When Vice Enforcement is a Capital Crimeby Will Grigg
Jul. 08, 2013
Evergreen Cuts Budget By $6M Due to Enrollment Plunge, Plans For Layoffs
Greece: Leftist Mayor Attacked In The Street And Called A 'Traitor'
Donald Trump To Kim Jong-un: Make A Deal Or Suffer Same Fate As Gaddafi
NYT: "Israel Needs to Protect Its Borders. By Whatever Means Necessary."
ABC Interviews Mexican Heroin Cartel Workers, Finds Many Were Deported From U.S. And Want Back In
Alexa Hamme of Salt Lake City was 25 years old when she died in a jail cell. She had been arrested four days earlier on suspicion of drug possession and endangerment of a child or adult. That last charge is a sentence enhancer often tacked on to a drug arrest as a way of escalating the potential penalties and extorting a guilty plea to a lesser charge.
According to Hamme’s father, the young woman had long struggled with drug addiction, which is a familiar affliction but no less tragic for being so commonplace. She needed treatment for her addiction, which she obviously wasn’t going to receive while being cattle-penned with other inmates, some of whom might have committed actual crimes.
Using drugs is unwise and self-destructive. It can and often does lead to addiction, which in turn often leads to disruption or destruction of families and actual criminal behavior. The same is true of other personal vices, as well. But government has no moral or legal mandate to punish people for indulging vices. Doing so is itself a crime – and as the tragic death of Alexa Hamme illustrates, it is frequently a capital offense.