The title of this post is not a joke. It is a serious question.
Suppose I have a jail filled with reports of homosexual rape. Correctional officers hear screams in a cell, run to it, and there they see two thug inmates holding down an inmate while a third thug inmate shoves his X into the held-down inmate's Y and Z. Let's say that there are hundreds of cases of this every year in the jail, and report after report after report is filed, detailing witnessed homosexual rapes. A raw count verifies that one out of three inmates get it by force in the Y and Z.
Let's say that this goes on in jails across each state, in every state in the United States.
But no one ever fixes the problem, because fixing the problems of bad guys is politically unpopular.
Instead, the phenomenon is used by cops as a weapon of terror during arrest -- "I hope that you have some Vaseline with you, Fred, because you're going to need it, where you're going!" (I actually heard a sergeant-at-arms say that once in court to a newly-convicted defendant.) And Gary Sinise taunts fictionalized defendants with that line in "CSI New York."
In one of my cases, years ago, the defendant was this wonderful, innocent visitor from Somalia with no criminal record at all who was driving down Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia when a speeding car coming in from the right went through a red light and slammed into the Somali's car, spinning it around, and damaging the Somali's accelerator so that it was locked at the speed the Somali had been traveling. The Somali national screamed helplessly as his car, brakes smoking, sped into a crowd of churchgoers, injuring 6, including a man whose two legs had to be amputated. While the emotionally crushed, traumatized Somali jabbered at police in the Somali language, the white guy who really caused the accident calmly told police that HE had had the green light. African American police assumed that the white guy was telling the truth, did no search for witnesses, and had the Somali incarcerated, awaiting trial, under $50,000 bail. (I later found a group of 5 witnesses sitting on a local tavern's steps who saw the accident, who took bets that the innocent black guy got arrested.)
The Detention Center was overcrowded that day, so they put the Somali in Holmesburg Prison (still open, then) where he was held-down and forcibly raped again and again and again.
So, it happens. In this morning's Philadelphia Inquirer the editorial, headlined "Prison equals rape," discusses this problem. It notes that the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that 88,500 prisoners in federal and state prison were raped by homosexual inmates or guards in the last 12 months.
Suppose I run a nursing home that really is the last stop before the funeral home for 99% of the patients.
And suppose I, the owner, am fully aware that the place is a Bedlam of homosexual rape, ultimately for about one-third of the patients.
But I do NOTHING to solve the problem, but smilingly tease the new patients, after their families leave, with the words, "I hope you brought Vaseline, Joe!"
Aren't I GENUINELY guilty of the crime of Conspiracy to Rape, and shouldn't I GENUINELY go to prison for the rest of my life, if my actions (keeping the place open) and inaction (doing nothing to stop the rapes) causes helpless screaming patient after helpless screaming patient -- HUNDREDS -- to be relentlessly raped, again and again and again.
I have long believed that every judge who knowingly sentences inmates to such places, and every prosecutor who knowingly tries to put inmates in such places, and every governor and mayor and correctional officer who jokingly tolerates the problem, is guilty of Conspiracy to Rape, and should be tried, convicted, and imprisoned.