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voluntary self-execution?

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barbados
813507.  Thu May 05, 2011 2:23 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Seriously? Are you really saying that, if you somehow knew that it wouldn't land you in jail for rather a long time, you would in fact have murdered those people?

You may well really be saying that. But if you are, my position is rather different from yours.


Celine Dion?

If you knew you'd get away with it, and you had the opportunity you have to think of the greater good surely.

 
Jenny
813684.  Thu May 05, 2011 10:57 am Reply with quote

'The greater good'? You'll have to expand on that one somewhat, barbados before I can go along with you. I am struggling to think of a greater good that would be served by murdering somebody.

 
Moosh
813686.  Thu May 05, 2011 11:03 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
'The greater good'? You'll have to expand on that one somewhat, barbados before I can go along with you. I am struggling to think of a greater good that would be served by murdering somebody.

Well there's always the old kill one to save many argument. For example there are those who would argue that killing Osama Bin Laden was morally justified because it may have saved the lives of many people he may have gone on to kill.

 
barbados
813713.  Thu May 05, 2011 11:55 am Reply with quote

Are you familiar with the work of Celine Dion?

 
Jenny
813718.  Thu May 05, 2011 12:08 pm Reply with quote

Moosh wrote:
Jenny wrote:
'The greater good'? You'll have to expand on that one somewhat, barbados before I can go along with you. I am struggling to think of a greater good that would be served by murdering somebody.

Well there's always the old kill one to save many argument. For example there are those who would argue that killing Osama Bin Laden was morally justified because it may have saved the lives of many people he may have gone on to kill.


Nasty slippery slope there - killing somebody because of what they *might* do. What would be achieved by that, that wouldn't be achieved by locking somebody up for what they *have* done?

I mean, any of us *might*, given enough incentive and pressure, kill somebody.

 
Sadurian Mike
813736.  Thu May 05, 2011 12:49 pm Reply with quote

Killing Peter Sutcliffe after he demonstrated that he was out to kill random prostitutes would have saved the lives of several women.

Locking him up achieved the same aim, but did rely on legal judgement. However, if he is never going to do it again and we have no reason to doubt he will be a good boy, locking him up is pointless as he is no longer a danger to anyone.

Yet we lock up 'dangerous criminals' because they are considered a danger to the public. If it were simply as punishment there are plenty of more productive alternatives that we could use. Indeed, the system of bail relies on an assessment of the likelihood of reoffending (and absconding), so we already look at what some might do.

 
Jenny
813811.  Thu May 05, 2011 6:52 pm Reply with quote

You'd kill him before he'd been identified, without due legal process? Otherwise how would you know who to kill?

 
bobwilson
813818.  Thu May 05, 2011 7:37 pm Reply with quote

I applaud your naivety Jenny (although that isn't what either Mike or Moosh said or implied). A salutary story might illustrate.

On the BBC teletext pages over the last two days there was a story about a middle-aged man who'd thrown himself off a bridge in an apparent suicide attempt following the death of a teenager in his house.

From reading the teletext both myself and my mother were under the impression that this man had permitted 14/15 year olds to habitually visit his house, use drugs, and generally behave as irresponsible young teens.

We differed in our interpretations. Her view was that he shouldn't have permitted such behaviour. My view was that he was overseeing the activity. (In general terms for both).

What neither of us knew and which turned up in further reading by my mother was that we were both wrong in our understanding of the facts.

Actually, Mr MiddleAge had been absent and had left the house in the care of his children, who had thrown a party and in the course of this party one of the attendees had died.

What remains unclear to me (morally) is who is ultimately responsible for the death of this attendee. Perhaps Mr MiddleAge should not have permitted his children such free reign.

What IS absolutely clear to me is that the salacious and deliberately distorted reporting of this event contributed to the attempted suicide of Mr MiddleAge.

Unfortunately, the deliberately distorted reporting is not covered by "due legal process" - so those reporters will get off scot-free despite their complicity in their attempts to convict an innocent man of a crime he hadn't committed, which led to his suicide attempt.

Can I just reiterate - this distorted reporting came courtesy not of The Sun, or al-Jazeera - but from the BBC?

So can we have no more talk of "due legal process" as if this is some kind of benchmark?

 
Sadurian Mike
813866.  Fri May 06, 2011 4:18 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
You'd kill him before he'd been identified, without due legal process? Otherwise how would you know who to kill?

