History

What Inmates, the Amish, and Imperial Chinese Law Teach Us About Relying on the State

David Friedman’s Legal Systems Very Different from Ours explores the costs and benefits of various legal systems across time.

|

Legal Systems Very Different from Ours is the latest book by the libertarian economist David Friedman, with a single chapter each contributed by Peter Leeson (on the law of pirates) and David Skarbek (on the law of prison inmates). It describes 13 different legal or quasi-legal systems from a variety of places and times. No modern nation-state is found among these systems, and some readers may decline to count some of the systems as genuine legal systems at all.

This would be particularly true of the "embedded" legal systems—those adopted by a sub-group within a larger society that has its own, government-made law. Pirates, prisoners, gypsies, and the Amish are all subject to traditional governmental law, whether or not they respect it, yet each group also has or had its own code of conduct and methods for enforcing it, which sometimes conflict with the state-made law of the wider society.

All of the systems in the book are nevertheless recognizably law-like. That is, all are systems of socially enforced rules of conduct designed to mitigate and manage human conflict. The book's other examples include imperial Chinese law, Jewish law, Islamic law, saga-period Icelandic law, Somali law, early Irish law, the law of the Plains Indians (Comanche, Kiowa, and Cheyenne), 18th century English law, and ancient Athenian law.

Readers familiar with Friedman's political views may be expecting a defense of an anarcho-capitalist legal system, yet, for better or worse, he holds back on that score

In general, Friedman handles normative questions with a very light hand. At the outset, he lets readers know that all the systems to be considered deserve to be taken seriously, as all are the work of adults no less intelligent than those who designed the modern American legal system. I confess that at certain points, I found it difficult to take some of these "very different" systems seriously as systems of justice. Under imperial Chinese law, for example, "If beating a child resulted in his death and there was no excuse for the beating, the punishment was one year of penal servitude. … There was no punishment for a reasonable beating of a disobedient son that resulted in death." (Emphasis mine.) Reading that, I am inclined to doubt not the intelligence but the moral decency of the people who designed such law. But Friedman describes such seeming outrages dispassionately, without the moralism some of us might be tempted to indulge.

Friedman makes no effort to identify the best system, expressing doubt more than once that any such thing exists. He aims only to understand them, identifying some of the important advantages and disadvantages of each before making a few suggestions for reforming our own legal system. There is a faint libertarian theme which might go unnoticed by those unfamiliar with Friedman's earlier work. Perhaps Friedman was trying to illustrate the feasibility of reducing the legal system's reliance on the state in favor of private mechanisms; nevertheless, the book covers each legal system in general, rather than focusing solely on the aspects that teach libertarian-friendly lessons.

I believe imperial China was chosen chiefly to illustrate the potential for designing contracts that minimize people's need to use the court system to resolve disputes. (This was done by relieving each party of duties whose breach would be difficult to prove.) Several systems were seemingly chosen to illustrate the feasibility of private enforcement of court decisions, in contrast with our own system's entirely government-based enforcement. In saga-period Iceland, for example, courts' decisions were enforced by private violence. If one party to a dispute disobeyed the court's decision, that party could be declared an "outlaw" by the court, with the consequence that it would become legal for other members of the society to kill that individual. This eliminates the need for a centralized, governmental police force, albeit in a brutal manner.

In the case of present-day American prison inmates, individuals join gangs chiefly for protection, and these gangs enforce laws against their own members. If a gang member disrespects a member of a rival gang in a manner deemed unacceptable by prison culture, the offender's own gang may authorize, or themselves carry out, a beating of the offender, with the aim of keeping the peace between gangs. A less violent and more sympathetic example is Amish laws, which are generally enforced by social ostracism.

This book stops short of calling for private enforcement of all laws. Friedman does not hold back, however, when he describes the possibility, under medieval Icelandic law, of a tort victim giving or selling his legal claim to another party. Friedman thinks this a great advantage of the Icelandic system over the modern American system. If, for instance, you have vandalized my house, but I am for some reason unable or unwilling to directly pursue a lawsuit against you, I should be able to give or sell my claim for damages to someone who is more willing and able to pursue the case. Perhaps there would be a company that would pay me for the right to pursue a lawsuit on my behalf; if the lawsuit wins, the company then receives the damages that would have been due to me.

