Thispaper is centered on a scenario borrowed from Close,D. & Meier, N. (2003) Moralityin Criminal Justice: An Introduction to Ethics.Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning. (P 568). Owingto an upsurge in criminal and drug activity in plumb streetneighborhood, Chief Gonzales called a meeting of the Plumb StreetNeighborhood Association. After four hours of discussion and debate,Chief Gonzales emerged from the meeting with a comprehensive list ofcrime and drug control propositions to be implemented after two weeksof public notices and hearings. Following two weeks of publichearings, the s Program wasimplemented. In this paper, we will deliberate on the inferences ofthe implementation of the s Program onthe plumb street neighborhood. In elaboration, this paper willdiscuss why citizens should be allowed to set restrictions uponthemselves to limit victimization and why the rights of nonresidentsshould be curtailed in the pursuit of safety. The purpose of thisstudy is to justify Chief Gonzales’ actions of implementing thepropositions to heighten the security in the plumb streetneighborhood. This study is significant in the sense that its itemsof discussion are significant and applicable in any present-dayneighborhood. Security in a neighborhood is of prime importance andthis essay explains why citizens should be allowed to setrestrictions among themselves and visiting non-residents in thepursuit of peace.
Tozero in on the reasons why Chief Gonzales and his team opted to“tighten” the security of plumb street neighborhood, we willfirst of all delve into a brief story of how the United Stateshandles the issues that threaten its security and peace. Inparticular, this history is important because it is through the lensof how the United States responds to security matters that we willsee why Chief Gonzales implemented the NeighborhoodCriminal Evictions Programs in his neighborhood. First of all, wehave to acknowledge the fact that the United States has aconstitution that is regarded with utmost esteem. Embodied within,are civil liberties and bill of rights. The bill of rights, betterstill, the first ten amendments of the constitution of the UnitedStates, is a list of limits on the power of the federal government(Graham,1990). For instance, the first amendment bars Congress from makingregulations that abridge the freedom of worship and speech. The civilliberties, just like the bill of rights, also stipulate the rights ofevery citizen of the United States. Additionally, the 14thamendment addresses many aspects of citizenship and the rights ofcitizens
However,according to DeGregorioand Dickerson (1993),there are instances in history when the United States circumventedall these citizenship rights laws. In 1798, less than ten years afterthe implementation of the bill of rights, the United States founditself in the middle of an European brawl between England and France.A wedge was driven between the Republicans and Federalists, since theFederalists backed the English, while the Republicans favored theFrench. President John Adams, a Federalist,introduced many protective measures against the French because of theRepublicans support for the French (Elias,1986).The Republicans opposed these sanctions, against the French, makingthe Federalists accuse them of treachery. Amidst the wrangle, theFederalists endorsed the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. This actempowered the president to deport any citizens and noncitizens heperceived as hazardous to the safety and peace of the United States.President John Adams enthusiastically enforced the Alien and SeditionAct but only against the supporters of the Republican Party. TheAlien and Sedition Acts were terminated on the last day of Adam’sterm in office. His successor, Thomas Jefferson, a Republican,pardoned all those that had been convicted under the Alien andSedition Act (Collier& Hoeffler, 2004).
Accordingto Collierand Hoeffler (2004),the United States was bombarded with the most serious challengesduring the Civil War. There were sharply divided loyalties and easyopportunities for espionage. In the face of hostile opposition andimpending perils, President Abraham Lincoln had to create a balancebetween the contradicting interests of individual liberty andmilitary action. In the course of the Civil War, President AbrahamLincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus on eight occasions oneof them being, “in case of rebellion, or invasion of the publicsafety.” Lincoln ordered the apprehension of all persons that wereguilty of disloyal practice whether citizens or aliens (Graham,1990).The whole concept of civil liberties got murkier with PresidentWoodrow Wilson. When the United States entered World War I, there wasstrong opposition on the intentions of the United States in the war.Some people argued that it was releasing its armies not to make theworld a safer place but to protect the offshore investments of theAmericans. President Woodrow had little tolerance to such dissention.He sternly warned that disloyalty “must be crushed out ofexistence.” Disloyal individuals, according to President Woodrow,had “sacrificed their rights to civil liberties.” In 1917,Congress enacted the Espionage Act of 1917 (Graham,1990).
InKorematsuv United States (1944),in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court sustained the government’sforceful eviction of more than 140,000 people of Japanese lineagefrom the West Coast 78,000 of them citizens of the United States.When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, sour sentimentsswept across the country (Collier& Hoeffler, 2004).People feared that the Japanese Americans in the West Coast werestill pledging their allegiance to Japan. To respond to theseconcerns, President Roosevelt authorized the War Department toforcefully remove Americans of Japanese lineage form their homes andconfine them in internment camps. However, some of the JapaneseAmericans, like Fred Korematsu, tried to escape the drag net of thelaw. Eventually, Korematsu was caught he challenged his conviction,citing that incarceration was a direct infringement of hisconstitutional rights. From all these illustrations, it becomesapparent that the United States does uphold the civil liberty of itscitizens unless when that liberty results in rebellion, or aninvasion of public safety and security. In the subsequent section, wewill apply these historical concepts on the Chief Gonzales scenario.
