Malum Prohibitum Amerikan Style

Malum prohibitum (plural mala prohibita, literal translation: “wrong [as or because] prohibited”) is a Latin phrase used in law to refer to conduct that constitutes an unlawful act only by virtue of statute, as opposed to conduct evil in and of itself, or malum in se.

Conduct that is so clearly violative of society’s standards for allowable conduct that it is illegal under English common law is usually regarded as malum in se. An offense that is malum prohibitum may not appear on the face to directly violate moral standards. The distinction between these two cases is discussed in State of Washington v. Thaddius X. Anderson:

Criminal offenses can be broken down into two general categories malum in se and malum prohibitum. The distinction between malum in se and malum prohibitum offenses is best characterized as follows: a malum in se offense is “naturally evil as adjudged by the sense of a civilized community,” whereas a malum prohibitum offense is wrong only because a statute makes it so. State v. Horton, 139 N.C. 588, 51 S.E. 945, 946 (1905).
“Public welfare offenses” are a subset of malum prohibitum offenses as they are typically regulatory in nature and often “‘result in no direct or immediate injury to person or property but merely create the danger or probability of it which the law seeks to minimize.'” Bash, 130 Wn.2d at 607 (quoting Morissette v. United States, 342 U.S. 246, 255-56, 72 S. Ct. 240, 96 L. Ed. 288 (1952)); see also State v. Carty, 27 Wn. App. 715, 717, 620 P.2d 137 (1980).

Crimes and torts that might be considered as malum prohibitum—but not malum in se—include:

  • building or modifying a house without a license
  • copyright infringement
  • illegal drug use
  • illegal hunting
  • operating a business without a license
  • prohibition of alcohol
  • surrogacy for profit
  • weapon possession
  • illegal immigration
  • harboring a bad attitude toward American foreign policy?
  • traveling abroad to destinations disfavored by the U.S. government?
  • donating $ without the U.S. administration’s blessings?
  • buying air fare without the U.S. government’s approval?
  • having foreign bank accounts without informing Uncle Sam?
  • failing to apply for a social security number for yourself or your children?
  • purchasing a weapon to defend yourself if you’ve ever run afoul of malum prohibitum?
  • possessing a bullet proof vest in Oregon by a convicted felon? (increasingly inclusive)
  • driving while black?
  • insufficient submissiveness to authority or the police?
  • homelessness? poverty in all but name only?
  • ridiculing the emperor’s new clothes?
  • feeding the hungry without the City’s ‘permit’/permission?

The thought police are actively ferreting out those with ‘ungoodthinkful’ sentiments, or (even worse) donating their own money for the ‘wrong’ reasons. Never mind that money is fungible or that we condemn individual acts we condone collectively. In fact, it is historically rare for the U.S. to be at peace. The vast majority of the time since its inception, we’ve been at war with someone or engaged in genocidal confrontations.

What you do on the internet, social media, or even what books you buy, read, or check out at the library are of keen interest to the federal thought police. Nor is it enough that they have your social security/driver’s license number, vehicle registration, credit reports (which they check routinely) as well as all your banking records and earnings/income data. The sad truth is a government supposedly of the people, by the people, and FOR the people knows much more about you than your own mother/father/spouse/children. Virtually all States now want your DNA too for even the most petty of not just offenses/infractions, but ALLEGATIONS!

Allegations, nothing more, are also now sufficient to be banned from public housing or assistance under contemporary U.S. regulations. Refusing to register for the draft will earn you persona non-grata status for any student loans or education assistance. It has become increasingly perilous not only to disobey Big Brother, but to fail to demonstrate sufficient ‘love’ for him as well.

St. Louis, MO — The Christian Science Monitor recently reported 6 Bosnian immigrants have been arrested after being accused of helping ISIS and Al Qaeda by sending $ and/or ‘military equipment’ to ‘terrorist fighters’ (non-state sponsored ones or at least ones unapproved by U.S. authorities) overseas, including the Islamic State group and Al Qaeda in Iraq.

An indictment was unsealed Friday in the St Louis U.S. District Court which said the defendants gave money themselves and sometimes collected funds from others to send the donations overseas. It charges two of the defendants used some of that money to purchase U.S. military uniforms, firearms ‘accessories’, tactical gear et al, which was sent to folks in Turkey and Saudi Arabia who forwarded the supplies to terrorists. [FedEX? One must wonder why a ‘terrorist’ would want to be caught wearing a U.S. military uniform?]

The feds claim the supplies and money [contraban?] eventually made its way to fighters in Syria, Iraq and ‘elsewhere’, according to the indictment’s allegations. Money also was sent to support family members of terrorist fighters, the indictment says. [This is a ‘crime’?!] The defendants all knew where the money and supplies were going, the indictment claims. [This beats the track record of most phone solicitation charities!]

The indictment claims the ‘conspiracy’ began no later than May 2013, the defendants used email, phones and social media websites including Facebook to communicate using coded words, such as “brothers,” ”lions” and “Bosnian brothers.” [These were lifted from the same dictionary Reagan used when citing ‘Cadillac welfare queens’ and ‘peacekeeper’ missals…or his attorney general (Edwin Meese) pronouncing ketchup as a ‘vegetable’?]

All six charged are natives of Bosnia legally living in the U.S. Three are naturalized citizens; the others had either refugee or legal resident status, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Those indicted were Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, 40, his wife, Sedina Unkic Hodzic, 35, and Armin Harcevic, 37, all from St. Louis County; Nihad Rosic, 26 of Utica, New York; Mediha Medy Salkicevic, 34, of Schiller Park, Illinois, and Jasminka Ramic, 42, of Rockford, Illinois.

They face charges of conspiring to provide material support and resources to ‘terrorists’ and with providing material support to ‘terrorists’. Rosic and Ramiz Hodzic are also charged with conspiring to kill and maim people in a foreign country. [That last sounds like the government intensely dislikes competition in this category. The rest is obnoxiously vague/ambiguous as it does not cite the ‘terrorist(s)’ by name. One is forced to assume they’re delineated by ‘category’, though just who can properly and legally be construed to be in such an index remains unclear.]

The indictment says that last July, Rosic tried to board a flight from New York to Syria. [Hang him!]

The U.S. attorney’s office said five of the defendants have been arrested; the sixth is overseas, but the Justice Department declined to say exactly where. [Delivering parcels and good will? The U.S. could stand some fence mending.]

Online court records do not list defense attorneys for any of the defendants. [No doubt the esquires fear being charged with providing aid, comfort, and material resources to the ‘enemy’?] According to court records, the Hodzics had a first appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge in St. Louis on Friday and the court said it would appoint attorneys for them. [This will, no doubt, insure the defendants get a ‘fair’ trial after being charged with providing aid and comfort to terrorists–a bit like Benedict Arnold being nominated for President?]

The landlord at the complex where the Hodzics live told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the couple and their 3 children had been living there for 1 ½ years. Larry Sorth, and his wife, Joyce, stated they were surprised by the arrests and that the couple was friendly.

“She was very sweet, to tell you the truth,” Joyce Sorth said of Sedina Hodzic.

In a news release announcing the charges, the U.S. attorney’s office said the crimes of conspiring to provide material support and providing material support carry penalties ranging up to 15 years in prison. Conspiring to kill and maim people in a foreign country carries a penalty of up to life in prison.

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