Another improvement Friedman puts forward is inspired by the system of ancient Athens. There, private individuals could prosecute one another for crimes. They would then be tried by a large jury. If the prosecution was successful, the prosecutor would receive a portion of the fine imposed on the defendant. If the prosecutor failed to convince at least 20 percent of the jury of the merits of his case, the prosecutor himself would be fined. This deters meritless accusations.

Along similar lines, Friedman proposes that tort plaintiffs who lose should be required to pay compensation (over and above court costs) to the victorious defendant, with the amount of compensation proportional to the amount that the plaintiff sought to recover from the defendant. In addition, he suggests, government prosecutors who repeatedly file charges for which they cannot convince at least four jurors to vote for conviction should be removed from their jobs. These rules would eliminate incentives to file frivolous lawsuits or unjustified criminal charges.

Taking a page from 18th century English law, Friedman suggests that private citizens should be permitted to initiate criminal prosecutions, but perhaps only against government officials. This would address the problem of the government's unwillingness to prosecute its own members.

On each of these points, I find Friedman's recommendations well-taken. Friedman generally considers costs and benefits in utilitarian terms, asking not "Is this rule intrinsically just?" but "What desirable or undesirable behaviors would this rule bring about?", using the economist's assumption of generally rational and self-interested agents to answer the latter.

As in his earlier work, Friedman occasionally draws striking connections. My favorite example: Courts in the Middle Ages faced a problem with collecting enough evidence for convictions. Their solution was to extract confessions from suspects by means of torture. Similarly, modern-day American prosecutors face difficulties satisfying the demanding standards of trials. They, too, solve this problem via coerced confessions: They threaten to pile up more charges—or more serious charges—against the defendant unless the defendant pleads guilty. Like the medieval approach, this technique works against the guilty and innocent alike. Suppose I have just a 10 percent chance of being convicted at trial, of an offense that comes with an expected 20-year prison sentence. The prosecutor need only offer to reduce the charges against me to something with a less than 2-year sentence, and it becomes rational for me to accept a deal. Of course, my "confession" under such circumstances hardly constitutes strong evidence that I am guilty of anything.

This is just one of many insights sprinkled throughout the text. Friedman's fans will appreciate the book's characteristic clarity, candor, and rationality.

Advertisement

NEXT: 'It Is Better To Work for Yourself Than Sit and Wait for Aid'

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. More bad economic news.

    Medicare for All is dragging down health-care stocks and there could be more pain ahead

    Only a Democratic President can fix the severe damage Drumpf has done to our economy.

    #DrumpfRecession

    1. Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes true?

    2. So a Democratic proposal is so terrifying that it is causing medical stocks to drop and this is somehow Trump’s fault?

      1. It’s a (tiresome) parody account.

        1. “…(tiresome)…”

          You’re too kind. Nearly as bad ass the asshole rev.

          1. I get the impression that the Reverend is earnest.

  2. OT: The yellow vests are protesting all the donations to repair Notre Dame. They want the donations to be used to fight poverty instead. So was this always a socialist/antifa movement at its heart, or was it simply co-opted the way the tea party was?

    1. Not completely. They always wanted a combination of lower taxation and better services for the lower classes and rural areas. It was never a purely libertarian movement.

      1. I think there are two completely distinct groups of Yellow Vest protests, coming from completely opposite political viewpoints.

        1. I think they are generally a big, amorphous populist mob who all demand “change”, and many of whom demand free stuff.

    2. Because, if you’re spending money on things I dont like, I should get to steal it.

    3. Bastiat is probably not popular in France.

      1. A nice one.

      2. Bastiat would have been hanged, beheaded or worse at many, many points in France’s history. Nowadays he would be the target of scathing Tweets. Given time they may go back to hangings and beheadings. We’ll see.

  3. Sounds like a cool book.

  4. Looks like the “Religion of Peace” (ROFLMAO) has struck in Sri Lanka in a big way on the holiest day of the year for Christians.

    Will we be told these were naturally occurring, accidental bombs the same way we’re being told that Notre Dame magically burned itself down to the ground?

    1. MUSLIMS FEAR BACKLASH

    2. From the intertubes… About “Tamil Tiger Rebels”…

      Their religion (most are Hindu) and Tamil language set them apart from the four-fifths of Sri Lankans who are Sinhalese—members of a largely Buddhist, Sinhala-speaking ethnic group.

