Victimless crimes, the illegal act(s) that involves consenting adults and lacks a complaining participant, have been the topic of heated debate for some time now (Kendall, 2014). This debate centers primarily on the question as to whether these acts should be crimes at all. The arguments take several forms. One of the controversies involves the importance of personal freedom versus society’s idea to uphold moral standards. A second issue addresses the problem of the conception of harm. People who stand on this side on this side of the argument raise questions as to whether victimless crimes are harmful not only to the participants but to others in society as well. More importantly, they ask whether such acts result in negative consequences that might not be seen immediately. Finally, there is an issue as to whether attempts to control victimless crimes are, as a whole, more helpful or detrimental to the criminal justice system and society in terms of cost effectiveness.
In terms of my viewpoint, I stand with the people who believe that victimless crimes should not be decriminalized as I constantly question whether these crimes are truly victimless. As much as I believe that legalizing offenses like illicit drug use, euthanasia, prostitution, and gambling would help society in terms of cost effectiveness, I still believe such acts can cause more harm than what people make them out to be, thus not making them entirely victimless.
Prostitution is one of the oldest jobs in the world and perhaps considered the ultimate victimless crime (Ruskin, 2012). As a profession that is estimated to bring in over 14 billion dollars a year in the United States alone with nearly 1 million prostitutes performing the acts, there is no doubt that prostitution is rapidly on the rise (Gorbenko & Lakony, 2011). With that being said, many people think that this line of work is considered a victimless job and should be decriminalized simply because the prostitute is prepared to sell themselves and the John is willing to participate. As much as this is true, and both parties are agreeing the act, I personally don’t consider this to be a victimless crime. Statistically, the majority of prostitutes are at the whim of those who pimp them out, and are abused, violated, and raped on a regular basis. This, in my opinion, makes prostitution no longer victimless as these people, male or female, are unable to escape the lives they live due to fear of being harmed or even killed.
As for those that sell themselves willingly without being forced to by an outside party like that of pimp, still in some way, have the ability to harm others in the process. To put in simply, participants in the act of prostitution, and other victimless crimes, are indirectly inflicting harm upon others by directly committing the crime themselves (Ruskin, 2012). With that being said, the offenders’ families/significant others may be hurt, and this crime (as well as many others) could...