Sio on March 01, 2010, 08:53:05 am
The entire process of jurisprudence and prosecution is just as beset with pitfalls as is the lamentable and detestable practice of taking responsibility for someone else's life.  I don't mean this in the sense of soldiers placing their lives between their homes and the war's desolation, but in terms of a fearful, passive person abrogating their own personal responsibility and demanding that another take care of them -- as is commonly done by the hordes of "sheeple" who require that police and "authorities" guard them 24/7 from the risks of the world.

The further one gets from the exact instance of the offense, the harder it is to prove with 100% certainty who did what, with which, and to whom.  It is the nature of causality, entropy, and the transmission of data that the chance of error will increase in the equation as soon as more than two nodes of causality -- the aggressor and the defender -- are introduced.  At the moment of the offense, the defender can prove, with one hundred percent accuracy, who is doing it.  They are also the best and most perfectly placed person to take effective action to stop the attack, and if necessary, to administer sanction up to and including terminal force.  They are the ONLY person who can do this and are in any way able to be 100% certain of getting the right person.

Once you add other persons to this situation -- investigators, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, juries, grand juries, reporters, and the vast unwashed masses of the vox populi, you have just opened the door for massive error at every single layer.  Investigators did not see what the defender saw, and could get the wrong person.  Police might go to the wrong address, break down the wrong door, not have a perfect warrant, improperly Mirandize the suspect, "tune them up" and violate their civil rights, question them without counsel...attorneys might commit all manner of errors, from basic incompetence to violations of civil rights to outright corruption.  Judges might be politically biased, half asleep, incompetent, senile, or insane.  (Woe betide you if you go to court in upstate New York -- your judge might not even be qualified, or might pull out a violin to play you a sad song when you make an objection.)  Any level of this mob might be up for election, under investigation, fighting an indictment, under scrutiny, or otherwise in the public eye, and trying to make a name for him or herself, or worse, trying to hide from it.  And this doesn't even take into account the possibility that the aggressor might have powerful friends -- his Daddy may be a Union boss, and the current D.A. might get significant re-election money from him, and the case may simply go away due to "lack of evidence" or "technicalities".  Cost to the public, depending on how much of a circus it is, between 1.2 million and 3 million dollars, all passed back as taxes.  This does not count your personal costs, when the aggressor and his rich, Union-boss Daddy sue you for defamation of character.

Or you may get lucky, Klono and Noshabkeming may smile, and the guy may actually be found guilty.  The trial, and his projected incarceration costs are on the order of $450,000 to the local government, which will be charged back to the public in the form of taxes.  He appeals.  The circus starts again, with the evidence even harder to get straight.

Or he may only get 15 months for a plea bargained lower offense, out in 6 for "good behavior" or due to overcrowding, and you get your door kicked in unexpectedly when he comes to settle the score.  This time, though, you've learned.  You perform a radical encephalectomy using an ancient technique that employs a high-speed object propelled by expanding chemical gases in an enclosed space to accelerate the surgical device toward the material to be excised.  (I call this technique projectile trepanning.)  The perpetrator was instantly identified, cost to the public was $8.00 for a neoprene body-bag and $8,000 for one autopsy and related services.

Therefore, reason would seem to dictate that the efforts being made to prevent citizens from simply acting at the cusp of events on their own behalf are counter-productive and detrimental to the very society such efforts are intended to protect.  Instead, citizens should be encouraged to act immediately, since they, and only they, are in any way equipped to know with PERFECT CERTAINTY who is committing such acts upon their person, and are the best placed persons to act to stop them.  The "death penalty" then becomes nothing more than the "crime of stupidity" that has already been mentioned.

quadibloc on March 02, 2010, 03:18:45 am
Instead, citizens should be encouraged to act immediately, since they, and only they, are in any way equipped to know with PERFECT CERTAINTY who is committing such acts upon their person, and are the best placed persons to act to stop them.
That doesn't seem to follow. While your statement is true, it is not true that third parties know what has happened. While citizens have to be allowed to defend themselves, since the effects of crimes often can't be reversed after the fact, the argument you've presented ignores the fact that when self-defense is alleged, third parties are still not in a position to know what has happened.

Making it easier for people to commit murder, and get away with it by falsely claiming self-defense, doesn't improve the accuracy of results.

