Society Pays a High Price When Prosecutors Fail to Punish Crime
Imagine a society where prostitutes could solicit johns for sex just yards from police officers who did little more than wave them on their way. Picture yourself walking through a park with your children as a homeless person is free to urinate and defecate beside the park bench where he is stashing the illegal drugs he bought from a dope dealer operating openly without fear of the police.
Does that make you feel safe?
Welcome to the new Baltimore, where law enforcement will no longer be prosecuting what it calls "low-level offenses." These include possessing drugs or drug paraphernalia, trespassing, minor traffic offenses, prostitution, open container violations and defecating or urinating in public. The city announced the initiative last week after a year-long experiment to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the jails and prisons.
Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby advocated for the changes, with the backing of Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison. Mosby said that her office is partnering with Baltimore Crisis Response Inc. to provide services to people suffering from mental illness, homelessness and drug addiction to close the gap.
I say shame, shame, shame.
Many of these so-called low-level crimes include some of the very offenses that tear our society apart and make America sicker and more dangerous. It is simply unacceptable. We can't allow American society to disintegrate one city at a time.
I can certainly understand the challenges. When it comes to prison overcrowding and the desire to give people a second chance, possession of a small amount of drugs shouldn't necessarily warrant a lengthy prison term.
However, there have to be consequences for violating the law. If you are not going to enforce the law and you are not going to prosecute, then our laws become totally meaningless. What is the result?
The answer is anarchy. If people can do whatever they want, whenever they want to whomever they want without punishment, society begins to fall apart. That is not the America we want for our loved ones.
I understand that Black Americans are disproportionately affected by high rates of incarceration. In fact, the imprisonment rate among Black people at the end of 2018 was nearly twice that of the rate among Hispanic people (797 per 100,000) and more than five times the rate among white people (268 per 100,000), according to the Pew Research Center.