Saturday, December 19, 2009

Crime and the Silly Solution

No matter what is going on in California, there will always be a State Assemblyman proposing lousy legislation. Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, is the latest in a long line of state law makers who will not rest until the law has been rendered utterly insensible. His proposal: make it a crime not to report a crime: Lawmaker: Make Violent-Attack Reports Mandatory

A state assemblyman is sponsoring legislation that would make it a crime to not report violent attacks, a proposal made in response to the gang rape of a Richmond High School student in October - and reports that 20 witnesses failed to report the assault.

Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, said the measure will close a loophole in state law, which currently requires people to report a violent crime only if it is being committed against a child younger than 14. Nava's proposal - which could be considered by an Assembly committee as early as January - would require the reporting of any rape, murder or violent crime against anyone, regardless of age.

Penalties in the proposal would mirror the existing law: up to six months in jail and a $1,500 fine

First of all, if we're going to pass a law, how about a law against legislation proposed immediately after the People's Tribune watched the local news? This proposal is no different than any of the other passing fancies that strike lawmakers. But, while the rest of us can forget the fads and fancies to which we succumb, we are stuck with bad laws passed under similar circumstances.

Worse and more important, you can't have a law where it's illegal not to do something. I mean, where's the criminal intent if someone doesn't call 911? The immediate object of this legislation are some frustratingly tight lipped witnesses to a gang rape. I guess CA has managed to not pass an obstruction of justice statute because that would be a lot more useful than this.

"Sheriff" Pedro is a former prosecutor and is running for state attorney general, and seems willing to make a mockery of the law in his quest for higher office. But, around here, that's within the pale, not beyond it.

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