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

By W. Durant C. | Go to book overview

LET THE BUYER BEWARE!
Judge James L. Cooper District Court, Canon City, Colorado
1. Adopt a law, or laws, making the purchaser equally guilty with the seller.
2. Abolish the rule of evidence--in the case of violation of liquor laws--which relieves the accused from incriminating himself.

The obstacles to enforcement are opposition on the part of so many people, and difficulty in getting evidence to justify conviction. The plan suggested would overcome in a large measure both of these difficulties. Many citizens who now purchase liquor would not do so if their act were unlawful.

The bootlegger cannot exist without customers. If his customers were equally guilty with him, and each compelled to disclose the transaction, many citizens who now purchase would cease to do so rather than become a violator of law, and others would hesitate to take the chance, knowing that they might be brought into court and held accountable for their own acts and compelled to disclose their bootlegger. It would be much easier to convict and the plan would make it possible to reach the "higher ups."

It would stigmatize the purchase and consumption of intoxicating liquor and hasten the day when consumers of intoxicating liquor would lose caste in society.

The laws suggested would not be obnoxious to the Constitution, nor contrary to sound public policy.

-158-

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