An interesting bill is moving through the North Carolina General Assembly that is intended to help prevent riots.
How would this happen?
“H.B. 40 would make rioting a felony if it resulted in over $2,500 worth of property damage, involved dangerous weapons or substances, or resulted in someone’s death. It would also make assaulting a police officer or emergency personnel a felony.”
Surprisingly, the bill is attracting a small amount of democratic socialist support.
But will it work, even if passed?
Consider the following. In order to convict criminals of charges such as these, you need police who will arrest them; prosecutors who will pursue charges; judges who will oversee trials impartially; and juries that will convict the guilty.
One of the big lessons of 2020 is that we do not hardly have these conditions present, for various reasons. The police allow the rioters to destroy property; the district attorneys won’t prosecute aggressively; judges won’t do justice; and juries won’t convict.
There is an exception, of course. These conditions will be lavishly present, to the “nth degree”, if conservatives are believed to be doing the rioting. Then we don’t need a bill like this, because existing law is used.
While this effort is well intentioned, it does not solve the real problems.