Dataanalysis in support of the problem
Asa prerequisite, we will first put into perspective, the meaning ofthe term victimization. A victim is an individual who suffers directphysical, mental, psychological, or financial harm as a consequenceof someone else’s act which is a federal offense (Elias,1986).Therefore, victimization is the process of becoming a victim or beingvictimized. To victimize someone is to turn someone into a victim bytaking advantage of them or harming them. Apparently, victimizationis a two way thing an individual can be victimized, or victimizeanother person. The question that begs is should citizens be allowedto set restrictions upon themselves to limit victimization? Theanswer is yes. From the history of the United States’ reactions toissues threatening its public safety, it is apparent that all theformer presidents discussed in this essay acted in a manner thatshielded the citizens of the Unites States against victimization. TheAlien and Sedition Acts of 1798 empowered President John Adams todeport any citizens and noncitizens he perceived as dangerous to thesafety, peace, and security of the United States. The Alien andSedition Acts of 1798 were enacted after the support of theRepublicans for France was perceived as “dangerous to the safetyand peace of the United States” (Elias,1986).
Inthe midst of the civil war, President Abraham Lincoln ordered theapprehension of the folks that were found guilty of disloyalpractice whether citizen or alien. In the same breadth, PresidentWoodrow sternly warned that disloyalty “must be crushed out ofexistence.” Disloyal individuals, according to President Woodrow,had “forfeited their rights to civil liberties.” In 1917,President Woodrow passed into law, the Espionage Act of 1917.Analyzing the actions of all these presidents, it becomes evidenttheir restrictions were set to limit victimization. This explains whythey were all up in arms against disloyal members who were consideredagents of public insecurity. Through this lens, Chief Gonzales’actions of setting restrictions in his neighborhood to heighten thelevel of security in the plumb street neighborhood are justified.Chief Gonzales is helping the members of plumb street neighborhoodset restrictions on themselves to limit victimization by changing thedynamics of the neighborhood just like Presidents Adams, Lincoln andWoodrow.
ChiefGonzales is limiting victimization of his area residents by ensuringthat everyone is carrying identification cards at all timesregardless of the age. That way, it will be easier to single out thedisloyal members of the society that are bent on presenting drug andcrime evils in the plumb street neighborhood. Just like the wayPresident Woodrow and President Adams enacted laws against disloyalmembers that posed a security threat to the plump streetneighborhood, Chief Gonzales has designed the NeighborhoodCriminal Evictions Program. Chief Gonzales is helping his arearesidents limit victimization by availing the platform through whichmembers of the plumb street neighborhood can request the police tocheck on suspicious individuals.
Aboveand beyond these measures, Chief Gonzales is limiting thevictimization of plumb street neighborhood residents by limiting theingress of non-guests and non-residents. Another question that begsan answer is should the rights of non-residents be curtailed in thepursuit of safety? Yet again, the answer is yes. With close referenceto Korematsuv United States (1944), theSupreme Court ordered the eviction of more than 70,000 Americans ofJapanese origin from West on the grounds that they posed a danger tothe security and safety of the United States (Serranoand Minami, 2003).Therefore, Gonzales’s actions of limiting victimization byregulating the ingress of non-guests or non-residents are justified.The eviction of the Americans of Japanese origin from the West Coastindeed proved to be instrumental in making the United States safer.The expulsion of the Americans of Japanese origin from the West Coastwas efficacious which means that it will be the same for plumbstreet neighborhood.
Thepursuit of safety and security forms the central part of manygovernments. Chief Gonzales, just like any other leader, is concernedwith the rising cases of drug and crime in his jurisdiction. Hispropositions are warranted because he allowing his subjects to setrestrictions upon themselves to limit victimization. In addition tothis, Chief Gonzales is curtailing the rights of non-residents byestablishing checkpoints from time to time to limit the number ofnon-residents or non-guests. Through the lens of our formerpresidents and Chief Gonzales, it is benign to propose that thecitizens of the United States should be allowed to set restrictionsupon themselves to limit victimization and the rights of non-guestsor non-residents should be curtailed in the pursuit of safety. Oncethese changes are realized, the world will certainly be a betterplace because our security and safety will be literally in our hands.
Close,D. & Meier, N. (2003) Moralityin Criminal Justice: An Introduction to Ethics. Belmont,CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning. (P.568)
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DeGregorio,W. A., & Dickerson, C. J. (1993). Thecomplete book of US presidents.New York: Barricade Books.
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Serrano,S. K., & Minami, D. (2003). Korematsu v. United States: AConstant Caution in a Time of Crisis. AsianLJ,10,37.