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Fighting Gangs with Injustice

Fighting Gangs with Injustice

Libertarianz Deputy Leader Stephen Berry notes with derision plans coming from National and United Future for dealing with the proceeds of 'crime.' "Both these parties plan to make convicted persons demonstrate they have acquired their assets through legal means, as opposed to the state proving their assets were obtained illegally."

"Such a reversal in the onus of proof is a violation of one of the basis tenets of our justice system - the idea that you are innocent until proven guilty," Berry says. "Both National MP Tony Ryall and United Future MP Marc Alexander have committed themselves to implementing this legislation. United Future even goes a step further, placing this requirement on any member of a gang suspected of activities outside the law. New Zealanders who value a true justice system must be wary of ever supporting either of these politicians."

It is prohibition that fuels the gangs, maintains Berry in any case, and prohibition that must be ended he says. "When you outlaw recreational drugs, it is little wonder that outlaws take up the job of supply." The reference made by Marc Alexander to Al Capone was especially unfortunate in this regard, says Berry. "People familiar with Capone's career will know it was built on prohibition - he was a product of the very regime Ryall and Alexander call for!"

Libertarianz supports the elimination of organised crime as an important priority for any justice system, but they realise that the outlawing of drugs leads inexorably to the involvement of organised crime in the trade. Berry clarifies: "A crime is only a crime when it involves a violation of an individual's means to act in a voluntary manner. That is why we will crack down on organised theft and kidnapping operations. Drug use and trade by consenting adults is generally done through completely voluntary means - such actions should not therefore even be classed as crimes, and to do so only manufactures criminals. Further, to reverse the legal burden of proof as Ryall and Alexander intend would be more criminal that any actions taken by any outlaws. They should think again."

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