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

By W. Durant C. | Go to book overview

IMPRISON LAX ENFORCERS

R. H. Pastorius Sergeant of Police, Park Commission Valley Forge, Pennsylvania

AFTER spending the last eight years as an officer of the law, and devoting a lot of time and study to the 18th Amendment, I beg to submit the following plan:

Now the 18th Amendment is a very good law but has too many loopholes in it and there is too much guess work about it to make its enforcement effective in its present form.

My first suggestion is that we have Congress define just what percentage of alcohol constitutes an intoxicating drink, instead of the present one-half of one per cent.

Secondly, I would suggest that Congress enact a law making it a felony for any one to violate any of the provisions of the 18th Amendment or the Volstead Act.

And after a person had been found guilty of a violation of either make it punishable by a prison sentence of such duration that the effort would not be worth the risk. The only way to get people to obey a law is to make that law severe enough to command respect for it.


Mandatory Prison Penalties

Instead of a fine or sentence as it is at present I would suggest that the penalty for a violation be made a straight prison sentence of from one to three years for a first offense, three to five years for a second offense and five to ten years for a third offense.

By doing this you would leave the crooked or wet judge no other alternative but a prison sentence, thereby eliminating the possibility of him being bought off or having political pressure brought to bear on him.

-390-

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