Sio on March 02, 2010, 07:20:19 am

I fully expect someone to be *investigated* after taking a life, and the circumstances proven.  Did I say anywhere in my post that I expected such persons to escape any and all scrutiny?  Of course I didn't.  So don't assume that I meant it that way.

But where a criminal will hide information, their lawyer try to hide it, and they will be uncooperative to prevent revealing details that would convict them, an innocent person will assist in the clearing of their name. (WITH counsel of course, when the cops arrive, ask politely for your attorney to be present and keep your mouth SHUT!)  And you have the added benefit that you are alive and unharmed instead of damaged or dead with your assailant at large, a far preferable arrangement.

You will also take note that I said NOTHING about "hunting anyone down" and killing them.  I can see where the thread is going, and I am heading it off.  Since words were put in my mouth ONCE, I'm raising my wings of steel so your attempts to do so cannot harm me. ;)  I am speaking solely of acts to stop imminent danger of grievous bodily harm or loss of life.  NOT acts of revenge, "hunting down" persons who have committed wrongs against you and killing them.

Though there is a certain amount of poetry to that...after all, you were there.  You know who to look for.  If nothing else, that's an interesting story idea.

Azure Priest on March 02, 2010, 08:03:02 am
There are laws and cultures (once again references the Old Testament as an example) that DO allow a relative or close friend of the family to become an "avenger of blood." In the case of an ACCIDENTAL death though, the "killer" would be sent to a "city of refuge" and stay there until the judge that presided over his case is dead. If he leaves this city, for any reason before that time, this would allow the avenger to hunt him down and kill him. This was done to prevent those who committed murder, with malice, from lying and pressuring people to lie and say it "was an accident" and then walking away. If it could be later proved that it was indeed deliberate murder, the accused would be dragged out of the city of refuge and the avenger of blood would kill him on the spot. And just in case someone wants to say, "it's all just judeo-christian nonsense." The laws of equal restitution for man, slave, or beast goes all the way back to the code of Hammurabi which IS the very first written law, "eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life."

Endless appeals, "leniency," and hand wringing "we can't do this, we might have the wrong person" sentiments in the courts has only lead to criminals getting more brazen, more violent and more desperate. (Points to the latest video on the smoking gun). In this video, a group of thugs with sledgehammers attacks a store, beat up a clerk who IS ALREADY COWERING on the floor, shoot the manager because he doesn't open the safe fast enough and then round everybody (customers and employees alike) into a small room, beat some of them up a bit more, and then run out with cash and valuables. I don't know if these guys are still at large or not, but I can bet many of them were in the "criminal justice" (now there's a contradiction in terms) system before and got set loose because someone thought "the state" was being too hard on them.

quadibloc on March 02, 2010, 08:14:05 pm
I am speaking solely of acts to stop imminent danger of grievous bodily harm or loss of life.  NOT acts of revenge, "hunting down" persons who have committed wrongs against you and killing them.
Of course, and self-defence, strictly defined in that way, should not be restricted. Of course, though, not restricting it won't take the place of a criminal justice system; those who have committed wrongs who didn't make a mistake in the "victim selection process" will still have to be hunted down and at least locked up by somebody.

People can hire private security firms to protect them, but it seems there has to be a little bit of government to have courts and judges. And since prisons do inevitably cost tax money, even if not nearly as much as they do now, what else can be done to fill the gap between crimes for which the death penalty is appropriate, and crimes which fines and restitution can address?

dough560 on March 04, 2010, 12:53:29 pm
The basis of Libertarian Law:  All crimes are against a person. 

Our current legal system operates on the myth, the "state" is the primary victim.  And the state's perceived victimization takes precedence over  the individual.  The state enforces victimization, by seeking to punish the transgressor.  The actual victims are left to fend  for themselves.

People initiating force will be dealt with as they deserve.  Those who operate by "trick" can be handled without the state.  People who do not respond to a civil suit posted with an adjudicator could could find themselves blacklisted.  An internet site maintained  by the adjudicator's association listing civil disputes, case status and outcomes would identify people who do not respond to their responsibilities.  Responding to a civil suit is an individual responsibility.  People always have the ability to not do business with those who don't respond to their responsibilities.

An armed high population density area, will be especially apt to stress restitution and civil responsibilities.  The old adage:  "An armed society is a polite society."  Will be a reality.