      So the evil-doers here might be Hindus… I’m not sure. You have any links?

      1. http://www.thisisinsider.com/sri-lankan-police-issued-alert-10-days-before-suicide-bomber-attack-2019-4

        Sri Lankan police issued an intelligence alert warning that terrorists planned to hit ‘prominent churches’ 10 days before Easter bombings

        At a casual reading, it may have been Muslims, but of course I cannot know for sure…

        1. I’m not sure how much sense it makes for the Tigers to target minority Christians. Makes more sense that it would be Muslims. I guess we’ll probably find out at some point.

          1. “The government has blocked social media in Sri Lanka in a bid to stop the spread of misinformation.”

            https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/sri-lanka-bombings-live-bomb-detonated-on-road-to-colombo-airport-20190422-p51g12.html

            1. (I like the uncritical way in which the article reports this – as if the only possible explanation for censorship could be to protect the public from fake news)

    3. Accidental fires happen all the time in old buildings, particularly when they’re being renovated. They are vulnerable to such things.

      Also, Notre Dame didn’t burn to the ground. It’s still very much standing. Stone tends to be fairly fire resistant.

  5. Under imperial Chinese law, for example, “If beating a child resulted in his death and there was no excuse for the beating, the punishment was one year of penal servitude. … There was no punishment for a reasonable beating of a disobedient son that resulted in death.” (Emphasis mine.) Reading that, I am inclined to doubt not the intelligence but the moral decency of the people who designed such law.

    Seriously? You’re not familiar with Chesterton’s Fence? The Spartans would leave weak and sickly babies with birth defects to die. Of what use is a child who will most likely never be able to contribute to society? Of what use is a child so willfully disobedient that you have to beat him to death to make him do as he’s told? He’s probably going to grow up to be a criminal anyway so better to kill him now before he gets a chance to harm others.

    It sounds terrible coming from a society where individualism is valued and a society wealthy enough to support marginal non-contributors, but there’s a reason we’re talking about different systems. Different societies have different values and different morals and different priorities.

    You have to start with First Things – what makes a good person or a good society? Well, “goodness” is a matter of how well something performs its function so you first have to ask what is the purpose of a person or a society. The Imperial Chinese, the Spartans and the Amish might give you different answers to that question.

    I can’t believe somebody would just dismiss cultural norms of a foreign culture as unwise and immoral without first considering why such a thing would become a cultural norm in the first place. I’ve heard that the proscription regarding pork, for example, makes sense for a nomadic people in an area where vegetation is scarce since camels and cattle and goats and sheep travel well and browse whereas pigs don’t travel so well and, as rooting animals, tear the shit out of the landscape making it harder for vegetation to regrow for the next time the tribe passes through.

    1. Perhaps you should have actually read, and understood, that which you quoted:

      Reading that, I am inclined to doubt not the intelligence but the moral decency of the people who designed such law.

      He’s not saying they are despicable people. He’s saying quite clearly that this is a strange enough culture and law that it takes some work to wrap his head around it.

      Nuance matters.

      1. I believe he is saying quite clearly that he doubts the moral decency of these people. “Morality” is a cultural and situational thing.

        1. Yeah, but even that could be a misreading.

          The objection is the “reasonable” qualifier.

          There are obvious ways around this qualifier – as in “no jurist would ever consider beating a child to death ‘reasonable’. Or the caveat could exist for rare exceptions where a pre-existing medical condition caused death from a very minor and ordinary beating.

          In that event, the OMG they are Terrible and don’t mind beating kids to death! reaction would be ill-founded.

        2. Morality is objective.

          Now, argue with me. It’ll be fun!

      2. I am under the impression that traditional Chinese law made the father responsible for the behavior of his children. Given that, it would be morally reprehensible to forbid the father from killing a psychopathic child.

    2. Yes, just how little or how much we can afford to be “bleeding hearts” does depend on how wealthy we are. Trying to make others be as much of a bunch of “bleeding hearts” as we are, when they are not as wealthy as we are, can backfire very badly! Especially when we use coercion instead of sharing our wealth with them, via trade and freely given (un-coerced) charity. A good write-up on this can be found at http://www.churchofsqrls.com/Abortions/

    3. Thanks, Jerryskids, for commenting on the topic of the article rather than just posting some right-wing outrage or virtue signaling porn. I enjoy discussions of libertarian philosophy and find tribalist politics petty and boring. Yet what we get here these days is the latter and very little of the former.

