouses, we send them after the real criminal element. Medical fraud, identity theft, shoplifting, motor vehicle theft, and tax-scams are a greater threat to our way of life than drugs or prostitution has ever been.
When white-collar criminals are involved in organized crime, they need to be treated for what they are, big-time crooks. They need to be put away for a long time, including life sentences and the forfeiture of 100 percent of their assets.
CEO’s and other corporate executives, who have run billion dollar corporations into the ground while profiting enormously, can spend less than ten years in jail. Jeff Schilling of Enron received a twenty-four-year sentence for a nonviolent felony. He may walk out of prison in half that time. In jail, he’ll be working on his book. When he’s paroled, he’ll be on the lecture circuit—making fifty thousand or more a pop, speaking about business ethics. He’ll be living the good life while thousands of people are trying to recover from the economic disaster he caused.
Individuals involved in organized corporate fraud and corruption—like the Enron, should receive life without parole and the loss of one hundred percent of his or her assets. Even Kenneth Lay’s premature death shouldn’t have prevented the government from taking away his assets.
Health and auto insurance fraud is rampant. Whenever and wherever the federal government looks, fraud is found—the government might need a hundred thousand more investigators just to get a handle on the problem. The federal government spends billions of dollars monitoring black kids in the inner city who are selling drugs and making chump change, while medical fraud in the health care system is nearly sinking the economy.
In one case, a doctor was arrested for abusing Medicaid. Preying on inner city kids, the doctor was offering treats for treatment and billing Medicaid millions of dollars. The doctor received a seven-year sentence—with good behavior, the sentence will be cut in half. Three or four years in prison for a multimillion dollar scam isn’t enough to deter others from committing the same crime or even keeping the same doctor from doing it again.
There are doctors and attorneys who advertise for clients injured in automobile accidents. But a few go too far, knowingly participating in insurance fraud—involving themselves in staged accidents, phony medical billing and fraudulent lawsuits. Doctors and attorneys who commit insurance fraud are treated by the court system as if they’re pillars of the community—they’re not—who made a mistake. They’re crooks and should be treated exactly like bank robbers, murderers, and other criminals. In fact, the case can be made that they are worse than run-of-the-mill crooks. They’ve abused their profession for money, taking the easy way to wealth and fame. Yet a bank robber will get a twenty-five-year sentence while the doctor or attorney who cost society millions of dollars can walk away in a few years.
American laws don’t reflect the damage caused by sophisticated, professional criminals abusing government and private insurance programs. It can cost a million dollars or more to investigate and convict in insurance fraud cases, but the sentences can be less than ten years. The law is not a deterrent to stop professionals from continuing the practice. A single count of insurance fraud should have a minimum sentence of twenty years in prison and massive organized insurance fraud should carry a sentence of life without parole. The sentence would include the lost of all assets, including assets diverted to a spouse or family member.
Identity theft is becoming America’s leading crime. A crook can make thousands of dollars sitting in his living room working on his computer. When he or she is caught, they’re hardly punished. A sentence can run five to seven years and the criminal can be out of prison in two or three years, quicker than the victims can clean up their credit. Organized professional groups can walk away with millions of dollars and receive little or no punishment. It’s time to crack down with mandatory long-term prison sentences including life without parole for massive organized identity theft.
Shoplifting has become an organized crime. While kids still run off with some merchandise, and the occasional middle class homemaker is caught stealing, the majority of shoplifting is by professional gangs crisscrossing the country, stealing massive amounts of goods and selling the goods on the internet or in illegitimate shops. Roughly sixty billion a year is stolen and most of it is resold. Many of these gang members are foreigners and in America illegally—some take a temporary job with a store where they can take goods out the back door. They don’t care if they’re arrested a thousand times in a thousand different cities. They want the quick score and then head for the home country, just a little bit richer. Organized shoplifting gangs are undermining America and our lifestyle. Shoplifting needs to be a federal felony and organized shoplifters given long-term prison sentences—for the leaders, life without parole.
A few years ago, Mexico passed a law, taxing vehicles—approximately 300 dollars per vehicle—heading south from the America border. This law, under protest, was repealed, but it was a bizarre tax. Imagine people living on the East Coast paying a three hundred dollar fee to drive to the Midwest. It didn’t make any sense. Except, motor vehicle theft is big business. Apparently, it was an attempt by the Mexican government to tax stolen cars crossing the American border into Mexico. That is the only rational explanation. Mexico instituted a tax on stolen goods—that is government at its worst.
