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  1. #11
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Do citizens have the right to take justice in their own hands when laws and the court system have obviously failed?

    Should people who avenge the injustices done against others (killing a pedophile for example) be punished or hailed as hereos?

    Are there any circumstances in which vigilante justice is justified?

    Does this type of behavior have anything to do with the difference between a "freedom fighter" and a "terrorist"?
    I think this is complex enough that I couldn't agree with the extreme version of either side. Complete support of vigilante justice leads to anarchy while complete support of the opposite leads to tyranny. However I think vigilante justice should be an absolute last resort. Actually even when their seems to be no other option, a person should really think twice about going the vigilante route.

    For example say there is a pedophile who was not convicted (or even taken to court). First you have to ask yourself why he wasn't convicted. If there was a lack of evidence then how can you be so sure that the person is a pedophile? Or how can you fault a jury's ruling if there really is a lack of evidence? Perhaps the injustice is only imagined in your head. That would be the first thing to consider.

    But maybe it's not that simple. Perhaps the pedophile is an influencial bishop or Micheal Jackson or something, and they weren't convicted because of their wealth and status. Well you can bet that whenever there is corruption you won't be the only one to notice. You can look for allies, because there will be others upset about the injustice. Then together you can seek legal means of retribution. The Catholic church is dealing with gigantic monetary damages right now, because of lost pedophilia lawsuits. Also retribution might be something as simple as letting everyone in the area know that so and so is a pedophile. Damaging the person's reputation can be quite effective and doesn't risk the consequences of murder as retribution.

    Ok, but say none of that really applies in this situation, and that child molesting motherf****r really just needs to be shot. Well don't count the legal system out entirely. I don't hear this mentioned often, but jurors are actually law makers to a certain extent. The scope of their authority is extremely narrow but potent. They can decide what the law is for the one specific trial in question (and also influence similar trials in the future). So a jury might decide that the lawmakers didn't think of this specific case, or they might just decide that the lawmakers are pompous idiots. Either way the final say in legal matters lies with the jury and not the legislators.

    There have been cases, for example, where a jury has given a lesser sentence or no sentence to a wife who has killed her husband because he was abusing his wife. Technically murder is illegal, but in that spefic case the jury made it legal. Another thing to remember is that in our legal system, all things being equal, a person is more inclined to be not guilty than guilty. In other words guilt needs to be proved, but innocence does not. So while a jury might not convict a pedophile on lack of evidence, they might not convict the person who killed the pedophile either (or at least give a lesser sentence).

    Well what if none of that works? Then you are going to jail. Serves you right for taking the law into your own hands.
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  2. #12
    ByMySword
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Do citizens have the right to take justice in their own hands when laws and the court system have obviously failed?
    If the laws and court systems have obviously failed, then yes. Of course, even though this has happened (OJ Simpson, crazy asshole), I feel there is no excuse for it. But in my opinion, if they fail, I have no problem with it. I actually encourage it!

    Should people who avenge the injustices done against others (killing a pedophile for example) be punished or hailed as hereos?
    If it can be proven that an injustice was done against another, then yes.

    Are there any circumstances in which vigilante justice is justified?
    Yes

    Does this type of behavior have anything to do with the difference between a "freedom fighter" and a "terrorist"?
    These terms and the reasons for their definitions all depend on the point of view of the person analyzing them. All anyone can really do is trust their own point of view. If you worry TOO MUCH about the other, you might end up dead. So this is not to say don't consider someone else's perspective on things. By all means, that is what everyone should do, but I would say it is also good to be on your guard (physically, spiritually, and ideologically).

  3. #13
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBeatGoesOn View Post
    No, only because when it becomes vigilante justice it negates the rules/procedure for "fair" justice. I don't see how a society can be orderly when it allows its citizens to kill whomever they feel has committed a crime against them or a crime that has offended or hurt someone of relation to them. This might have worked back in a more primitive era but not in a place like modern America.
    Kekeke, this just tickled me a bit because I know you want to go into law enforcement. Perfect answer from a future cop!

    I actually agree with this only because I'm looking at it from a meta-view.

    I think most people are very sure of their own moral righteousness and singularity. Meaning while I myself may think 1) I have the right to punish someone when the law has failed and that 2) I am uniquely capable of avenging things without things getting "out of control" -- I would probably not want anyone else to exercise this 'right' freely. Only me! me! me!

    Because frankly, I don't trust the rest of y'all unwashed masses.

    I don't really want crazy blood feuds spilling out of control with bystanders being shot, property being destroyed, neighborhoods being trashed and never recovering, etc. The repercussions from 1 'vigilante' move if it goes unchecked can be very devastating not just to bystanders but whole communities, etc.

    Frankly, even from some of the posts I've read here there's no waaaaay I would even give members of this forum, a very small and particular slice of the English speaking world population, carte blanche to make your own justice. Oh heeeelllll no. I do not give humanity that much credit. I give myself this much credit. You? No.

    It also helps that I know at least one sociopath IRL and there are already so many people, even "leaders", who justify everyday petty things like shoplifting, pickpocketing, stealing from work as a strike against 'the man' to people advocating rape and brainwashing to affect 'social change'. Give me a fucking break.