      Now, the question of cultural vs. universal norms is an interesting one. Is there such a thing as a universal moral norm? I think that is a meaningless question. Moral norms do not exist independently of the people that hold them. We need a more precise way of asking such a question, which gets to fundamental issues, such as what is justice and so on.

      1. This was the least insightful comment I’ve read all weekend.
        Thanks, eunuch.
        Your contribution, as (almost) always, is lacking.

      2. Justice=repayment (to the victim, or victim’s NOK).

        Dollar for dollar, eye for eye, life for life.

        If the victim thinks the best way to pay him/her back for their loss of eye is a robot eye (and the jury agrees), the aggressor pays for it.

    4. US laws regarding death by automobile are quite similar. Basically, unless the driver is drunk or obviously hindered at operating the vehicle, there is no penalty for killing someone outside the vehicle. So the penalty is really for driving drunk or failing to operate the vehicle – as if a car is a wild horse with a mind of its own that sometimes kills people by accident.

      The US is the only country that doesn’t even charge most drivers who cause a death.

  6. Its why the Founders and early Americans wanted to form these United States as a unique nation to tell the Anarchists and Monarchists to go fuck themselves.

    A tiny limited government based on Rule of Law, where the People controlled the power and forced their government to work under a limiting constitution.

    So, Anarchists, Socialists, and Monarchists…go fuck yourselves.

    1. Anarchists? The founders were worried about anarchists? Citation needed. But I don’t expect one.

      1. Nah, he is full of shit. He has a little hard-on for hating on anarchists while not even understanding the difference between ansocs and ancaps.

      2. Poor Alphabet troll and Reason staffers.
        Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been, and ever will be, pursued, until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit. In a society, under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign, as in a state of nature where the weaker individual is not secured against the violence of the stronger: And as in the latter state even the stronger individuals are prompted by the uncertainty of their condition, to submit to a government which may protect the weak, as well as themselves: so in the former state, will the more powerful factions be gradually induced by a like motive, to wish for a government which will protect all parties, the weaker as well as the more powerful.
        Alexander Hamilton Federalist No 51
        Madison discusses at great length the issue of political factions and their ability to allow the oppression of the minority opinion by the majority. …. No faction can become large enough to overthrow all other factions in a well-run republic, which is why Madison believes the greatest self-governance can occur in a large society.

        1. That’s a stretch. Let’s see you do the same for socialism. Neither anarchism nor socialism were concepts at the time.

          Wikipedia says “The first known use of this word was in 1642. Various factions within the French Revolution labelled opponents as anarchists although few shared many views of later anarchists.”

          That quote uses “anarchy”, not “anarchism”, and if you knew anything, you would not confuse the two.

          1. Because they don’t have to use the word to exactly if they describe the ideology, Alphabet troll.

            Anarchy/Anarchism and Socialism have been around for time immemorial.

      3. Here’s Ben Franklin urging control of immigration
        A history of American anti-immigrant bias, starting with Benjamin Franklin’s hatred of the Germans
        “Not being used to Liberty, they know not how to make a modest use of it.”

        In his papers, Hamilton wrote of the dangers of letting aliens into the country, arguing, “The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities.” Immigrants, they get the job done indeed.

        1. You go from confusing “anarchy” and “anarchism” to the completely unrelated immigration with a quote from the power-hungry statist Hamilton. What are you really rambling about?

          1. Poor Alphabet troll…producing word salads of “muh anarchy”.

    2. I’m not sure anarchy nor socialism were on their minds. They where mainly looking to avoid tyranny whether from a monarchy or a pure democracy.

      1. Youre correct about the desire of the Founders to avoid tyranny of the majority, be they collectivists and/or anarchists and/or the monarchists.

        1. Neither collectivism nor anarchism were established concepts at the time.

          1. Of course– no government– never existed before some group called themselves “Anarchists”.

            What a goofball.

    3. “government based on Rule of Law”

      Inherently, every government is “based on rule of law”. So then, this would make the United States no different from any other.

      I’m my utopian, no citations to be found, wishing things were: I’d like to believe that the founders and early Americans wanted a Constitutional Government based on individual freedom and liberty.

