Law Observance: Shall the People of the United States Uphold the Constitution?

By W. Durant C. | Go to book overview

LESS LOCAL POLITICAL INFLUENCE
Edward BarnesFormerly Assistant Solicitor to the Collector of Customs at the Port of New YorkPROHIBITION even now, as Mr. Edison states, is 70% enforced. The corner saloons have almost been eliminated; the hotel bars where many thousands of gallons of liquor were drunk daily have been closed. The manufacture of liquor, ale and beer has practically ceased. The supply now available for the 30% of our people who are drinking comes from the stills, the diversion of industrial alcohol and smuggling from foreign countries.In the states where there are large cities, non-observance is widespread. Speakeasies abound owing to the inadequate force of federal agents and in some instances to the faithlessness of some of such agents, also the lack of vigilance, the indifference or the connivance on the part of the police or other local officers.With the enormous profits derived from the illicit manufacture and sale of liquor, it is not surprising that bribery of the enforcement officials is ofttimes accomplished.Other causes for lack of observance and enforcement are:
1. The local judiciary in most large cities in states where there are state enforcement acts are men who have been appointed or elected judges through the influence of political bosses, many or nearly all of whom have been reared under or subject to saloon influence. The same applies to the prosecuting officials and accordingly, when violators are brought to trial, leniency is exercised or else there is a gross miscarriage of justice.
2. Executive and administrative federal officers perhaps are largely influenced by the fear that too rigid enforcement might result in demotion or removal and that the political fortunes of the party in power may be jeopardized--par

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