Author Topic: Zimmerman Verdict  (Read 10776 times)

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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Zimmerman Verdict
« Reply #377 on: September 10, 2013, 10:42:44 AM »
Okay....I think my point was going to be this.

Ultimately, what this law is saying is that capital punishment for theft is not only acceptable, but may be carried out by any person in the vicinity of the crime, before that crime can be established in a court.

The fact that punishment - and capital punishment, at that - can be meted out before the trial seems somewhat bizarre to me.  It makes me wonder what the next crime is that will fall into that category?

Well first off I feel capital punishment is something society through government deals out, a private citizen does not deal out capital punishment but rather responds with force in cases a transgression against them. 

Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.  Net effect is that a thief is killed, with no sanction on the person who killed him.  Sounds like capital punishment for theft to me, for all practical purposes.

As stated before I don't personally feel I would shoot you for running away with my stereo.  My main issue is that I simply would not jail someone for defending their stuff with deadly force from a thief.

If I see a guy running away with my stereo ?

9) May I silently draw my weapon and drop him like a deer in the woods?

From what I understand of this law as you have described it.....apparently you can. 

I'm glad that YOu wouldn't do it.  But the law as I understand it means that this is quite legal.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Zimmerman Verdict
« Reply #378 on: September 10, 2013, 10:48:46 AM »
The fact that punishment - and capital punishment, at that - can be meted out before the trial seems somewhat bizarre to me.

I can understand that, and you're not the first person I've heard express such a sentiment.  Some people express a certain amount of surprise when I myself say that I favor use of deadly force for self-defense (in appropriate situations, of course), but I am opposed to capital punishment.

It seems incongruous, but it's not.  The difference is that capital punishment is, as the term says, punishment -- it is meant as a penalty for an action that has already taken place.  However, using deadly force for self-defense is not capital punishment because it isn't any kind of a punishment at all.  Rather, it is an attempt to prevent someone from taking an action in the first place.  There's a big difference between killing someone to stop him from committing a crime and killing him to punish him for having committed a crime.  One action is punitive, the other is not.

Actually, I don't see any problem with your stances on capital punishment, and killing in self-defence.

BUT, I see a big difference between killing someone to prevent or stop a (generic) crime, and killing someone who is trying to kill you or someone nearby.  So I'd see a problem if your stances were "capital punishment is wrong, but it is okay to kill someone to stop them jaywalking (to pick another random non-lethal crime).

In the case of the law in question here, it IS capital punishment - the theft, the crime, HAS already taken place by definition, since we are talking about shooting "the thief".  You can't be a thief if you haven't yet stolen anything, surely?  So I stand by my view that this law IS capital punishment.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Online jaimehlers

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Re: Zimmerman Verdict
« Reply #379 on: September 10, 2013, 11:10:00 AM »
no that is about the opposite of what i said (or meant to say)  As i re-read this I still don't see how you get that out of my statment.

I was commenting on previous posts where there is a constant drone of "You think they are a thief"  I believe that the law does not protect you for shooting someone you simply suspect of theft.
Given that our legal system presumes innocence (that is to say, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty), that means that this law is not workable as it stands.  Because people are always only suspected of a crime until proven guilty under the law.

Quote from: epidemic
It only protects you if the person is known to be a theif.
And how can they be known to be a thief before they're even tried for theft?  Given that the Constitution guarantees the right of a person to be tried in a court for both criminal and civil affairs, and the legal presumption of innocence, this law is very probably unconstitutional, since it allows a person to legally murder[1] another person over a matter of theft before the person is even apprehended, never mind tried.

Quote from: epidemic
You better be dam sure you are shooting a guilty person.
In my opinion, even if the person you shot and killed did steal something from you, you're still guilty of murder, and you still deserve to be punished for it - not let off the hook because you shot a thief.

Quote from: epidemic
to the people who support the property is more important than life argument,  why do armored car companies have armed personnel.  It is only property, if someone attempts to steal it you should simply turn it over and odds are that you wont be killed.  Especially if we make a standard practice of not resisting.  A 3,000,000 armored car robbery from xyz bank is probably akin to 30 dollar radio theft is to me.

