Un­der­stand­ing Lib­erty

Serve Daily - - LIBERTY SHALL BE MAINTAINED - By Casey Beres

True Crime Ex­plained

This month we will con­sider what con­sti­tutes a “true” crime as op­posed to a “leg­isla­tive” crime. As dis­cussed re­cently, Amer­ica is over-crim­i­nal­ized. Any­thing and ev­ery­thing is con­sid­ered a crime, merely be­cause leg­is­la­tion bans some­thing on pain of pun­ish­ment. But un­der the laws of na­ture, jus­tice, and the Com­mon Law, there are only a limited num­ber of ac­tual crimes.

This month we will con­sider what con­sti­tutes a “true” crime as op­posed to a “leg­isla­tive” crime. As dis­cussed re­cently, Amer­ica is over-crim­i­nal­ized. Any­thing and ev­ery­thing is con­sid­ered a crime, merely be­cause leg­is­la­tion bans some­thing on pain of pun­ish­ment. But un­der the laws of na­ture, jus­tice, and the Com­mon Law, there are only a limited num­ber of ac­tual crimes.

On this earth, there are three forms of law: God’s law, to which the Nat­u­ral Law be­longs, Nat­u­ral Law, and man’s law. God’s law be­longs to God and His ap­pointed ser­vants on earth, since it in­volves of­fenses against God and His com­mand­ments. See D&C 134:4

The Nat­u­ral Law gov­erns all men, and its sub­or­di­nate, man’s law, which can­not con­tra­dict Nat­u­ral Law, gov­erns the var­i­ous groups of men on the face of the earth, ac­cord­ing to their in­di­vid­ual sit­u­a­tions. Both gov­ern ONLY of­fenses against man, the vi­o­la­tions of his equal rights. Be­cause God is all just and all mer­ci­ful, a per­fect Be­ing, of­fenses against his law be­long to Him to judge and pun­ish; man can­not touch them (see Mosiah 29:12), inas­much as the of­fense is not against man. But man’s law may judge and pun­ish of­fenses against man, for man’s safety.

God’s law pro­vides a sav­ior for those who vi­o­late it, re­ceiv­ing mercy while Christ’s Atone­ment sat­is­fies jus­tice if the sin­ner re­pents. But there is very lit­tle to no mercy in man’s law, which lacks a sav­ior. Man’s law tends to know only jus­tice. There­fore, in or­der to pro­tect the in­no­cent, in­clud­ing those who com­mit an of­fense against man un­in­ten­tion­ally, the prin­ci­pal of in­tent and a vi­o­la­tion of one’s equal rights are vi­tal re­quire­ments for man’s crim­i­nal law be­cause jus­tice de­mands them in a case of no sav­ior and thus no es­cape from the law. There must be a guilty act AND a guilty mind.

Thus, jus­tice re­quires in man’s law, in or­der to be con­sid­ered a crime, two things: 1.) a vic­tim, an­other hu­man be­ing whose equal rights have been vi­o­lated, and 2.) in­tent to com­mit such harm. An in­ten­tional of­fense against an­other hu­man be­ing, in­tend­ing to harm the other in­di­vid­ual in his/her equal rights is the only thing that can be con­sid­ered a crime un­der man’s law. If there is no harm of an­other’s equal rights, there is no crime. If there is no in­tent, yet there is still a vic­tim, there is still no crime. A crime must have both re­quire­ments; else-wise there is no crime. And if not a crime, then it is a tort, which will re­quire resti­tu­tion, usu­ally through civil dam­ages, but can­not justly re­quire loss of life, lib­erty or property to the hands of the state.

Wil­liam Black­stone, the famed English ju­rist who wrote the highly in­flu­en­tial “Com­men­taries of the Laws of Eng­land,” an ex­po­si­tion of the English Com­mon Law, which was adopted by the U.S., wrote in 1765:

“To make a com­plete crime cog­niz­able by hu­man laws, there must be both a will and an act. For though ... a fixed de­sign or will to do an un­law­ful act is al­most as heinous as the com­mis­sion of it, yet, as no tem­po­ral tri­bunal can search the heart, or fathom the in­ten­tions of the mind, other­wise than as they are demon­strated by out­ward ac­tions, it there­fore can­not pun­ish for what it can­not know. For which rea­son in all tem­po­ral ju­ris­dic­tions an overt act, or some open ev­i­dence of an in­tended crime, is nec­es­sary in or­der to demon­strate the de­prav­ity of the will, be­fore the man is li­able to pun­ish­ment. And, as a vi­cious will, with­out a vi­cious act is no civil crime, so, on the other hand, an un­war­rantable act with­out a vi­cious will is no crime at all. So that to con­sti­tute a crime against hu­man laws, there must be, first, a vi­cious will; and, sec­ondly, an un­law­ful act con­se­quent upon such a vi­cious will.”

Amer­ica’s crim­i­nal law used to in­clude these Com­mon Law re­quire­ments of a true crime, but it has since aban­doned it, mak­ing what ever it wants a crime, re­gard­less of whether there is a vic­tim or in­tent. Most traf­fic laws and Utah’s new cell phone law are bla­tant ex­am­ples. But let’s con­sider a more in­ter­est­ing ex­am­ple: man­slaugh­ter.

In most states, in­clud­ing Utah, man­slaugh­ter is the ac­ci­den­tal killing of an­other hu­man be­ing with­out in­tent, and is con­sid­ered a Sec­ond De­gree Felony in Utah, pun­ish­able with not less than one year but up to 15 years in prison plus a pos­si­ble fine (Utah State Code, Ti­tle 76, Ch. 5, Sect. 205 and Ch. 3, Sect. 203).

Yet, we read in the Bi­ble, in Deuteron­omy 19, that the Is­raelites, God’s cho­sen people where com­manded by God to set apart three sep­a­rate cities in their land of in­her­i­tance, Canaan, for those who com­mit man­slaugh­ter to flee to and live, so that “in­no­cent blood” might not be shed in the promised land of Is­rael by the fam­ily of the slain.

Yet what does Amer­ica do, God’s cho­sen land for his cho­sen people to­day? And what does Utah do, pop­u­lated as it is by God’s cho­sen people of to­day, the Lat­ter Day Saints? We have built pris­ons in­stead of refuge cities for the com­mit­ter of man­slaugh­ter, pun­ish­ing un­justly those who ac­ci­den­tally kill, and there­fore com­mit no crime due to lack of crim­i­nal in­tent. We throw those who are in­no­cent in God’s eyes into dark, damp cells, to lan­guish and rot, where they have more of a chance of be­com­ing ac­tual crim­i­nals due to the prison en­vi­ron­ment that they would have out­side its walls. We pass un­just pieces of leg­is­la­tion, falsely crim­i­nal­iz­ing what ap­par­ently is to God a non-crim­i­nal act... neg­li­gent, per­haps, and re­quir­ing resti­tu­tion, but non-crim­i­nal all the same. This is be­cause we have bought into the false­hood that any act, any word, or any thought can be crim­i­nal, sim­ply be­cause leg­is­la­tion says so, and be­cause men with guns force it upon us.

To fix the over-crim­i­nal­iza­tion of Amer­ica, let’s re­in­state in our crim­i­nal codes, state, and federal, these two Com­mon Law re­quire­ments of crim­i­nal acts.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.