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legalize attempted bribery

give officials money and catch them accepting bribes
(+2, -2)
  [vote for,

This program would involve legalizing bribery and maintaining punishments for taking bribes. There would also be a large payout for proof someone took a bribe, along with the bribe amount being returned.

So a cop stops Joe Richman for speeding. Joe offers a bribe. If the cop takes the money (and Joe was recording) Joe gets a small fine for speeding and a large payout for catching a cop taking bribes. The cop loses his job.

If the cop doesn't take the money Joe isn't punished for attempting bribery and everything else goes as it otherwise would.

Provisions for protecting witnesses are already in place.

Voice, Oct 25 2013

Attempted Burberry http://www.thestyle.../burberry-campaign/
[normzone, Oct 25 2013]

Our messed up legal system http://bribery.usle...-attempted-bribery/
"Under state statutes ... mere solicitation of a bribe [is not punishable]" [scad mientist, Oct 25 2013]


       I don't think there's any such thing as a small fine for speeding - all of mine have been very painful.   

       I don't know if police bribery is a big problem - now legislators is a whole 'nother issue.
normzone, Oct 25 2013

       [+] This would make it much harder to build the trust necessary to make a bribe work.   

       It also makes sense because it places the full responsibility on the person in power to know what constitutes a bribe or not. During the emotional distress of being pulled over, or when lobbying hard for something you believe in, it can be easy to accidently crossing lines from stating a case, to begging, then to bribing. Generally the party that would be in the position of accepting the bribe is not in any sort of extraordinary situation at the time so should be fully capable of making a non-emotional evaluation of whether the conversation is moving in the wrong direction. They can politely in form the other party that while the sentiment is appreciated, the generous offer would be considered illegal to accept.   

       From link: // Under state statutes, it has been held that mere solicitation of a bribe does not constitute bribery or an attempt to receive a bribe. // Now that is completely wrong. That implies that a police officer can pull someone over, solicit a bribe, then blame them if they agree to give the bribe. We can't expect every person to be incorruptible, but we should expect/require some degree of incorruptibility from people who are in positions of authority.   

       This just reminded me of a situation I saw in the news where a teachers apparently had an improper relationship with a student and blamed the student for initiated it. Well duh, you're the teacher and should have taken that opportunity to teach the student what the acceptable standards are in our society. Luckily that argument doesn't fly in the student/teacher scenario, but the current practice of criminalizing bribery and attempted bribery is somewhat similar. The one in the position of accepting the bribe is the one we should expect to know the rules.
scad mientist, Oct 25 2013

       I think you're sort of confused. Solicitation of a bribe may not be illegal, but acceptance or payment of a bribe can be. A police officer who solicited a bribe from someone, then accepted payment of said bribe, could be held accountable. The payor of the bribe, however, would have a very good entrapment defense (since the odds that he would have offered a bribe without being prompted by a police officer are very low).
ytk, Oct 25 2013

       [YTK] Yes, and officer who actually accepted a bribe could be held accountable. But the first part of the article is all about how in most jurisdicitions there is no legal difference between attempted bribery and bribery, so there is no need to accept the bribe in order to get the person in trouble for attempted bribery.   

       And yes, I am at least sort of confused (as is the law). The page also says that federal law prohibits soliciting a bribe. It also says "Apart from an attempted bribe, solicitation of a bribe is also a crime." I'm not entirely sure what that means together with the other statement. Maybe what is going on is that if an officer makes an unprovoked solicitation, it is illegal, but if someone attempts to bribe the officer and he leads them on in an attempt to gather evidense of the bribery attempt, he hasn't done anything illegal. That's somewhat reasonable, but if the officer makes a veiled solicitation first, it's one person's word against the other whether the officer solicited first or if the other party simply misinterpreted what the officer meant.   

       What gets me is that there would be even a hint of a double standard that is more lenient to the person in authority who should know better.   

       To me this idea sounds good so far, but I would not be surprised if someone pointed out some situations that would actually make this a bad idea.
scad mientist, Oct 25 2013

       //it places the full responsibility on the person in power to know what constitutes a bribe or not//   

       I think that might be the flawed assumption here.   

       Granted, when a police officer pulls over an ordinary motorist, the police officer is the one with the power - but imagine a low-ranking official being bribed by a wealthy foreign businessman - and imagine, more generally, situations, where bribes blur into threats ... "and if you *don't* throw away that ticket, then I may have to have words with..."
pertinax, Oct 27 2013


       Who bribes like that? The optimal bribe is not offered, it is given. It is why you keep your license rubberbanded to 2 $100 and your YMCA membership.
bungston, Oct 28 2013


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