Bad Egg

I was surprised to learn that OJ had committed another major crime. It confirms the bad egg theory of crime, a theory which I now believe in more strongly than before: the commission of a serious crime either makes you into a bad egg, or else proves that you were a bad egg all along. Criminality is not just a kind of behavior, it's also a character trait.

If you commit a serious crime, you are a bad egg, or are made into a bad egg. If you are a bad egg, you will commit a crime again. If you commit a crime and get away with it, worry not. You will continue to commit crimes and will eventually be caught. Case in point.

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Why surprised?

The three strikes program is, in short: "let us get rid of bad eggs permanently."

For this to work, crimes that are genuinely indicators of evil, for example stealing a pizza from children with menaces, have to be treated differently from crimes that are merely prohibited - for example exchanging heroin for sex with schoolgirls. And by and large, they are. Exchanging heroin for underage sex is a felony, but not a strike, while demanding pizza with menaces is a strike.

Of course politicians will eventually screw it up by abolishing the distinction between what is evil, and what is merely prohibited, but "three strikes and you are out" was huge movement towards making normal people safe by removing people who are flagrantly and blatantly evil from the community.

Over history, we get a regular cycle. More and more things are politically prohibited. People become reluctant to apply drastic measures against crime when everyone is defined to be a criminal, so a quiet conspiracy against law enforcement grows up. Therefore a new category of crime, that corresponds to real crimes, is invented. Pretty soon politicians add all their political prohibitions to the new category, whereupon once again people become reluctant to uphold the law.

In general, sure.

In general, sure.