When is a Crime Not a Crime?

If you buy something advertised to do specific things and then find out that it is completely different to your expectations that would not necessarily be a crime. But if the advertisement targets a specific need, such as a cure for something, but it did not cure it that would that be a crime. It is misrepresentation and many suffer the consequences of such frauds every day.

Thieving is an easily recognizable crime. But what if something was stolen a long time ago? Is it still a crime? Yes, and the perpetrators face penalties if caught. The same applies to murder, rape, or any other crime against society. Those associated with crime or who assist criminals in any way may be equally as guilty unless they know nothing of it.

Protecting criminals is aiding and abetting. Earning money from crime, whether it was committed by them or not, and covering up the deed while denying knowledge of it is likewise a crime.

There are few if any exceptions to these laws.

War crimes, however, could once go unpunished because of circumstances. Some heads of State could be exempt under certain conditions. For example if crimes against individuals or countries during war are not attributable to the sitting Head of State and if he or she is not aware of the crime there is a case for exemption.

This has been brought to the fore during the Iraq war whereby torture and such performed by military personnel saw soldiers jailed or punished but the President of the United State and his Secretary for Defense are innocent or outside of the legal process.

Crime has an extensive reach, however, and even history cannot erase such acts from their consequences. Whilst the criminals may die their established businesses may be run by their heirs. Under those circumstances no crime has an expiry date when it continues to affect people. So a crime, once identified as such, is always a crime…

The UK government lists property crime, violent crimes and anti-social behavior under business crime on its site www.crimereduction.homeoffice.gov.uk/business/businesscrimeminisite01.htm. It states that property crime involves commercial robbers, fraud and forgery, and theft by employees, among other things. Violent crime includes assault and harassment. Anti-social behavior, according to this authority, includes harassment, alarm or distress to customers or staff, low level harassment or intimidation, including racial intimidation.

Aside from business crime there is social crime and that has a wider reach even than that of business crime.

South Africa.info carries a report on this type of behavior under the heading Social Development, sub headed Tackling the social causes of crime. They note that social crimes are difficult to investigate because “the relationships between the victims and the perpetrators, where levels of intimidation and family pressure are very high,” Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula told journalists in Pretoria recently.

Unfortunately this is the case in many criminal investigations where a ‘them versus us’ hinders the law that seeks to protect the community. Human nature, fear and intimidation by criminals ensure they receive this kind of support.

With a crime in place for centuries it is even harder as many feel it is not affecting them one way or another. Others are ignorant and may never discover the truth. As a writer, however. my obligation is to expose that which affects us whatever the cost. The greater the crime the more urgent it is to bring it to the fore.

My research uncovered just such a crime that embraces all of the above. It involves what is probably the biggest business on earth and sees billions of dollars pass into its coffers every year. It has a Head of State and, along with its partners in crime, its robbery, fraud, forgery and theft activities are enormous but are covered up by its servants who are also heads of governments and power brokers. Its tentacles are long and its business travels rapidly reaping even more rewards.

Its members knowingly or otherwise engage in many of the crimes listed above either through innocence of the truth or through intimidation and harassment by the leaders. Its power is such that even writing about it could bring repercussions that stirs the emotion so many to commit murder against the author. This is already happening in some circumstances that are well known to the reader.

My research went to the beginning of civilization and beyond to uncover the facts and to piece together a picture of the worst crime imaginable. It unearthed a fraud and forgery that will shock to the core. The details are published on my site where the pdf version may be downloaded nojesuschrist.com

By N. Holt

Consensual Crimes – Not Actual Crimes

While numerous violent criminals and white-collar criminals roam free, and innocent people rot in prison and on death row for crimes they didn’t commit, law-enforcement resources are used to destroy the lives of consenting adults who do not harm anyone. One article I ready suggested that approximately four million people are arrested each year and 350,000 are in prison for consensual crimes.

I am considering a “consensual crime” to be defined as a criminal act committed by two or more people, who consent to involvement, and does not involve any non-consenting individuals. The following is a non-exclusive list of criminal acts that could be considered consensual between the parties: prostitution, adultery, homosexual conduct, sodomy, gambling, some drug use (marijuana), and assisted suicide.

Another name for these sort of “crimes” may be victimless crimes, because they do not harm anyone as they have no impact on a person other than those who chose to engage in the activity. Thus, there is no victim.

