Discussion in 'House of Debates' started by dahermit, Jun 29, 2007.
lol..the things I learn here
I think Phelps has a long line of ...umh...personal admirers...
Be glad we have not turned our childish name calling on you. The babysitter is in a very precarious position.
Couldn't such action be construed as self defense when the local law enforcement has made it clear that it eiter can not, or will not deal with a particular element within a community which is generally what brings on vigilantism in the first place?
Just one question. Could you possibly be more stupid? I think the answer is obvious. No. It would be humanly impossible. Innocent people are killed all the time anyway? That's your logic? That's the premise that supports your assertion? You have to be joking.
Vigilanteism is why we have a state. In the past a single crime, real or perceived, could lead to a chain reaction of violence. We still see this dynamic in areas of lawlessness such as the Middle Eastern tribal areas and gang territory in the ghetto.
Justice is subjective and not usually as just as we'd like to think. Courts exist to make sure that a real justice is served.
It's a shame when courts fail... but mob justice is not justifiable. There are rare cases when vigilanteism might be right because it might lead to protection... and other cases where it should at least cut the sentence because of the vigilante's emotional state...
But it should always be punished to some extent.
The problem with vigilantism is it is a slippery slope - where would you draw the line? And how?
I can't help but think of all these Rambo-wannabe's shooting up a street with disregard for the safety of others.
Yes, not only could I be stupid, I could be young, arrogant, and stupid. I could be a raging and rude little boy...but I am not. If you cannot debate in a civil manner please find another thread.
What I was referring to was that many people have been convicted and sentenced to death by courts that were innocent (recent DNA evidence releases several on death row). Therefore, the court system does not have a very good history in sorting out who is innocent as opposed to guilty. So, the idea that courts make better determinations of guilt than would vigilante committees is debatable.
Admittedly it is. But historically there were vigilance committees, not just one person. There are small units of local government (town meetings) that could elect/appoint a vigilance committee instead of a sheriff to act in their behalf. But, I am not advocating this as a system; just answering your question.
My main point is: When conventional law enforcement/criminal justice system fails, do the citizens have the moral right to act preemptively in their own defense?
In the two instances I had in mind, that is not what happened. In the first instance, the shooter(s) had the support of the whole town, including the local minister. In the second instance, the retired Navy officer had the support of his neighbors and testified at his trial.
Even given that - the courts still make better determinations. The accused has the right of due process and all that implies. That is not possible with vigilante committees who will each interpret the law - and the penalty - in his or her own way.
I have to ask though...how is that different from the lynch mob? They took justice into their own hands, they certainly felt they were in the right...
Except for self defense....I don't think so....because "fails" is subject to a subjective interpretation. A person may not get the result he "likes" and may then consider the system to have failed - does that give him the right to over ride the system?
If each person has the right to interpret the law and accord justice, according to his own personal feelings...then what value is law?
Hold on. I thought that you believed dead was dead and that one's day in court really didn't matter if one was innocent.
Didn't you argue against this very concept elsewhere? What value is the law indeed?
You really need to work on those inconsistincies.
I'm still working through those issues...because, basically I believe in law and I believe in preserving an innocent person's life and I believe in equality under the law. Thus I disagree with the death penalty. Because I believe in the rule of law doesn't mean I agree with all laws or their justness but there are mechanisms for changing them and that mechanism shouldn't be vigilantism.
Some very good posts beginning to appear. Thank you.
Re: The original purpose of my post was to determine if there is a point where it is justifiable to take the law into civilian hands.
The people involved in the two instances I mentioned were interviewed in a television special. They stated that they felt they had no choice(they were terrified). In effect, they acted at the lowest level of government authority; the village/neighborhood( held meetings) as opposed to the county, state, or federal authorities. The county and state's and federal (FBI got involved) position was that a crime was committed; the people stated there was not. Their position was that innocent death would have almost surely occurred if they had not acted.
This position brings another factor to the argument: At what level of government is likely to be more efficient at protecting people's lives?
Too bad you were unable to articulate your petty equivocations in your OP. Back pedaling after the fact doesn't present a convincing argument either. Of course what else can we expect? You make an academic argument with no actual point.
Separate names with a comma.