Crime is a measure of the efficacy of the legislature. Crime reduction starts with a realistic, pragmatic approach, not with fundamentalist orthodoxy of law interpretation and law enforcement.
The moralist, especially those who advocate divine, absolute truths, adhere to immutable rules of law. And, if men are unable to execute justice, God will. “God became a man,” they claim, “was crucified and resurrected and we are still waiting for Him to come back.” Supposedly, the Book of Revelation is very clear; he is coming back soon. Admittedly, it has been a while, but on the Day-of-Judgment, all beings will be judged in front of God’s throne. No one will escape justice from the immutable law and rule-of-law.
Some nihilists deny the validity and the continued application of rules, regulations, and laws, and therefore, they argue, illegal, moral behavior does not exist. Yes, one can experience consequences caused by incidental indiscretions considering administrative rules, of course, but it carries no lasting moral condemnation if any.
Pragmatists maneuver somewhere between those two extremes. “Whatever is beneficial to us, is, therefore, the applicable truth.” Let us call it, “situational ethics.”
Crime, the size of the underworld and its shadow economy, are a very sensitive measuring stick for the adequacy of the legislature and rule-of-law. Are lawmakers able to adapt to the changing society? Is there enough flexibility amongst lawmakers to divert from the rigid, moral truth, chiseled in stone, to a realistic, matter-of-fact society? Are judges sufficiently able to take into account circumstances and changing societies?
Last year, the USA legalized same-sex relationships and marriages, only thirty years ago, still considered serious offenses and punishable by lengthy sentences. The USA adapted to reality, whereas many Christian-African and Muslim-Middle-East countries clung to immutable divinely dictated “ truth,” often condemning offenders to death as a consequence.
Many States in the USA also legalized marijuana use, culture, and trade, whereas only shortly before, tens of thousands were convicted to lengthy jail sentences.
Reducing crime in any society does not start with strict law enforcement. Strict law enforcement landed tens of thousands of homosexuals in Cuba in concentration camps and prisons for life. Daily, ISIS displays law enforcement as barbaric terrorism against its people.
Reducing crime starts with a realistic legislature, which can adapt laws and regulations to new social developments. The longer lawmakers drag their feet, the more victims they create, who have no other place to hide but in the underworld and the shadow economy.