Motor vehicle theft is a thirty billion dollar business. Many of the stolen cars are exported to Third World countries and sold. The entire process is financed by our insurance companies and the American insurance consumer.
Stolen cars that aren’t transferred out of country end up in a chop shop. A chop-shop bust in the Dallas area, where an estimated three million dollars worth of automobiles were chopped and sold for parts, netted the criminals seven years in prison—not bad for a multimillion dollar illegal business, and certainly not long enough to deter others from committing the crime.
Car theft, chop shops, and exporting stolen cars should be federal crimes, with long-term prison terms. The leaders of auto theft rings and chop shop owners should get life in prison and the loss of all assets, including diverted assets.
There is no deterrent for auto theft in America. A Russian or Iranian will recruit dirt-poor kids and teach them how to steal cars. Then the stolen cars are exported and sold in other countries. When the kid is caught, he might get a year or so in prison—not enough time to make him expose the ringleader. The ringleader will keep on recruiting kids and exporting cars to Russia, Iran, or some other country. We have massive organized crime costing billions of dollars and no deterrent for it to end.
While police chase down drug dealers, the “pillars of the community” are running tax scams and illegal accounting scams, effecting the entire economy with nationwide significance. When the wealthy evade taxes in illegal schemes, they should spend more time in jail than the average American and lose more of their assets. The man making fifty thousand dollars a year who cheats on his taxes is buying food, clothes, and paying rent. The billionaire making a hundred million dollars a year who cheats on his taxes is infected with uncontrolled greed. He or she should be harshly punished.
But it’s not just the wealthy causing the problems, it’s their attorneys and accountants. In every tax fraud case, the attorneys and accountants should be prosecuted along with the taxpayer. Lengthy prison sentences should be handed out to the tax cheater and to his professional advisors.
Attorneys and accountants involved in illegal schemes are the real criminals, and they’re getting a free walk. Working for some of America’s biggest financial, accounting and law firms, they facilitate corporate and tax swindles. In the Enron scandal, accountants, bankers, and attorneys, maybe hundreds of individuals had to be involved with the paperwork—Jeff Schilling wasn’t working late hammering out all those documents. All the people involved should have stood trial together.
Governments don’t pass laws to punish the guilty. They pass laws to deter people from committing crimes. That has been forgotten in our criminal justice system. The court system and justice in America has become a game, played by attorneys making quick deals for minimum sentences so their clients can get out of prison fast. The crime deterrent has been lost along the way. At the same time, the attitude that “anything goes” has been adopted by too many people. White-collar crime and white-collar criminals are destroying the moral fabric of American society. Cheaters prosper in America and that is the biggest problem facing America today.
Small crime task force
Crime in America goes uninvestigated, besides petty crime, the list includes burglaries, robberies, identity thief, and credit card fraud. Even when the cops show up at a minor crime scene, they only have enough time to fill out a form and leave. Not only are police and sheriff departments underfunded, but the taxpayers can’t afford to have every single crime investigated.
We constantly let kids and young criminals off the hook, but stopping major crime, starts with stopping small crimes. Someone steals a toolbox from a garage and the cop makes a report for the insurance company without any attempt to catch the thief. To catch a thief, cops need to check for fingerprints, DNA, and canvass the neighborhood, but it never happens.
Every city should have a small crime task force and a Crime Scene Volunteer Program. Volunteers would be empowered and trained; they would use their natural investigative skills to investigate minor crime. A crime scene volunteer would do exactly what CSI does on television. They would look for fingerprints and DNA, interview witnesses, canvas the neighborhood, and help the lead detective put together a comprehensive case file. Volunteers would go through real training and have real authority to investigate burglaries, vandalism, identify theft, and small snatch-and-grab robberies. Beginner criminals need to be identified and disciplined before they become real criminals.
The best person to investigate identify theft is not the detective assigned to the case, but the victims who have been victimized. People have had their identity stolen and have solved their own case and they have developed expertise along the way. Police departments should put that expertise to good use, by enrolling the victims in a Crime Scene Volunteer Program.
When drugs are legalized, most inner city gangs will dissolve quickly. But dealing with the remnants of violent drug gangs would be a priority. Gang should be dealt with as one entity, not as individual members. A federal law would allow federal judges to adjudicate an entire gang as a criminal organization. A prosecutor would only have to prove that an individual was a member, and he or she would receive life without parole. Any group of people involved in multiple felonies in three or more different crime categories—such as selling drugs, assault, and identity theft—or organized crime over a million dollars in losses. The entire gang could be adjudicated a criminal enterprise and all of the members picked up and sentenced to life without parole.
