Crime and Its Treatment April 14, 1929

Clarence Darrow, April 14, 1929
“Prohibition! I’m against it. I don’t believe in it. It’s the work of bigots and fanatics whose only concern is to make others live as they live or pretend to live – mostly pretense. It will never be well enforced in this country, that is, to any great extent. It never can be. So long as people have any regard for their own freedom they will not consent to let somebody else tell them what they may eat and drink; anybody who can do that can just as readily tell them they may believe in or what church they shall go to.
“The 18th amendment can be repealed all right. It will take a little time. As soon as the congressmen think that a majority want it done, they’ll do it. They are not interested in having it enforced. They can get a drink if they want it – most of them do. They are interested in votes.
“A crime wave! There is no such thing. There is a wave of making new laws, and the more laws you make the more victims you get. If you count out the people who are in prison on account of violation of the Volstead Act there wouldn’t be any more crime than there always has been, in spite of the fact that the population has increased. Men are no better and no worse than they always have been and they are no more afraid of being caught and punished than they always have been.
“The only way to respect life is as a huge joke!”

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