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Victimless Crime

Rationale, Critique, Bibliography

In the continuing debate over the proper scope of the criminal law, it has frequently been suggested that certain crimes are in reality "victimless" and that all statutes defining such offenses should be repealed or at least substantially restricted (Schur; Packer; Morris and Hawkins). Although all authors do not use the term in the same way, the following offenses have been included in the victimless crime category: public drunkenness; vagrancy; various sexual acts usually involving consenting adults (fornication, adultery, bigamy, incest, sodomy, homosexuality, and prostitution); obscenity; pornography; drug offenses; abortion; gambling; and juvenile status offenses (offenses that would not be criminal if the actor were an adult).

RICHARD S. FRASE

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal Law