When people are arrested for those crimes, their ability to remain employed is jeopardized. A conviction and prison sentence virtually guarantees the loss of their livelihoods. Upon release from prison, the criminal record may impede their ability to find new jobs.

Even if they are not convicted of a crime, the arrest record alone can significantly harm their lives. It too can lead to loss of jobs and difficulty finding new ones, and it may interfere with other aspects of their lives, such as the ability to obtain credit, purchase a car, rent an apartment, maintain custody of children or to vote.

Thus, the financial impact of either a conviction or arrest may mean these people need long-term assistance from government or charities. Or they may resort to serious crime based on what they learned from real criminals while incarcerated. This is all a huge drain on the economy and is in addition to the costs of arresting, prosecuting, and imprisoning them.

To avoid conviction and prison, the accused may have to spend thousands of dollars on legal fees. For certain crimes, the amounts can run to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. When faced with the possibility of causing financial ruin to themselves and their families, some contemplate suicide and may see it as the only way out. If this is the action the accused takes, that impacts society from the loss of productivity, and more importantly, it impacts the family and friends of the accused.

Government causes all this turmoil in the lives of consenting adults to “protect” them from possible consequences that might occur to them – and them alone – from their own freely chosen acts.

Because these arrests devastate the lives of harmless people, a strong argument can be made that Christian mercy, along with the mercy taught by other religions and philosophies, is reason enough for leaving consenting adults alone, but the irony rarely seen is that often it is in the name of Christian principles that these laws exist or are pursued….

Law-enforcement resources are wasted investigating consensual acts

Government’s focus on consensual acts leads to more unethical conduct in another way. To the extent law-enforcement resources are used against consenting adults, there is a corresponding reduction in the resources available for apprehending criminals that pose a true threat to society-those criminals who would cause harm to others and only seek to benefit themselves.

An enormous need exists to increase efforts to arrest those who harm the innocent. They victimize someone every two seconds in the United States, and five out of six Americans may someday be victims of violent crime. According to author Peter McWilliams, arrests are being made for only about 20% of crimes committed against persons or property. He also says one in six murderers gets away, eight of ten burglars aren’t arrested, and only 5% of forcible rapes lead to prison time.

McWilliams further reports that $10 billion in personal property is stolen each year and never recovered. Billions more are illicitly obtained through white-collar crime. Even if the person is not harmed, if the victim files an insurance claim or takes action to recover damages, this alone ties up resources and takes resources from the economy, causing an impact that was definitely undesired.

Using law-enforcement resources against consensual acts also makes the U.S. more vulnerable to terrorism. According to The 9/11 Commission Report, in 2000 there were twice as many FBI agents assigned to enforcing drug laws than assigned to counterterrorism. The FBI’s head of counterterrorism told the Commission he wishes he’d had “500 analysts looking at Osama Bin Ladin . . . instead of two.” And former Vice President Al Gore charged that prior to the September 11 attacks, the Bush administration’s Justice Department had more FBI agents investigating a suspected brothel in New Orleans than monitoring Bin Ladin and al Qaeda.

There obviously is a strong need for law enforcement to improve its responses to real crimes committed against persons or property. Yet each year in the U.S., law enforcement applies some $50 billion to arrest, prosecute, and lock up persons who commit consensual crimes. Some estimates are that roughly half of all law-enforcement resources are used in connection with consensual crimes.

Those resources could go a long way toward remedying the current deficiencies in law enforcement’s handling of more serious crimes. Due to this misallocation of resources, many violent and sociopathic criminals are able to escape justice and continue preying on the public. The same principle applies to white-collar criminals who may never be detected… lest we forget the Enron and WorldCom scandals.

Safe Gun Storage Federal and State Laws

Safe gun storage laws are in effect in most all States to prevent accidents in homes especially where children are involved. The ATF (Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) has a mandate in place for gun selling facilities which states that firearms are to be secured in safes or have trigger locks installed to prevent firing. The selling establishment has to sign a certification form that they comply by this law. This law is required by all states.

Just to mention a few of the state’s safe gun laws, in Texas, as well as other states, a firearm sales facility has to place a sign somewhere visible to all customers buying rifles, shotguns and pistols in their store that says ” It is unlawful to store, transport, abandon an unsecured firearm in a place where children are likely to be and can obtain access to the firearm” (information taken from The Firearm Laws of Texas) or a similar statement.