[sarcasm]  I propose we disarm armored car personnel and make a general statement to the press that we will not ever use deadly force to protect cash shipments.  This will insure that no thiefs are killed robbing them of their right to life??????[/sarcasm]
Can it with the strawmen, epidemic.  We aren't talking about armored car companies, nor are we talking about grand theft.  We're talking about petty theft - stealing something that's not very valuable (usually, less than $500).  So, it doesn't matter if you consider robbing $3 million from a bank to be the same as stealing a $30 radio - the fact of the matter is that we don't define theft based on how much money someone has.  We define it based on the value of what is being stolen.

Petty theft is a misdemeanor, but murder (even when it's in defense of something) is always a felony.  So your argument is that it's okay for someone to commit a felony - and be let off the hook for it, no less - in defense of something that would at best result in a misdemeanor criminal charge against that person.
 1. that is, to kill with an attack that causes grievous bodily harm, though it would probably be third-degree murder without the actual intent to kill them

Online jaimehlers

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Re: Zimmerman Verdict
« Reply #380 on: September 10, 2013, 11:18:08 AM »
If I see a guy running away with my stereo ?

In your opinion what should my option be?:

1) Just call police!
You should always call the police no matter what else you do.

Quote from: epidemic
2) may I pursue him
Up to you, although the police might disagree.

Quote from: epidemic
3) Can I demand my stuff back with harshly worded request?
I suppose you can...

Quote from: epidemic
4) Can I physically detain him?
Probably.

Quote from: epidemic
5) If he restists can I use force?
Within reason.

Quote from: epidemic
) If he attempts to injure me can I injure him back?
You're better off restraining him in such a way that he can't hurt you.  When you injure someone else, even if they were trying to injure you, it confuses the situation.

Quote from: epidemic
7) May I brandish my weapon and inform the thief of my intention to drop him?

8 ) After fair warning may I shoot him in keeping with my word?

9) May I silently draw my weapon and drop him like a deer in the woods?
None of these are appropriate responses to petty theft.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Zimmerman Verdict
« Reply #381 on: September 10, 2013, 02:06:42 PM »
Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.  Net effect is that a thief is killed, with no sanction on the person who killed him.  Sounds like capital punishment for theft to me, for all practical purposes.

I used to think like that but now I think that it is an error. There is the criminal law, the civil law and then there is acceptable behaviour.

1. The criminal law looks at everything in an even-handed and clinical  manner and is the public face of authority.
2. The civil law is broader and laxer in what it considers and works on a balance of probabilities. It is as if a reasonable man were looking at the situation.
3. Acceptable behaviour understands that human behaviour cannot be written down and actions on the spur of the moment or because it seemed a good idea at the time are understandable. This standard is very broad. It is possible for actions to fall into either or neither of the above categories.

Killing a person whose crime does not attract the death penalty where your life or the lives of others were not in danger, may seem severe but it is what happens - people get upset, they don't think straight, they are annoyed, they do the first thing that enters their head. This is rarely a crime. Others look at it and say, "Yes, I can see why he did that."

On the other hand there is the case of the able person who does not give assistance to the person in mortal danger - he commits (in most countries) no crime if he allows the other to die.

I think that is little point trying to impose your views so didactically on someone - the spectrum of human morality is broad. There are obvious exceptions but the line between them is inherently vague.

Edit for small typo
« Last Edit: September 12, 2013, 04:53:46 PM by Graybeard »
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Online jaimehlers

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Re: Zimmerman Verdict
« Reply #382 on: September 10, 2013, 02:15:42 PM »
Killing a person whose crime does not attract the death penalty where your life or the lives of others were not in danger, may seem severe but it is what happens - people get upset, they don't think straight, they are annoyed, they do the first thing that enters their head. This is rarely a crime. Others look at it and say, "Yes, I can see why he did that."
Understanding why someone did something is not the same as excusing it, though.  I can understand why someone might fly into a rage over something and kill someone else, but that's not the same as excusing their behavior or saying they were right to do so.

Quote from: Graybeard
On the other hand there is the case of the able person who does not give assistance to the person in mortal danger - he commits (in mist countries) no crime if he allows the other to die.
There's a difference between commission and omission, though.  It's why we don't hold people who don't act to stop a thief accountable as accomplices to theft.

