Victimless crime comes into play where a crime has been committed but there is no harm that has been experienced by the parties involved. These crimes are characterized by mutual consent by the people involved. In most cases, the crimes are perceived to be committed by adults who have a mutual agreement on the crime. Even though the crimes are ruled as illegal, they do not necessarily pose direct threat or injury to the parties involved.
All cases of victimless crime have the same characteristics; there is no complaint raised by any of the participants. The parties involved agree to each other to engage in illegal services. There are no bodily harm involved and hence no victims. The participants engage in the crimes out of free will. A case like euthanasia or assisted suicide happens when the parties involved are in consent. This does not warrant the crime to be legal, but due to the fact that there is no victim or complainant, if falls into the category of victimless crime.
Victimless crime rides on mutual consent from the parties involved; they are subject to ethical audit from the societal view and also the law. The parties involved do not look beyond the crime. In cases like prostitution, the people involved risk the issue of contracting sexually transmitted diseases but are accept to engage in the crime with their free will. It is good to note that some of the victimless crimes, if done without consent from the parties involved results to crimes punishable by law.
A typical example is when prostitution is engaged without the consent of the people involved. This results to sexual slavery or rape. The actions of victimless crimes are seen to degrade the morals of the society. The crimes are perceived as bad morals even when they have not been witnessed by other people. On a different context, inflicting injuries on animals may be considered a social norm not because the animal has its right, but because it does not seem right as per the societal standing. This is the place that ethical perspective comes into play.
Victimless crime is rampant in every community as it ranges in forms from one community to another. It is usually a personal matter and therefore many argue that it should not be subject to ethical lawful focus. Victimless crimes involve; call to prostitution, sodomy and homosexuality, consumption of pornographic material by children or adults, consumption of recreational drugs and instances of non witnessed nudity.
In other instances, the victimless crimes give rise to secondary crimes. In case like buying recreational drugs, no party is exposed to injury or physical harm but the seller might feel guilty if the drug poses health danger due to unknown side effects. Though the side could be hidden or undeclared, on an ethical point of view; the seller would feel as a criminal due to the sale. The crimes can be countless as per the environment at hand. Parking in a restricted area without causing obstruction can also be termed as a victimless crime.
Why has these behaviours been made illegal?
The actions that lead to victimless crimes including the crimes themselves have been made illegal in many countries. Each country has implemented policies and laws to control govern and stop cases of victimless crimes. In cases where an adult engages in pornography with a child or a younger person, there is a possibility that the younger person may consent due to the respect or out of fear.
The law comes in to protect the interests of such minors and considers the crimes illegal even though they do not have any casualties. The government has the sole responsibility as the custodian of the law to safeguard the interests of all its citizens. This therefore means that the participants in the crimes understand they are engaging in illegal services and activities even as they allow themselves into the crimes. It is the responsibility of the government to formulate stiffer penalties to stop citizens from engaging in the crimes.
The government is required to take care of its citizens in all social status. This include; social, psychological and economic. Gambling and drugs intake do not affect the victims but give rise to other social norms like poverty and divorce. Persons who are addicted to the crimes will not be able to perform responsibly in the society. This bring unnecessary strain; financially and psychologically to their family members who will need to help them out of the addiction. The implementation on laws to govern these crimes goes a long way in ensuring that people who would have fallen trap to the crimes stay safe.
Results of decriminalizing or legalizing these crimes
One of the arguments that come through is that, by making victimless crimes legal, the independence of every citizen is guaranteed. Some people argue that many of the inmates serving sentences in prison due to the same could be helping in the growth of the economy as active citizens. It would also help in decongesting our prisons. This will leave the prisons to the inmates who have engaged in crimes that involve victims and injuries.
On the other hand, with the issue of addiction at hand, it is considered very expensive to rehabilitate persons that have been addicted to various crimes including; Homosexuality, drug abuse and gaming. This leaves the country with a great burden due to the financial requirement. This is evident in areas where the government finances rehabilitation centres for those who are not economically stable as required in the bill of rights. In the evaluation, the wrongs that come due to its legalization are many than the good. It is therefore necessary to make these crimes illegal to protect the rights of all citizens.