The Central American gang MS-13 apparently has ten thousand members. It does no good to deport them. They’re back inside of a week and moving from city to city. But if a judge or jury determines it’s a criminal gang, the top ten percent—the leaders and the bad guys—would be tried and sentenced to life without parole. The prosecutor would only have to prove that each individual was a member of MS-13—he would not have to prove murder, robbery or any other crime. Once the gang was adjudicated a criminal organization, ninety percent of the members could be deported. If they came back, they would be tried as members of MS-13 and sentenced to life without parole. No more drug sales, no more crime, no more killing of witnesses—just a quick trial and ride to prison.
How many trials should people have? How many chances should a person have? Does the taxpayer have any rights at all? If MS-13 has ten thousand members, each member needs to commit a felony to be arrested. That’s ten thousand felonies, and in America, a crook can commit ten felonies before he’s caught. Ten thousand felony trials could cost 2 billion dollars. Incarceration for thirty years could run 7 billion dollars. Nine billion dollars on one small group of illegal aliens—all because the federal government has allowed the drug war and the border war to become massive problems. It’s time to fix the problem and make it easier for the courts to imprison organized criminals by making the sentence so severe that criminal gangs disappear quickly and permanently.
It’s the same for the Hell’s Angels, Cripps, Bloods, and other gangs. They should be adjudicated criminal organizations. The top ten percent would be picked up and sentenced to life without parole. With the leadership in jail and unable to function, the entire gang would disintegrate in a matter of days.
Most inner city gang kids aren’t evil or bad, they’re just kids caught up in inner-city turmoil that the federal government has allowed to go on for the past fifty years. The government is as much to blame as the gang kids themselves.
Legalizing drugs would take away gang money, by eliminating the drug’s salesmen/pushers. The responsibility of drug use would be put squarely on the head of the individual user, right where it should be. By removing the hard-core drug addicts from the communities and putting them in drug warehouses, they would no longer be able to act as teachers and facilitators. Finally hammer the leadership of drug gangs. Will this eliminate drug use? No. Will it reduce drug use? Yes, maybe by as much as 50 percent or more.
This plan will work with Al-Qaeda, and Middle Eastern terrorist organizations, too. In America, we punish after a person commits a crime, or we try to prove someone conspired to commit a crime, but it’s difficult trying to prove what a person is thinking. We adjudicate Al-Qaeda a criminal and terrorist gang, and then we only need to prove that a person is a member of the gang or an associate member. That is easier. We won’t have to wait around until they nuke us or bomb us—let them rot in jail.
Federal, state, and local law enforcement are currently doing nothing very well and the reason is illegal drugs. We spend too much money trying to curb an unquenchable appetite, while letting real criminals have a free walk. Legal drugs will free up massive amounts of money and manpower. Investigators can be reassigned to medical fraud, tax fraud, and the border patrol.
I’m against drugs. If a magic wand was available to ban alcohol, tobacco, and narcotics, I would use it, but there is no magic wand. Politicians are reviling against drugs, federal agents are reviling against drugs, and local authorities are reviling against drugs to no avail. It’s time to end the war against drugs and get into the real world where white-collar crime is hurting this country.
Tough on crime? People have little respect for American laws—the smarter and richer the person, the less respect they have. In the news, a young man stole nearly a million dollars in an identity theft scam, and used the stolen money as leverage to implement a larger hedge fund scam. While waiting trial, the crook is out of jail and on television, begging for mercy. He’ll get it. He’ll be sentenced to twenty years and spend the first three or four years out on bail waiting appeals. When he’s finally put in jail, he’ll spend three or four years locked up and get out of jail because of overcrowding or some other reason. His book deal and public appearance fees will make him wealthy. Crime pays in America.
In other news, the king of endangered butterfly smuggling is in jail. This may seem good, but it’s bad for butterflies. Butterflies would have been safer if the United States government ignored the man and the law. He got twenty-three months for smuggling butterflies. Apparently, endangered butterflies are valuable to collectors, selling from a hundred to eight hundred dollars—a shoebox filled with butterflies could be worth a hundred thousand dollars. Hundreds of people will be invading South American jungles hunting endangered butterflies and selling them to unscrupulous butterfly collectors.
Both of these men should be in jail for life. Jail should be a deterrent to crime not an inducement, but American laws and the prison system have lost their value as a deterrent. They are no longer a factor in deciding to commit a crime.
 Hopefully, the doctor was scared straight, and is now a law-abiding citizen.