Oh, good. We arrested a bad guy.

The head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, has been arrested.

From what I can tell, he’s probably a pretty bad guy who should be put away for a long time.

And yet, when you look at the practical results of this arrest, the overwhelming consensus is that one or both of these two things will happen:

  • His second in command will take over and there will be no discernable impact in the activities of his criminal organization
  • Criminal rivals will attempt to exploit any perceived weaknesses with a massive amount of violence and bloodshed.

So it’s hard for anyone to get too excited about the arrest.

When you reach a point where the net benefit to society of arresting a dangerous, violent criminal is, at best, zero, then perhaps it’s time to admit that you have some seriously broken policy.

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