January 28th, 2004

flavored with age

Do what now?

The local news on NPR just informed me that a legislator here in Illinois wants to pass a law that provides extra-strong criminal penalties for people who endanger criminals while manufacturing methamphetamines.

Now, I’m no lawyer, but:

1. Since both endangering children and running a meth lab are already felony crimes with fairly severe penalties, I’m not exactly clear on what the need for this law is.

2. Is this a law that is going to have a lot of practical value? I mean, how many people run meth labs, let alone endanger children while they’re doing it? I just can’t imagine this happens often enough that there’s a pressing need to pass legislation addressing it. Is Illinois plagued with child-beating crank dealers?

3. Even by showboating, unnecessary legislation standards, isn’t this pretty over the top? It seems comparable to proposing a law that provides extra punishment for people who traffic in child pornography while running a crack house, or smuggling sex slaves while simultaneously harvesting their organs.