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NCJ Number: 51710 Find in a Library
Title: OVERREACH OF THE CRIMINAL LAW - MAIN PAPER (FROM CRIME LAW AND THE COMMUNITY, 1976 - SEE NCJ-51708)
Author(s): N MORRIS
Corporate Author: Juta and Co, Ltd
South Africa
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Juta and Co, Ltd
Capetown, South Africa
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: South Africa
Annotation: DRUG USE, GAMBLING, SEXUAL ACTIVITY, OBSCENITY, ABORTION, AND PROSTITUTION ARE DISCUSSED AS AREAS OF BEHAVIOR WHERE CRIMINAL LAW HAS OVERREACHED ITS RATIONAL FUNCTION; DECRIMINALIZATION AND REGULATION ARE RECOMMENDED.
Abstract: THE CONSTRUCTION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A COMPREHENSIVE MORALITY FOR CITIZENS THROUGH FORMAL LEGISLATION IS CONSIDERED IMPRACTICAL AND INJURIOUS TO PERSONAL FREEDOM IN A MORALLY PLURALISTIC SOCIETY. LAWS PROHIBITING BEHAVIOR WHICH INVOLVES NO INJURED COMPLAINANT (POPULARLY KNOWN AS 'VICTIMLESS' CRIMES) ARE DEEMED TO REQUIRE COSTLY ENFORCEMENT, WHILE DOING LITTLE TO CURTAIL THE PROSCRIBED ACTIVITIES. THE GENERAL SUGGESTION IS THAT 'VICTIMLESS' CRIMES BE REGULATED RATHER THAN PROHIBITED, WITH CRIMINAL SANCTIONS BEING APPLIED WHERE BEHAVIOR BECOMES EXTREME AND ABUSIVE. IN DISCUSSING NARCOTICS, IT IS ARGUED THAT NEITHER THE ACQUISITION, PURCHASE, POSSESSION, OR USE OF ANY DRUG SHOULD BE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE. THE TRANSFER OR SALE OF MANY DRUGS, OTHER THAN BY PRESCRIPTION, SHOULD BE CRIMINALLY PROSCRIBED, AND PROOF OF POSSESSION OF EXCESSIVE QUANTITIES SHOULD BE ADMISSIBLE AS EVIDENCE OF AN INTENT TO TRANSFER OR SELL. IT IS FURTHER RECOMMENDED THAT NO FORM OF GAMBLING SHOULD BE PROHIBITED BY THE CRIMINAL LAW, WITH FRAUD AND BRUTAL DEBT-COLLECTING METHODS PROSCRIBED. SEXUAL ACTIVITY BETWEEN CONSENTING ADULTS IS DEEMED BEYOND THE LAW'S CONCERN EXCEPT WHERE PUBLIC DISPLAYS BECOME GENERALLY OFFENSIVE. WHILE IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT PROSTITUTION BE ALLOWED, REGULATIONS TO CONTROL METHODS OF SOLICITATION AND THE SAFETY OF PROSTITUTES AND CUSTOMERS ARE RECOMMENDED. IT IS FELT THAT SEXUAL MATERIALS PRESENTLY CONSIDERED OBSCENE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO TO CIRCULATE FOR SALE, BUT WITH RESTRICTIONS ON PUBLIC ADVERTISING AND SALE TO MINORS. IN THE AREA OF ABORTION, IT IS CONSIDERED THAT IN RELATION TO THE EARLY MONTHS OF FETAL PROGRESS, THE CRIMINAL LAW HAS EXCEEDED ITS APPROPRIATE ROLE IN PROHIBITING ABORTION. THE TREND IS BELIEVED TO BE TOWARD THE RELAXING OF BLANKET PROHIBITION OF 'VICTIMLESS' CRIMES, WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF REGULATIONS PROSCRIBING EXTREMELY ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Criminal abortion; Drug law offenses; Illegal gaming/gambling; Pornography; Prostitution; Sex offenses; Victimless crimes
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51710

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