In the UK one of the responses to the riots is for the local authority to take legal action to evict persons accused of taking part in the riots. I see a series of problems here. Also calls have been made to stop the benifits of those involved in the riots.
1. Accused does not equal guilty, a person can be found not guilty at a trial. Also a person is presumed to be innocent until proven otherwise.
2. How do we know that the evictions will not promote crime, we need to think “what is the purpose of the criminal legal system”. I think that one of the purposes of the system is to protect society from crime. If an action of the legal system is likely to promote crime by creating an environment in which crime will flourish then the action should not be done.
It has been argued that poveity does promote some forms of crime, I think it is immoral for society to force a person to choose between staving to death and stealing.
3. I reason also that if we throw the people accused of taking part in the riots out of social housing onto the streets then this punishment will only apply to the poor, what about those rioters from rich familes who coordinated their neferious deeds using blackburies and other expensive electronic gadgets. No body is proposing throwing people out of privately rented hosuing or throwing criminals who own houses out of their homes as a punishment.