I would obviously ensure that I knew who he was and what he had been doing.

'Due legal process' is a bit more tricky. If I knew that a man was routinely killing people for shits and giggles, and strongly suspected that he would continue to do so if not stopped but that (for whatever reason) the legal process couldn't act in time, I would be prepared to act outside the 'due legal process'. Yes, I may be wrong that he was prepared to carry on, but by making that decision I would have to decide if his death was worth saving the lives of several other people.

That's not the only case where I would be prepared to kill, by the way, but it is an illustration of how I feel it would be justified.

 
dr.bob
813874.  Fri May 06, 2011 4:40 am Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
'Due legal process' is a bit more tricky. If I knew that a man was routinely killing people for shits and giggles, and strongly suspected that he would continue to do so if not stopped but that (for whatever reason) the legal process couldn't act in time, I would be prepared to act outside the 'due legal process'.


I'm confused. If you knew for a fact that a man was routinely killing people, then that would surely imply some pretty undeniable evidence, no? Given the presence of such evidence, I'd be surprised if the police were unable to just jump straight into a van and arrest the guy immediately.

If undeniable evidence was not present, then how could you be sure you had the right man?

I know it's a purely hypothetical situation, but I'm struggling to figure out how it could ever happen in the real world.

My worry is that, when people say due legal process can act too slowly, they often mean that due legal process wastes too much time with irrelevant trivialities such as facts.

 
Neotenic
813876.  Fri May 06, 2011 4:50 am Reply with quote

Yeah, to me, there absolutely has to be a proper legal process, even if it's only to protect us from vigilatism.

There have been a couple of high profile cases - like Madeline McCann, and more recently that of Jo Yates, where 'suspects' have gained significant media attention, only to be ultimately cleared of any involvement. However, someone may have been utterly convinced by the reporting prior to their clearance, and decided to take matters into their own hands.

In emotive cases, the process has to exist to protect the innocent as much as punish the guilty.

FWIW, I think that if there is any justification at all for a death penalty, it is in a very, very small proportion of cases indeed - and even then, I'd still be uncomfortable with it.

 
Jenny
813941.  Fri May 06, 2011 9:26 am Reply with quote

Neotenic wrote:


FWIW, I think that if there is any justification at all for a death penalty, it is in a very, very small proportion of cases indeed - and even then, I'd still be uncomfortable with it.


Me too.

 
gruff5
814241.  Sat May 07, 2011 2:47 pm Reply with quote

And me. Looking around the world, whether or not a country has the death penalty is virtually a marker for its degree of civilization.

 
bobwilson
814294.  Sat May 07, 2011 7:15 pm Reply with quote

You should maybe watch Judge Judy Dr Bob?

Admittedly, the cases involve lesser crimes – but a typical example would be

Quote:
my neighbour keeps telling me that he’ll scratch ‘fucking wanker’* on my car. I woke up one day to find ‘fucking wanker’ scratched on my car but nobody saw who did it, I got the car repainted and the next day the neighbour said “nice paint job – won’t last”. Two days later ‘fucking wanker’ was scratched into my car. One of my neighbours did see him do it the second time but he can’t be here today because he’s 75 and can’t travel but he has provided a notarised statement.


The JJ reaction is
Quote:
I can’t accept notarised statements (she makes exceptions for “our lads posted to foreign lands”) so I’m afraid you have no proof. Do I believe you? Sure I do. Can I make the bastard pay? Sorry, no.


Mike didn’t say he had undeniable evidence – he said he knew for a fact it was true.

I’m not condoning extra-judicial activity – I’m simply pointing out that “due legal process” is not the benchmark it’s often purported to be. It’s very easy to manipulate the judicial system – the simplest method is to use multiple adjournments to discourage the appearance of witnesses (they get fed up turning up only to find that, yet again, the case has been adjourned to another date).

*Yes I know - it's an oxymoron

 
Jenny
814497.  Sun May 08, 2011 12:44 pm Reply with quote

Nobody claimed that 'due legal process' was simple. However, with all its failings, it's better than the alternative, which is vigilantism. Do we really think that it's better to leave things to the judgment of the kind of idiots who demonstrate outside the houses of paediatricians because they don't know the difference between a paediatrician and a paedophile?

 

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