Pubdate: Tue, 12 Mar 2002
Source: Times Daily (AL)
Address: 219 W. Tennessee St., Florence, AL 35630
Contact:  2002 Times Daily
Author: Chris Buors


To the Editor:

What letter writer Frank Powell doesn't seem to understand is the 
difference between vice and crime. Well-respected American jurist Lysander 
Sponner made that clear in his classic 1875 essay "Vices are not crimes"

Crime implies harm to another person or their property, and vices are harms 
we do to ourselves, says Spooner. Bank robbery, mugging and kidnapping all 
have victims.

Traffic laws against speeders do not send people to prison and do not carry 
the stigma of being a criminal unless every American is a defacto criminal. 
By Spooner's definition, drug taking is clearly a vice.

Does Powell still think Rosa Parks was a criminal for refusing to sit at 
the back of the bus?

He must also have forgotten that everything done by the Christian 
Crusaders, The Spanish Inquisition and Adolph Hitler's Nazi regime were all 
legal. He forgot the most important question to ask: Were/are the laws just?

Clearly prohibition is driven by moral righteousness, the same ugly force 
that drove alcohol prohibition as well as the Crusades, the Inquisition and 
Nazism. That's one hell of a track record for law lovers like Powell to 

Chris Buors

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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