Darrow Asserts Big Business to Blame For Huge Increase in Nation's Crime
"There Is Reason For Everything, and Poverty Causes Crime," Says Famed Lawyer
"Big Business is the cause of all crime," was the opinion expressed by Clarence Darrow in an interview with the CRIMSON yesterday. "The only way to cure our present so-called crime wave is a radical redistribution of wealth so that no one would have more than another, thereby removing all temptation to commit crime.
"If this system is once established it will never be destroyed, because people will not try to obtain what they can not have. To prevent such attempts it may be necessary for the government to own all industry. The NRA is a small step toward the desired goal, and I hope it succeeds, but I do not believe in magic.
"Insofar as the NRA works to diminish poverty it is worth supporting because there is a direct relation between poverty and crime. The criminal is usually from the poorer classes and being continually oppressed by the rich from childhood, he eventually commits some act against them that brings him before the courts. Once sent to the penitentiary there is little hope for him. No man that goes in comes out improved and ninety per cent of them are recommitted.
"That this should be true shows that punishment should be abolished. The criminal is not responsible for his acts. He is the victim of society. There is always a reason for his acts if one is intelligent enough to find it, and giving him long sentences is not the way to cure it.
"Especially I am opposed to capital punishment. No one should be executed--not even Andy Mellon. Killing one man will not deter another from committing murder and obviously will not help the man executed. However, Governor Rolph's plan of turning the guilty men over to the mob is not correct and when he runs for office again he will not have a corporal's guard in his support."