Criminal Justice Reform

Article 1.7 of the Libertarian platform:

Government force must be limited to the protection of the rights of individuals to life, liberty, and property, and governments must never be permitted to violate these rights. Laws should be limited in their application to violations of the rights of others through force or fraud, or to deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm. Therefore, we favor the repeal of all laws creating “crimes” without victims… We support restitution to the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or the negligent wrongdoer. The constitutional rights of the criminally accused, including due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, and the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, must be preserved….

If there is no victim there is no crime.  

Our criminal justice system is harming more people than it is helping.   We continually put people through our court system under a guise of protecting society when in reality we are hurting our communities.  We are jailing people for being poor, or for being mentally ill.  We ruin their chances at future success, we tear apart families, and hinder growth in the name of “helping”.  

The war on drugs has killed more people than drugs themselves.  We have created a deadly black market.  This black market is thriving in our schools, in our neighborhoods, and it is choking the wellness of our society.  When we unnecessarily interfere in the lives of people, we create trauma. This is an abuse and a form of aggression that must be stopped.  

Eliminating as much of the black market as we can help our police officers, too.  For every interaction with a police officer, both parties have greatly increased their risk of violence.  By abolishing victimless crimes, we can reduce the risk our men and women in uniform face daily.  This secures their futures, and their families, as well.  

This is not just about the drug war.  Victimless crime is the crux of our current prison situations.  With every law written, it is imperative that our legislators ask:  Is it important enough that I would have someone killed by a police officer to enforce?  Is it important enough that I would traumatize a family? Is it important enough that I would restrict a person’s ability to earn money for the rest of their lives? Is it important enough that I ask the government to endanger the community?  I think when we ask these questions upfront, we find the laws that are victimless and unnecessary.  

Our current system unrightfully targets minorities, the poor, and the mentally ill.  We must stand up to stop the break-down of our community. It starts with our government and our lawmakers.  There are better ways to help keep society safe, and much of it can be accomplished without government interference.