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December 04, 2006

Comments

This is an interesting point Kate, and while I agree with you, there is the problem of self-incrimination. If drug dealers admit that they were robbed, and fully disclose their actions to the police, can they then be charged with drug possession or trafficking? Due process of law against the robber could mean stiff penalties for the dealer.

Tangentially (but interestingly), many states levy drug taxes on dealers who sell illegal or controlled substances. However, the tax is paid via non-identifying "drug tax stamps" because of the dealer's fear of self-incrimination.

I think there is a bottom line here. While all people deserve protection and freedom from victimization, the so-called war on drugs has created a populace that doesn't know how to view drug dealers. Are they citizens conducting a viable business? (Well, they are paying sales taxes.) Or are they peddlers of destruction? Or something in between? Because their business is illegal, it's tough to be exculpated in a court of law. To some dealers, the cost of robbery may be smaller than that of fines, imprisonment, and the loss of their business.

Debra, you pose some interesting points and supply some very relevant information to this topic. According to further research by Jacobs, the drug dealers are more afraid of being arrested than they are of being robbed. Also, some of the time the robbery occurs as a form of retaliation for other “wrongs” that were perceived as being committed. This makes things even more difficult because in order to change the behavior you need to be able to change a way of life and protecting oneself.

However, there are those robbers who believe that they are aiding the police by robbing drug dealers. This is interesting because, according to Jacobs, the police feel that the drug dealers and drug robbers will end up eliminating each other, which is partly why they take very little action in preventing this type of crime. Another reason for the lack of police action, though, is that there is a belief that if robbers are attacking drug dealers, than “normal” people will be safe from them, therefore somewhat controlling the crime that occurs.

Please keep in mind while reading this that these points are mostly coming from one researcher/study, which can give a slanted view of the problem, especially since the basis of the research revolved around personal interviews.

Interesting post, Kate. This appears to me to relate to society’s overall sense of a victim’s culpability in a crime. Britain’s Economic and Social Research Council (http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk/ ) recently released a study that showed that a jury is much more lenient on an alleged rapist if the victim in intoxicated, even when it’s against her will. It seems they feel that if the victim put allowed herself to be in danger, she shares in the fault and this somehow mitigates the offender’s culpability. Interestingly, this holds even when the victim’s drink is spiked without her knowledge. The case could well be the same with drug dealers—people could perceive them as having put themselves in harm’s way by participating in a dangerous and illegal trade, and thus that they “got what they deserved.” We as a society need to decide and firmly assert to what extend a victim is to blame for a crime, and then apply the law constantly.

We learned this unwritten rule when my 12 year old went into a gaming shop and stupidly pocketed game figures. The shop was owned by a police officer who used free activities, free model making, and free events to lure kids in. The kid was immediately surrounded by store personnel, held in the back room and interrogated by six mall security guards who attempted to take his money and gift cards, turned over to the police, while I searched for him for him less than 100 feet away. No one ever attempted to call me. $47.70 worth of merchandise turned into $100. The store owner/ police man was allowed to sit in the parking lot and gloat while the child was being processed. The juvenile detective had a nice stack of comic books in mailbox at the gaming store the following week. When I complained, police cars were stationed outside our house for hours at a time. When I complained to our local politicians, I was told, it was standard operating procedure. Disgusting, I have NO respect for anyone who harasses and intimidates children.

There is no such thing as good guys or bad guys in this society. Color doesn't matter anymore. It's either you're rich or your poor and poor dosen't nessisarily mean a person is homeless but rather the person is without the capability to provide a financial and economical stability for themselves,...i.e. living paycheck to paycheck or working two or three jobs just to get by. Police are the henchmen for the afluent helping the enron type executives sleep better at night knowing the impoverished and oppressed people can't come take their blood money from them while they sleep in they're coozy, gated, white suburban american communities. Drug Dealers deserve to get robbed and those who rob drug dealers deserve to get wacked for doing so. It's a evil cycle that is being enabled by the totaltarian, aristocratic politicians of this country. This generation (X,Y,Z) needs to wake up and take back our democracy by any means nessisary. A civil war is waiting to happen in this country and each day as the division between the rich and poor becomes more and more clear the prospects of those aristocratic left and right winged politicians being usurped is ever more likely and warranted.

Without using any fancy legal words,we all value life,liberty,freedom and protection from abuse of powers in all arena's of life. Once one has come to know exactly what they truely mean for us all...Then and then only can this passion be lived with words of a species wanting to evolve above that which we continually get pulled back into,like an addiction. our pride,our ego,our self righteousness,our inability to admit we were wrong...but there not forgiven,there damned. we are no better till we prove it by our actions too. saying we are far capable of far better answers,if only we do more than try than just saying it... But only one whom hath lived it or gave heart and eye to watch it, it's amazing differences and indifferences,if change is not upon us,then dare say the past is ever soo closly at our heels. This would take a conscious. A compassion,not for crime,but for learning more about the human being,the mind, that differs soo from one to another, how can it be a name places an action above the no name places you below,no longer human...An awakening of a total awareness of our very being upon this here planet earth,haven been given an amazing mind,why don't we wk more towards amazingly good things instead of amazingly evil things,which defies the whole purpose of practicing what one preaches...what is all this studying for if for not a better healthier heart mind and soul? for all.. humanity of a humaness for a better people based on what shows proven to work instead of old age standards of a who's who world,but where indeed everyone is equal and important.We will always ask why,and we may never know for some questions upon this earth we have,but the answer is not war or violence or inslavement,the answer is far more simplier. Some people just do not get it,some do,for those who don;t,they may be responsible for there actions,but are we better when we kill them and say justice is served? Yet we cannot tolerate crime in the country but we will tolerate world wide mass unknowing,unreported fate of ignorance that is for certain to bleed into our beautifull land. if we ignore it long enough. we can only blame ourselves for not speaking up to bring to the table solutions,which are not death camps,but life camps. for the living. if we must live,we must first set the example. We may never have all the answers but we can say we gave it our best of our beings,not the worst.

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