21 December 2009

Lethal Enterprise

A few weeks back, Panorama did a show on the concept of joint enterprise, which is a form of criminal conspiracy. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has been using this concept to combat gang violence finding joint enterprise in rather tenuous circumstances. Unfortunately, I can't upload this: so this will have to do. Some of the clips on the Panorama website play outside the UK and give you an idea of how this concept works.

The reason I mention this concept is in regard to this comment from MikeB's blog
You, or anyone else for that matter, have yet to prove that these are necessary measures. And yes, I refuse to be inconvenienced because some criminal thousands of miles away decides to break laws. Instead, go inconvenience the criminals by leaving them in jail.

This statement shows willful ignorance about a situation and a refusal to get involved in something which DOES affect this person. Unfortunately, the costs of society are so far removed from this person that he refuses to give a shit. Only if the effect is direct and present will this person accept that it does affect him!

I was trying to make a point that we all pay for the cost of gun violence in that post. Society pays to house the criminal, it pays to treat the victim, it pays for the psychological effect (although the economic cost may show up in other aspects such as lost productivity) to name a few ways this costs society. The post may have been too clinical to make my point to someone this woefully ignorant.

On the other hand, the concept of joint enterprise could do the trick. The major problem would be getting around the evidentiary issues: although those could possibly be lowered in regards to gun trafficking than just a case of willing ignorance. Although, I don't see US prosecutors as being willing to hit gun owners as part of a joint enterprise.

Too bad