This week’s discussion will pick up on the topic of organized crime.
Some crime families have strict membership requirements, along ethnic lines. Is this something that is common among organized crime organizations, or is this just an Italian/Sicilian thing? Why would a criminal organization have such a strict rule about the ethnicity of its full members in the first place?
It’s not uncommon that a legitimate business will also facilitate criminal activity. For instance, consider a motel that charges by the hour, or an adult “book store” with private booths in the back. Is there a place in society for these kinds of businesses, or should the government use tools like civil forfeiture to shut them down? Explain your reasoning.
Undercover law enforcement officers investigating organized crime groups run the risk of being put in a position where they are expected to engage in illegal behavior in order to maintain their cover. Is there a problem with a law enforcement officer possibly breaking the law in order to maintain his or her cover? It would not be out of the ordinary for a motorcycle gang member to participate in a fight with a rival gang. Should an undercover officer jump into the fight and actually assault a member of the rival gang so that he is not suspected as an outsider? Discuss what limits, if any, you would impose.