      The “rule of law” inherently removes freedom and liberty.

      1. In the USA, the Rule of Law was based on a limiting Constitution as opposed to a Rule of Man, which they had under King George.

        Absolutely Rule of Law limits freedom and Liberty. It is balanced with a very limited government to protect basic rights, thereby limiting the restrictions placed on freedoms and Liberty. If you dont follow the limits, the restrictions on freedoms and Liberty get more severe.

        1. “It is balanced with a very limited government to protect basic rights, thereby limiting the restrictions placed on freedoms and Liberty.“

          These “basic rights” then are inherent. Endowed by the creator some may say. What Rule of Law then is need to doubly endow these basic rights? Could then that Rule of Law be used to un-endow those rights? Sure it could.

          Which is what we have now. Rule(s) of Law(s) specifically designed and passed to systematically and thoroughly strip those basic rights.

          Each and every action you perform on a daily basis, whether it’s driving a car or changing out a lightbulb, is governed by some rule, law, ordinance or act of some government. None of those rules, laws, ordinances or acts of government are there to protect or enhance your basic rights.

          Now then, am I saying that all rules and laws are bad and we should do away with them? No. I am simply saying that most rules and laws are not there to do what you purport them to do.

      2. “Inherently, every government is “based on rule of law”.

        That’s not true in the slightest. In a true monarchy, the king is the source of law and above the law – you cannot prosecute the king in court. That’s rule of a person, not the law.

        Rule of law is the radical concept that the law applies to everyone equally and no one is above it. The US is arguably the first country which *tried* to implement it.

        1. “In a true monarchy, the king is the source of law and above the law“

          And the subjects of that true monarchy are operating under that “Rule of Law”. Inherently the “Rule of Law” may state that the king cannot be prosecuted in court. So sayeth the law.

          A group of congresspersons could equally pass a law that states: “thou shan’t prosecute the President of The United States in court”. Now then, would the President then be above the law?

          If the Nation is built on the rule of law, then the law takes precedence over freedom, liberty, The Bill of Rights and any other qualifier. The rule of law can simply be changed to remove said qualifier at any time.

          1. Yet the US Constitution still exists and still restricts government. Of course, the courts have gutted much of the Constitution so exemptions have been implemented but plenty of restrictions still cause bureaucrats and politicians grief.

    4. “government based on Rule of Law”

      Inherently, every government is “based on rule of law”. So then, this would make the United States no different from any other.

      I’m my utopian, no citations to be found, wishing things were: I’d like to believe that the founders and early Americans wanted a Constitutional Government based on individual freedom and liberty.

      The “rule of law” inherently removes freedom and liberty from the individual.

    5. I don’ t care what they wanted. What they got was tyrannical government, as any An-Cap could have predicted.

      Where do rights come from?

  7. That sounds worth reading, for the thought food at the very least.

  8. It’s nice to see Michael Huemer contributing to Reason. More, please.

    1. I second the motion.

  9. So you have have these ad pop-ups that I have to close on my phone. The x to close them is on the right side of the screen where the flags are. So I just inadvertantly flagged a comment trying to get rid of the pop up. Might want to rethink where the flag is or at least give a confirmation for it.

    1. The flag is just for looks. They don’t actually moderate on this site.

  10. “Of course, my “confession” under such circumstances hardly constitutes strong evidence that I am guilty of anything.”

    Judges must surely be aware that such dealings are commonplace. Yet I assume they routinely let these ‘plea bargains’ stand. They strike me as being constitutionally dubious, and I imagine a defendant would point out to the judge the coercion involved in the plea, hoping to get a mistrial or dismissal.

    1. Juries never hear a case involving plea bargains. And, judges ask you if you have been coerced to accept the plea. Of course, if you answer “yes”, then the deal is off the table, same as if you just never agreed to it.

      1. “Of course, if you answer “yes”, then the deal is off the table, same as if you just never agreed to it.”

        This is what I figured. But it hardly seems just. I also figure by telling the judge you’ve been coerced, it’s you who’s going to come out the worse for it. The prosecutors who struck the plea deal will go on to press the next defendants they face into plea bargains.

