Vice Squad
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
The Myriad Uses of Vice Crimes

In particular, their frequently "victimless" status gives them a real advantage in setting up folks who are troubling to the powers that be. Make possession of a plant a crime, and it becomes relatively easy for that troublesome person to suddenly possess the prohibited plant.

In an unrelated story, Hong Kong democracy advocate Ho Wai-to was recently arrested in mainland China for soliciting a prostitute. The wheels of justice turn quickly in some venues, and voila', Ho was found guilty and sentenced to serve six months -- despite his candidacy in legislative elections scheduled for next month. Sure, most people convicted of such a "crime" in China are only fined, but no doubt there were extenuating circumstances in this case. And certainly his wife's charges are absurd. Could anyone believe for a minute her claim, as reported by the Chicago Tribune, that "Chinese authorities brought a prostitute to Ho's hotel room in Guangdong's Dongguan region, beat him and denied him food and water until he signed a confession"?

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