Offline Nick

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Re: Zimmerman Verdict
« Reply #383 on: September 10, 2013, 06:19:19 PM »
His lawyer quit today and asked for George to pay him. 
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Offline epidemic

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Re: Zimmerman Verdict
« Reply #384 on: September 11, 2013, 08:28:11 AM »
Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.  Net effect is that a thief is killed, with no sanction on the person who killed him.  Sounds like capital punishment for theft to me, for all practical purposes.

I used to think like that but now I think that it is an error. There is the criminal law, the civil law and then there is acceptable behaviour.

1. The criminal law looks at everything in an even-handed and clinical  manner and is the public face of authority.
2. The civil law is broader and laxer in what it considers and works on a balance of probabilities. It isd as if a reasonable man were looking at the situation.
3. Acceptable behaviour understands that human behaviour cannot be written down and actions on the spur of the moment or because it seemed a good idea at the time are understandable. This standard is very broad. It is possible for actions to fall into either or neither of the above categories.

Killing a person whose crime does not attract the death penalty where your life or the lives of others were not in danger, may seem severe but it is what happens - people get upset, they don't think straight, they are annoyed, they do the first thing that enters their head. This is rarely a crime. Others look at it and say, "Yes, I can see why he did that."

On the other hand there is the case of the able person who does not give assistance to the person in mortal danger - he commits (in mist countries) no crime if he allows the other to die.

I think that is little point trying to impose your views do didactically on someone - the spectrum of human morality is broad. There are obvious exceptions but the line between them is inherently vague.

Wow an eloquent version of what rambles round in my head.  That pretty much sums up my postion. 

Shooting someone for stealing from you, I think the response may be along the extreme line of the acceptable spectrum of responses to the transgression.









For those who say theft is not a capital offense,  neither is child rape.  However, would you jail someone for shooting someone he caught in the act of raping his six year old boy?  I would never ever consider putting that guy in jail for shooting his childs rapist in the heat of the moment.  I think almost any reasonable man would shoot the rapist of his child.  I think at the absolute extreme of acceptable human behavior is shooting the guy for stealing his car.  Being stolen from creates a very visceral emotional response, as such you should probably avoid stealing from people or you might get your ass shot.

(I am not equating stealing a stereo to child rape, only saying that reasonable human response is a spectrum that does not always line up with judicial process)
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 08:31:06 AM by epidemic »

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Zimmerman Verdict
« Reply #385 on: September 12, 2013, 05:00:21 PM »
Understanding why someone did something is not the same as excusing it, though.
That is true but, from time to time we see a person prosecuted or sued for something about which we think, "What's the fuss about?" It is this area I was aiming at.

Quote
Quote from: Graybeard
On the other hand there is the case of the able person who does not give assistance to the person in mortal danger - he commits (in mist countries) no crime if he allows the other to die.
There's a difference between commission and omission, though.  It's why we don't hold people who don't act to stop a thief accountable as accomplices to theft.

There was a case in the UK where 2 Assistant Police Officers (Community Officers) stood by and watch a child drown in a public park lake. They were obeying orders that they should not put themselves in danger. The lake was not deep and even if it was, they should have been able to swim. The public were shocked at this omission. Here we have the idea of
Quote
3. Acceptable behaviour understands that human behaviour cannot be written down and actions on the spur of the moment or because it seemed a good idea at the time are understandable. This standard is very broad. It is possible for actions to fall into either or neither of the above categories.
but in the negative.

Omissions are often the source of civil suits.
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Online jaimehlers

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Re: Zimmerman Verdict
« Reply #386 on: September 12, 2013, 07:19:49 PM »
For those who say theft is not a capital offense,  neither is child rape.  However, would you jail someone for shooting someone he caught in the act of raping his six year old boy?  I would never ever consider putting that guy in jail for shooting his childs rapist in the heat of the moment.  I think almost any reasonable man would shoot the rapist of his child.  I think at the absolute extreme of acceptable human behavior is shooting the guy for stealing his car.  Being stolen from creates a very visceral emotional response, as such you should probably avoid stealing from people or you might get your ass shot.

