Crime and punishment around the world is a function of custom, time, place, and chance, rather than reason or the application of any universal moral code. To a large extent as a reaction against the barbarity of the past, punishment for serious crimes has become far too lenient, while prisons are overcrowded with people, like drug dealers, prostitutes, tax evaders, and others who should be released. It’s time to escape the culture of victimization and rethink what constitutes justice based on the principles of allowing consenting adults to make binding agreements, and to hold individuals responsible for their actions.
The basis of the vast majority of real crime is violation of contracts, or the use of force or fraud, and governments should focus on stamping these out, including the use of the death penalty for the most severe crimes. The American penal system is vastly overcrowded, mostly because of the misguided war on drugs, which should be declared a hopeless failure and be abandoned.
America has more crime, and more violent crime, than many places in large part because it is free, a land where extremes are encouraged, and its people lack cultural roots. Change must come from within by establishing culturally accepted moral consensus based on a simpler code that draws a bright and clear line between right and wrong.
Government is the servant of individuals, not vice versa. Under some circumstances, violence, while certainly not to be glorified, may be necessary, but only when directed against legitimate, responsible targets. Any individual has a moral right to enforce justice if justice has not been enforced by the system.