Monday, April 06, 2009

Delaware safe surrender misses the point - too many laws, not too many criminals

At the end of this month in Wilmington there will be a "safe surrender" site at the New Destiny Fellowship church. Apparently more than 120,000 people have outstanding warrants for crimes as serious as felonies through minor infractions (misdemeanors) like failing to pay a traffic ticket, missing a court date or skipping out on a child-support payment. Police are hoping that a church as the "safe surrender" site will make people more likely to come in and clear up the situation. It is not amnesty but it allows the state to clear the backlog. They claim that if the crime is a non-violent one most people will go home that day with a clean slate. Judges from the various state courts systems and other court officials or law enforcement will be at the church to work through the cases.

It seems to me that 120,000 people in Delaware with warrants is a lot. In 2007 the Census estimated the population of Delaware was 864,764. Thus almost one in seven people in Delaware are wanted criminals for some reason. If that many people have warrants for their arrest then there are too many laws, not too many criminals.

From the Tao Te Ching:
When the Tao Way is lost,
The multitude of laws and rules will appear.

A country follows justice by a just code of laws.
A war is won by advanced knowledge of tactics.
A strong will makes a wish fulfilled.

Too many laws attract crimes,
Too much preparation for the war, brings war,
The multitude of wishes brings conflicts amongst people.

That is why the Wise One says:
"Don't have too many laws
And the people will govern themselves.
Think of peace and the people won't suffer.
Live a simple life and people will live in harmony."

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