Crime: The Double Standard

Crime in the U.S. is multiplying four times faster than the population, warned Lewis F. Powell Jr., president-elect of the American Bar Association. The "underlying cause," he argued in a speech in Cleveland, is "excessive tolerance of marginal and certain unlawful conduct," such as illegal gambling and insurance-claim cheating, which in turn "leads to disrespect for the law and the rights of others." The fault is not wholly the public's, Powell conceded. Equally to blame, he said, is "the tendency of government—at various levels—to apply double standards, and to genuflect to political influence and expediency."

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