Restitution, Not Revenge

Kaiser Leib is an emerging light in libertarian commentary and recently penned this cogent and thoughtful rumination on restitution and vengeance.  I have long thought that the concept of criminal punishment through incarceration and fines was an odd way to remedy wrongs against persons.  I also believe that the monopoly on the administration of” justice” by the state will always lead to widespread corruption and abuse whether through prosecutorial over-reach, institutionalized rape or a host of other maladies that emerge when the state has the primary function.

This, of course, does not even touch on the horrendous notion of the state being able to murder citizens even if innocent through the death penalty.

There is even the notion of remanding the perpetrator to the tender (or not so tender) mercies of the aggrieved family in a privatized criminal justice system.

David Friedman and Stefan Molyneux have done journeyman’s work in building a foundation for the privatization of justice.   From the institution of police to the incarceration system to the War on Altering Your Consciousness; all have worked to warp the very fabric of the civilizational construct of the US into a hybrid Police-Prison state.  We are all just moments away from utter ruin by being escorted into the maws of the government justice system in the US.

A complete top-down appraisal of the entire approach to justice in  America is in order as soon as possible. –BB

On the 3rd of July, 2010, a driver in Colorado probably ran over a cyclist and proceeded to drive away. Lacking clarity of thought (as indicated by his aforementioned actions) he drove to a Pizza Hut, parked, and called Mercedes’ roadside assistance program to report the damage to his vehicle and guarantee it could be repaired.

This is an open-and-shut hit-and-run case, it would seem. Hit-and-run qualifies as a felony. But the man above is Martin Erzinger, and his employer is Morgan Stanley. He is a well-to-do man, a man of importance for whom a felony would be very damaging. By association, a felony charge would damage Morgan Stanley. Thus, the Daily Mail reports, Martin Erzinger is going to live the rest of his life without a felony record.

Internet message boards, and much of the online news media, are in an uproar over this chain of events. The Daily Mail’s article on the hit-and-run spawned a blog post by Reuters’ Felix Salmon, which inspired the sages at the Huffington Post to opine on the matter. Boingboing weighed in, spawning a Reddit comment thread to join one already posted in the politics section. These outlets cry out as one, against what appears to be a terrible miscarriage of justice.

Upon closer examination, though, I see no miscarriage of justice. Erzinger should pay, yes, and handsomely. His victim, a surgeon by the name of Steven Milo, has lived. Erzinger can, should and will pay for the entirety of Milo’s treatment, to say nothing of a princely sum for his pain and suffering, along with a recurring payment to replace any wages Milo may lose if he is unable to do his job. To remove more utility than that from Erzinger’s holdings – especially to fund government operations – would be ultimately counterproductive as it would reduce his ability to repay his victim.

Read the rest here:

Notes in the Margin:  Thomas DiLorenzo penned another brilliant essay about a new book out on Jefferson that returns TJ back to his libertarian roots where he belongs.

Bill Buppert
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