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The Boondock Saints: Debate (Page 3)

return_to_hades IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 18 January 2006
Posts: 24093

Posted: 25 January 2010 at 1:17pm | IP Logged

The functionality of law is very challenging. The problem we come across is the law is that there are many grey areas and loopholes. Laws designed to protect and preserve rights of innocent people can be exploited for criminals to get away.


There was a time when people especially minorities were illegally searched and harassed by police officers. Lawmakers would use their right to search as a means to intimidate and harass. Hence the requirement of procedurally acquired search warrant. Now the search warrant requirement can inhibit investigation making it impossible to get warrants on educated guesses and hunches or circumstantial evidence.


So now we have instances where certain evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that a person is a criminal. However, that crucial evidence gets inadmissible because of a loophole and the criminal walks free because that was the only conclusive evidence but was inadmissible in trial. Should we disregard or overrule such procedural evidence rules then we take away crucial rights of the ordinary person.


It's a Catch-22 – Disregard civilian rights for convicting a criminal, let a criminal go in order to protect civilian rights.


Does the loophole of laws make vigilante justice morally permissible? Can we allow vigilante justices to disregard procedural law as long as the bad guy is punished?


Vigilante justice when allowed can be taken to extremes. Several cities now have watchdog groups that monitor sex offenders especially child sex offenders. They will have volunteers who literally stalk offenders. On one hand the logic is sound. The person committed a crime and they can do it again. Especially when it comes to minors people have a right to protect the interests of children. However, it is not always clear cut.


There have been situations where say a guy X in high school has consensual sex with his girlfriend female Y.  Happens that X is 19 while Y was 16.  Y's father presses statutory rape charges and he is convicted. Since he was an adult convicted of a sex crime against a minor, he is automatically registered as a child sex offender. Vigilante watchdog groups are not concerned with such details. Now even when X is done serving his small sentence and living life as an honest citizen there will be citizen groups who treat him as a hardened criminal or child molester, when he was just an ordinary teen who got in trouble due to a technical aspect of law.

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debayon IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 01 October 2008
Posts: 20126

Posted: 25 January 2010 at 2:18pm | IP Logged
^^ I completely agree with you. We live in a world where a person can bribe his way out and as a result, either no one is held accountable and the case is closed or the wrong guy is caught. Laws and government were created for one sole purpose and reason: to protect the citizens form the government and to ensure the citizens their basic rights and freedoms. As John Locke once said: The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom." But, there is so much corruptness and evil in today's justice system that it does not even fully satisfy these basic purposes.
As far as the search and seizure is concerned, I don't know about India but in the US, the court case Mapp vs. Ohio established this law(6th Amendment, reasonable searches and seizures). Mapp was thought to have been aiding a criminal and the police said that they had 'probable cause' to enter the house without a warrant. But there was no cause whatsoever. However, in the process, the police found pictures of child po*nography and other obscene materials in Mapp's basement. Therefore, she was arrested for possesion of obscene materials. However, the evidence was obtained without a search warrant which makes it illegal and therefore, the judge let her free. But was that morally right? That is another problem society: is it moral or was it done by the "procedural due process". So, many things overlap and as you rightly said, the functionality is certainly very challenging and has many loopholes.
Sherraz Senior Member

Joined: 24 January 2010
Posts: 715

Posted: 25 January 2010 at 2:55pm | IP Logged
Jury system prevails in many cases instead of one man justice. No doubt people can buy jury members too but if the stringent laws are there against corruption in justice then this can be prevented.
debayon IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 01 October 2008
Posts: 20126

Posted: 25 January 2010 at 3:25pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by finicky2010

Jury system prevails in many cases instead of one man justice. No doubt people can buy jury members too but if the stringent laws are there against corruption in justice then this can be prevented.
It also depends on the people's mentality. If they are attracted by the smell of money, no matter how stringent the laws are, they will go against the law.
_Angie_ IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 21 February 2008
Posts: 10179

Posted: 25 January 2010 at 10:37pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by finicky2010

When the purpose of the crime is other than self-defense, then generally people do the "cost benefit" analysis. They judge the action based on the outcome\impact primarily, without bothering much on the intent or the action. There are not many ways for criminals to disclose their intent to the society unless they are tried in the courtroom. .......Everyone is concerned about the impact, impact to them or to the society. The broader the impact, more concrete is the perception. So if an act of crime benefits the society, criminal will be regarded as a hero. In my opinion, every crime should be tried in the courtroom, crime with good intent or bad intent. It is too dangerous to function on mere perceptions.  .........
 Now if the law is not functioning as it should be then we have a bigger problem at our hands to solve but no two wrongs can make a right, it only brings anarchy.    
excellent Clap 

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