Friday, March 13, 2015

1458 Let's Hear it for Utah

It’s so rare that a state legislature does sensible things that it’s worth noting when it happens.  In Utah, it’s happened twice in a short time.

First, they reinstated the firing squad in death penalty cases. Second, they’re preparing a registry of white collar felons similar to those that every state has for sex offenders.

First things first -- the firing squad.  Before you start railing about the death penalty, get real.  We have it. And as long as we have it -- whether right or wrong -- the right minded among us are likely to want the most expeditious and effective means.

And that’s a bullet.  The gas chamber is slow. The electric chair is slow and painful. We really have no idea about the effects of lethal injections even though we say we do.  No one who’s gone through one is talking.

Plus the Europeans who are trying to control our domestic operations policy like congress is trying to control the President’s foreign policy are in no hurry to supply the US with the necessary drugs.

Hanging?  Guillotine? The rack? Stabbing? Antifreeze?

All of these are cruel and because we don’t use them, they would be unusual if we did.  

Plus what’s more American than ending an argument with a bullet?  It may be cruel. But it’s certainly not unusual.

So, fellas, fire when ready!

Now for the really juicy one, the white collar crime registry.

Lawmakers have gathered the latest batch of those who’ve done their time and put their pictures and vital stats on posters.  Before you know it, one of those “Find Anyone” internet services will put the data base on line.

Maybe other states will follow through.  The folks in Salt Lake City say their state is a hotbed of fraudsters and tricksters and that white collar crime is epidemic.

So is this preventive medicine or locking the barn when the horse is stolen?

It’s the former. Why, if people have paid their debt to society?  Two reasons: first, like sex offenders, they’re likely to be repeaters. Second, it makes people aware of the issue as well as the men (it’s usually men who do this.)

When someone comes to you with a too-good-to-be-true scheme, remembering the registry will help you pause and think before you turn over your life savings.

It’s not likely to excite people in the way “the sex offender next door” might.  But excitement is the enemy of reason and those posters will make you think.

While the names and faces won’t mean much to most of us, the idea should.  Utah may be the home base for many a scam, but it’s not the home base for ALL of them.

“The ponzi schemer next door!”  It has a nice ring to it.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gail.com
© WJR 2015

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