Saturday, December 20, 2008

Should We Allow The Dropping Of Criminal Charges With A Civil Settlement?

Los Angeles, CA—In the worst case scenario pop legend Michael Jackson paid off a child he molested for $21 million dollars. That caused outraged prosecutors to demand and get a law change preventing that type of settlement making it a crime like in most other jurisdictions.

Were prosecutors outraged because they felt that settlement did not serve justice or was it that thousands of prosecutions would end and endanger their job security?

The upside is a molested child has his future secure and won’t suffer from need of treatment for his ordeal. I have seen many victims driven to collect government welfare after crimes. That need not happen.

There are many thousands of criminal cases that could be settled through offenders paying victims for their injuries and other damages. For most this is the only chance they will ever have of being compensated for their victimization. If the victim agrees why should anyone care?

The benefit is that taxpayers need not pay for criminal trials, incarceration and medical care for offenders that have paid debts to the people they’ve hurt. As long as the offenders pay, what’s the problem? Of course the victim’s must agree and when they are silenced by murder this kind of settlement could never apply.

In tough economic times can we really afford unnecessary spending? Would this not not speed up the recovery of victims traumatised by crime?


Anonymous said...

In Illinois, an attorney can be disbarred for threatening a criminal prosecution to collect a civil debt.

Of course, the Code of Professional Responsibility does not apply to prosecutors because they are born with white hats on (even though most of them are products of a rectal pregnancy).

Paul Huebl Crimefile News said...

soocle01The proper time and place for this kind of deal making is after there is a legal finding of probable cause by a court, Grand Jury of a crime. This in no way should legalize extortion.

Ed Skinner said...

Would you have it be, "Don't do the crime if you don't have the dime?"

I think not.
Crimes are against society, not just the immediate victim.

Yes, compensate the victim through civil actions, but lock the perp up if he/she demonstrates they won't follow the rules of society.

Who owns the streets, the law abiding citizens or the rich crooks?

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Anonymous said...

I definitely say no. The more watered down the penalties are, the more chances people are willing to take.

Anonymous said...

Are our criminal laws not on the books to protect society from criminals? If a child molester gets charges dropped by simply paying off the victim, will society be safer for it? I think not. The offender will still be among us to continue to victimize others. I think it should be a standard procedure to file civil suits against the offender after a criminal trial. We are not safe unless those who victimize us are locked up.