Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Case for Releasing Violent Drug "Criminals"

Free the drug dealers

It would be difficult to find a libertarian who believed that the use and sale of drugs should be considered a criminal act.

Consequently, most libertarians call for the immediate release of all those in prison who are there because of non-violent drug crimes. But I want to push the envelope on this.

Why shouldn't libertarians also support the release from prison those convicted of violent drug-related "crimes"?

Consider this situation. A drug dealer is carrying a weapon and someone attempts to rob him. He shoots the robber. This is certainly a violent drug-related crime according to laws in most states. But how is this drug dealer doing anything more than protecting his private property?

Now, let us take things up a notch and say a drug dealer has a past associate who has begun co-operating with the government and the dealer plugs this past associate. Is he not just protecting himself from a group of armed men (the state) from coming after him with guns for his perfectly legitimate (from a libertarian perspective) drug-selling business?

I don't know all the ins and outs of the drug selling business so there might be cases where shootings do not fall under the definition of protection of self and property but my focus is on those drug dealers who were protecting themselves and their property against NAP violators (including snitches who send the government after the drug dealer).

Now, I hasten to add that I am not advocating for the release of true psychopaths and other depraved killers but just those who can be viewed as simply acting in self-defense from a libertarian perspective.



  1. It would only work on a case-by-case basis. True self-defense---e.g., shooting at someone who is themselves engaged in a drive-by that targets you---seems warranted. But there are a lot of acts which are simply self-interested acts of murder to get an advantage over one's competitor. Murdering one's competitors...murdering snitches. These are of themselves immoral, violent, unconscionable acts, that are not truly in the category of self-defense. Even a true act of vigilantism is immoral by dint of depriving the victim of due process by foregoing a trial and all the other procedural steps that guarantee at least some modicom of justice, prior to execution.

    1. If there's any room left in the prisons after lock up all the state actors who engage in all those crimes to described above, maybe we can keep a few sadistic drug dealers locked up.

    2. To be sure, throw the biggest, most violent, most pernicious gangsters in jail first (i.e. government gangsters); Give 'em a fair trial, then march them out back and execute them, in fact. Ha ha.

  2. "Now, let us take things up a notch and say a drug dealer has a past associate who has begun co-operating with the government and the dealer plugs this past associate."

    -- In this case, I would question whether the threat was sufficiently imminent to justify using force in self-defense. Merely snitching is not an act of violence, so this would have to be framed as participating in (aiding and abetting) actual violence employed by, or an imminent threat from, the state's agents. Even then, if the snitch were not riding along with the armed government workers (AGWs), then it might be too tenuous a connection to hunt down the snitch after dispatching the AGWs.

  3. One thing I think about a lot, is what government intervention could have happened in any persons life that put the person in jail. If a person is in prison from some State intervention in his life, let him go. Not that we can completely see what might have been without a state, but I’m convinced much of our crime is an outgrowth of some sort of government intervention.