In New York State, all retailers that sell firearms to customers, whether they are new or used, must provide some type of locking device with their purchase such as trigger locks, cable locks, etc. These locks do not need to be installed when sold and each device must meet certain requirements that prevent firearms from being fired. This law does not apply to sales between dealers. New York does not require buyers to secure their firearms with these devices but it is highly recommended they do. Firearm owners should check with their local authorities to determine if there are any local ordinances require otherwise. There are codes within the state that states it is a criminal violation punishable by up to 10 days imprisonment and/or a fine up to $250 for any owner to store or leave a firearm in such a manner that is out of their immediate possession or control, without making the weapon inoperable by installing a safety locking device.

While these required types of locks do protect firearms from being fired, they do not prevent them from being stolen once the buyer places them in their home. Gun cases and wood gun racks do not deter gun theft and do not qualify as safe storage. They should be secured in locking devices such as locking gun racks, firearm safes, etc. to add extra security.

Several states have passed laws that make firearm owners criminally liable if someone is injured because a child gains unsupervised access to a gun and can issue fines or jail time where children are involved depending on the circumstances.

Florida, as well as other states, has several laws and regulations regarding safe gun storage in homes as well as in vehicles. The state of Florida’s major concern is the safety for children. Anyone in violation of improper storage of firearms where children can have easy access could be subject to up to 60 days in jail and a $1000 in related fines.

The state of California, like in most all other states, requires all firearms be stored in a safe and secured manner. They also require all retail sales of firearms include a Department of Justice locking safety device or proof that the purchaser owns a firearm safe that meets regulatory standards established by the department. The types of approved devices can be found on the Department of Justice’s website…

Since State laws are constantly changing, this article is for general information and not for official use. You can check with your state and local authorities for current updates pertaining to safe gun storage laws.

Common Qualities of the Best Law Firms

In my 12 years of practice, I have been employed with a wide variety of law firms. When I decided to open my own practice, I started thinking about the qualities that make up the best law firms. In determining the best law firms do you include things such as employee benefits, firm culture and employee turnover rates? Or do you focus on the qualities that affect a law firm’s most precious commodity – the client? My take on this is that the best law firms employ quality attorneys and staff with the highest of ethical standards and the desire to fight within their ethical bounds for their clients.

One key factor in having a successful law practice is an effective leader. A good leader will have a vision for the firm’s direction, a commitment to serving its clients, and a desire to find like-minded people that believe not only in the clients, but the brand of the firm. I have found in my practice that effective leaders can quickly change with success and growth. They often lose touch with the very people that helped them grow into a successful powerhouse. It is easy to go from a scenario of weekly partner/associate lunches to rarely, if ever, seeing a partner in the office. Effective leaders at the best law firm have a good understanding of the legal work coming out of the office, the overall satisfaction of its clients, and an awareness of the employees’ overall job satisfaction. With success and growth, it is easy to lose touch with these important factors, but good leaders will remain cognizant of these factors, even with exponential growth of the firm.

The best law firms also have compassion for their clients. When attorneys at these firms meet with clients, it’s never about sharing the attorney’s successes. Rather, it’s listening to your clients concerns, determining their overall goal through representation by the firm, and showing empathy towards their situation. Many attorneys look at their clients and see dollar signs. They look at the opportunity to bill or the total fee they will earn on a contingency for a huge settlement. These attorneys fail to recall one of the most basic ethical consideration of attorneys, acting in the best interest of the client. Because at the end of the day, all the billable hours in the world won’t make a practice successful If you don’t satisfy and take good care of your clients. Firms with this mindset often have high turnover rates because they make billing THE priority. They burn their attorneys out and bring in brand new attorneys and start the process fresh with them. This can easily lead to dissatisfaction by clients. They may not know from one month to the next which attorney is representing them.

Another key quality of the best law firms is a narrow focus on a particular area of law. The days of general practitioners is (or should be) gone. Laws are complex and can change in an instant depending on legislation or new case law handed down by appellate courts. The best law firms have focus on one area of law and become very good at it. They are aware of recent changes as well as developing changes in their area of practice. With such a narrow focus, they can change strategy in an instant and become the authority to their clients by showing their knowledge in a particular area of law. Beware of the lawyer who claims to practice in all areas of civil litigation. While it is possible, consider that opposing counsel may have a more narrow focus. They may have that golden nugget of information that can make the case a winner for them and a loser for your client.

There are a number of other factors to consider when trying to determine the best. That may be the discussion for a future article. But those discussed here are, in this author’s opinion, the most important factors to consider when trying to figure out what makes a firm one of the best.