        1. The current use of the plea bargain system is the biggest problem with the US judicial system.
          It encourages over charging and poor legal representation to get everyone to agree and move things along quickly.
          And, as they’re deals worked between nominally opposed attorneys, they vary widely based upon status and representation of the defendants.
          And if you’ve got a public defender, one who has 50 other active cases, even if you’re completely innocent – can you trust your inadequate lawyer and a jury if you’re facing 20 years but they offer you 4 to just submit?

          1. Of course, plea bargains are necessary to keep the system moving – there’d be too many cases for courts otherwise.
            We should look to the Romans though. Every day in the forum disputes were tried by informal (that is, unlicensed) advocates in front of whoever happened to show up.
            The right is to be tried by a jury of your peers – this does not require overly complex pomp, expert professionals, imprisoned jurors, or most of the modern trappings of our courts.
            It’ll never happen again, but this was a better, more human way.

            1. Plea bargains went from a way to let guilty defendants get better deals by cheapening the legal process, to another tool for the state to punish innocent people who fight the state and don’t take plea bargains.

              Everyone under charges should be forced to go to trial. The D.A.s would have to make decisions on which cases are worth it and dismiss many of the rest.

          2. Plea bargains are a symptom of the problem of having way too many laws.

            If we just got rid of all the laws regarding victimless crimes, we could start to have an effective justice system. We’d also save a fortune on prisons, law enforcement, and lawyers, which is why it will probably never happen.

            1. Less convictions means less people appealing too.

              Appeals for really bad people would have closure much quicker. No more 25 year appeals for death row inmates.

            2. “Plea bargains are a symptom of the problem of having way too many laws.”

              Absolutely correct, but that would be a legislative rather than judicial problem.
              It is good to point out that issue.

  11. You know, in American law tort claims are assigned all the time. Typically, an insurer pays for damage and then gets an assignment of the insured’s claim against the tortfeasor. This is called subrogation, but other types of claims are assignable as well. American law, like Icelandic law, allows one to sell tort claims to third parties.

    1. Are they actually the same, or just similar? For instance, an insurance company presumably is related to the property in question. Fully transferable torts would not require that. I don’t know enough about this. Could you describe this more?

  12. Happy Dead God Day, everyone!

    1. Happy God is Dead Day to you as well!!!

      1. Jeezuz, people: “Easter, also called Pascha or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead”

    2. I don’t know what you mean? I feel fine.

      1. Yeah, but you’re down one ‘get out of hell free’ card

    3. Technically, that would be arisen God day. Dead God day was Friday.

      -A Christian.

  13. Interesting about the prison gangs.

    I read one article about the gang violence in Chicago. According to the article in the 70s and 80s the Chicago gangs were fairly well organized with a hierarchy, defined territory and internal enforcement. At some point the Chicago police decided to crack down on the gangs, arresting many leaders. This resulted in a dramatic increase in violence as the organizations fractured.

  14. “I believe imperial China was chosen chiefly to illustrate the potential for designing contracts that minimize people’s need to use the court system to resolve disputes. (This was done by relieving each party of duties whose breach would be difficult to prove.)”

    I remember reading recently that business norms are very different in China, and you should expect to be fucked by your business partner if you give him the chance. What is “being fucked” by one culture may be “failing to ensure any breach of duties by your counterparty are easy to prove”.

    Not all cultures are the same. Diversity in preferences in law and obligations is a handicap, not a strength.

  15. According to Law Assignment Writers, this is absolutely Rule of Law limits freedom and Liberty. It is balanced with a very limited government to protect basic rights, thereby limiting the restrictions placed on freedoms and Liberty. If you dont follow the limits, the restrictions on freedoms and Liberty get more severe.

  16. Nah.

    That spot on the Border.

    You cannot tell where the border is exactly.

    So patrol on the other side of the fence and the federales were in the same place at the same time. They were likely both surprised. Some conversation ensued.

    No harm done. Invasion? Cmon dude. No hostages were taken. Sounds like the soldiers on both sides acted like pros.

    1. In the Age of GPS, bullshit.

      It was stupid to give up their arms to unknown people entering the USA from the Mexico side. Better people have died doing that.

      They were lucky. Goes to show that they dont teach military people like they used to.

  17. Interesting

    Note that several of the mentioned examples allow for a “Trial” system with non-binary outcome. Prosecution may fail OR fail by a very significant margin, in which case it is fined.

    I really like this part of the Athenian system, which sets a simple and enforceable criteria for “frivolous litigation”. It would make sense to copy that feature.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.