(I am not equating stealing a stereo to child rape, only saying that reasonable human response is a spectrum that does not always line up with judicial process)
You did, however, suggest that if we don't have a problem with someone shooting a child rapist caught in the act, that we shouldn't have a problem with someone shooting a thief caught in the act.  That is as disturbing as it is wrong.  Child rape may not be a capital offense, but it is a felony.  Petty theft (such as stealing a stereo or a TV) is not.

You know, I can understand that someone might do something like that in the heat of the moment.  I can understand that a person feels attached to possessions.  But that doesn't make it right, and it doesn't mean we should excuse them for doing it.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Zimmerman Verdict
« Reply #387 on: September 12, 2013, 07:32:42 PM »
If the heat of the moment means that someone shooting a fleeing thief should be legally okay, then why shouldn't the heat of the moment mean that a guy shooting his wife and kids in a rage is legally okay?

I consider both to be murder.  What say you, epidemic?
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Zimmerman Verdict
« Reply #388 on: September 13, 2013, 03:47:05 AM »
For those who say theft is not a capital offense,  neither is child rape.  However, would you jail someone for shooting someone he caught in the act of raping his six year old boy?  I would never ever consider putting that guy in jail for shooting his childs rapist in the heat of the moment.

Should we be pushing to change the law so that it is okay to shoot someone who is littering?  If not, why not?

The issue is not "should we let people off who do something in the heat of the moment?" because we already have a system that allows for mitigation in cases such as yours.  The question I am posing is whether there should be a law on the books that enables Joe Public to exact capital justice in non-life threatening circumstances with impunity? 

Because as the law stands, "heat of the moment" does not appear to be relevant.  Whether you shoot "enraged" or shoot "detached and calm", you are covered by the law to exactly the same extent.

So to come back to your example....if a person with no children came across someone assaulting a 6-year old who was unknown to them, and shot them dead, should they be treated in the same way as if the boy's father has done it?  Should they, too, be spared all jail time? 
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Mrjason

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Re: Zimmerman Verdict
« Reply #389 on: September 13, 2013, 04:35:22 AM »
CPS guidance is a good place to start for members from the UK as its them that are gonna prosecute you  :police:

http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/prosecution/householders.html

This is particularly relevant to the discussion:

Quote
What if I chase them as they run off?

This situation is different as you are no longer acting in self-defence and so the same degree of force may not be reasonable. However, you are still allowed to use reasonable force to recover your property and make a citizen's arrest. You should consider your own safety and, for example, whether the police have been called. A rugby tackle or a single blow would probably be reasonable. Acting out of malice and revenge with the intent of inflicting punishment through injury or death would not

edit: for info on the parliamentary discussions on the use of force http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/key-issues-for-the-new-parliament/security-and-liberty/reviewing-counter-terrorism-legislation1/

Again, necessary and reasonable are the highlighted topics.

Shooting someone in the back as they run away?
Not necessary or reasonable in my opinion.
the Tony Martin (farmer)Wiki case was one that tested the water on this.
It is being debated whether the law should changed to incorporate force that is reasonable under the circumstances i.e. the extreme duress of finding someone in your home.
Deliberate or premeditated[1] killing is still not an appropriate response though as this would be grossly disproportionate.
 1. premeditation can be something as simple as picking up a knife
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 05:31:53 AM by Mrjason »

Offline Mrjason

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Re: Zimmerman Verdict
« Reply #390 on: September 13, 2013, 06:29:01 AM »
Quote from: Graybeard
On the other hand there is the case of the able person who does not give assistance to the person in mortal danger - he commits (in mist countries) no crime if he allows the other to die.
There's a difference between commission and omission, though.  It's why we don't hold people who don't act to stop a thief accountable as accomplices to theft.

To be criminally liable for an omission you must have a causal link to the omission applying the But for testWiki.

For example you threaten a person with a knife. They run onto a railway track to escape you. They stumble and get stuck on the track. You leave them there. They get hit by a train and killed.

Your omission (not moving them off the track) combined with the causal link (but for the fact that you threatened them with a knife etc..) makes you liable for their death.