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

By W. Durant C. | Go to book overview

USE LOCAL INFORMERS

A. E. Sumner Justice of the Peace, Fennimore, Wisconsin

AT this time, in the State of Wisconsin, enforcement of prohibition is none of the local officer's business. He gets nothing for that kind of work as the government has a force of a few hundred men to cover an entire state and these men get the pay, so the local city marshal or constable thinks, "let those men do the work."

There is only one sheriff in each county, he cannot be everywhere. Anyhow, the sheriffs are accused, in whispers, of being in with the bootleggers.

Here is the idea. Pay a reward of $25 for information leading to the conviction of a bootlegger.

Let the informer go before the local marshal and justice of the peace and another witness or two, swear to the truth of his complaint, and then let the marshal demand a search warrant from the justice.

On due trial, if defendant is found guilty, permit the city, village or township to fine or imprison without waiting for federal or state action and if the bootlegger prefers to pay a fine let the money be divided between the city or village or township after the officers have been paid, and perhaps the government, or else turned over to the school funds.

This is simply permitting each community to enforce on its own account without having to wait for federal officers.

We have men who will chase a wolf for a week in the hopes of getting a small reward from the state and those same men would give up a bootlegger for $25, believe me.

-470-

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