    So in this case, it's all or nothing. I freely give up the option to pursue street justice if everyone else agrees to play by the rules and further stick to proscribed avenues for justice -- the legal and criminal justice system, congress and elected offices, voting, campaigning, peaceful assembly, etc.

    If you can spot a problem with the above statement bonus points for you!

    And you know, there is a big difference and a fine line between 'vigilantism' and social agitation, conscientious objection, demonstration (peaceful and otherwise) to the government, etc. I identify more closely with agitators and objectors than police lines, frankly. So I'm definitely not advocating for a fascist government either.

    But it's that balance that theoretically makes a democracy and a 'free country' work. You will always have those tensions in a dynamic, healthy society and that's what pushes progress along.

    TBGO's comment on "not in a place like modern America" is also very telling. It's the idea that a society such as the US is enlightened enough to rise out of primitiva and have a legal and political system that is completely fair and objective where people in positions of power act out of the interest of the community and not out of self-interest for themselves or their clan.

    I have to point out, there are, there have been, and there "always will be" unless things change radically -- numerous pockets of the US population that live by its own rules and metes out it's own justice and regulates its own community for better or worse. Until everyone is enfranchised and everyone trusts the police and legal system that's just what happens, regardless of what country we're talking about. And when people in power don't play fair, it's only natural that everyone else follows suite. You back someone into a corner and make them think they have no options = desperate person = desperate measures. Not a good scene.

    I'm also surprised no one has mentioned Clint Eastwood and John Wayne and superheros yet...or maybe they have.

  4. #14
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    I do support vigilantism.

    It might be wrong in some contexts, but I really like organized criminals, pedophiles and their lot dead instead of walking around the streets because they had a good lawyer.

    And I do hate lawyers, by the way.

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  5. #15
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Do citizens have the right to take justice in their own hands when laws and the court system have obviously failed?
    I don't believe in inalienable rights. Rights are what the strong give the weak. It's what people take or have given to them. With that said, does it matter if they have the right? It occurs.

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix
    Should people who avenge the injustices done against others (killing a pedophile for example) be punished or hailed as hereos?
    Everything is circumstantial. The killing of a pedophile by a vigilante only hurts the government and it's maintanence of order. It is only ok for the government to punish and not the people because we let them, and they're strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix
    Are there any circumstances in which vigilante justice is justified?
    All that matters is that it is justifiable to the individual, the vigilante.

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix
    Does this type of behavior have anything to do with the difference between a "freedom fighter" and a "terrorist"?
    Both irrelevant labels.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

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    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  6. #16
    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    I think vigilantism is fundamentally what Locke talks about as being the state of nature. However, because of partiality, God gave men government. I agree with this idea. So, of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with the idea of vigilantism. It is flawed when the action employs partiality; for example, your unwritten rule is that you execute a rapist by shooting him in the head, but because he raped your sister, you put him through ten hours of pure torture before ripping his head off and thus ending his life. Law and government is (and should be if it isn't) there to preserve impartiality and deterrence.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Do citizens have the right to take justice in their own hands when laws and the court system have obviously failed?
    Citizens have few rights.


    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Should people who avenge the injustices done against others (killing a pedophile for example) be punished or hailed as hereos?
    I think they are heroes.


    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Are there any circumstances in which vigilante justice is justified?
    Sure.


    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Does this type of behavior have anything to do with the difference between a "freedom fighter" and a "terrorist"?
    Hell if I know.


    I will add now that while I do think that vigilantism can be justified - the problem exists of who the vigilante is. What is his guide? What does he/ she believe? Taking out a bad guy seems good on the surface - but what if it's the wrong guy?? And further - where is the line drawn?

    Case in point - was once dealing with this custody thing - where child exchanges where taking place in a public place. The mother of the children was picking them up - looking like she was ready to go out to a party or club. with my camera I was taking pictures of her to show to the courts her general demeanor and to display her true self (pictures and movies were cumulative).

    A guy who was near by caught me taking these pictures and felt fully justified in trying to stop me from doing this. He thought I was a pervert taking up-skirt pics. He was going to stop a predator.

    What he did not know was that she was a chronic drug user who never actually took care of the kids and had actually caused the kids to go to the hospital many times for neglect. Her family was worse - they were trailor trash people who smoked around the kids (one is asthmatic).


    Point is - you never really know what is happening.

  8. #18
    Procrastinating
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    Do citizens have the right to take justice in their own hands when laws and the court system have obviously failed?

    I wish I could say yes in certain situations, but alas, no they don't... not in a civilized society.
    Should people who avenge the injustices done against others (killing a pedophile for example) be punished or hailed as hereos?

    I tend to see them as heros but also believe they have to pay the consequences of breaking the law.

    Are there any circumstances in which vigilante justice is justified?

    Only in the absence of readily available enforcement of an agreed upon legal system.

    Does this type of behavior have anything to do with the difference between a "freedom fighter" and a "terrorist"?

    No. Freedom fighters do not kill innocents except for unintended collateral damage.

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