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People got all bent out of shape when a store owner booby-trapped his store at night after being robbed so many times. The robber was found there dead in the morning. Some cried murder. Some were outraged. I laughed my ass off.
A falsely accused " criminal " is a victim too. You either believe in innocent until proven guilty, or the angry mob skew justice into a big, messy, unfair lump of emotional hysteria and politically "correct" prejudice
Well said, Alf. For me, the biggest problem is the presumption of guilt. Well, that, and people that have a vindictive streak a mile wide.
On an intellectual level criminals are much more interesting than victims.
As far as the rights of the criminal versus the victim--Alf & Cath said it best.
I can't say it any better than KingAlfred did.
What about victimless crimes?
I do not think that "most people care more about criminals than victims."
There is sometimes the perception that criminals have more rights than victims, and this results from the hue and cry when a criminal defendant is freed on some Constitutional "technicality" or the other.
What is usually lost in the chaos of such events is that the "rights" at issue are not "criminal's rights." Rather, they are the rights of American citizens.
And if we let ourselves be manipulated by the mislabeling of any right into agreeing to it's reduction or elimination, then we do ourselves a grave disservice.
I wish you would have given an example.
A couple of weeks ago a police officer was slain trying to capture a bank/grocery store robber. The next day in the Chronicle there was an article about what a "troubled childhood" this guy had. I mean where is the respect for the cop who was killed protecting people. He was a Marine prior and his wife was eight months pregnant. But that barely got a mention until a bunch of people got up in the face of the media. On the day of the slain cop's funeral there thousands of cops from all over the State of California and the nation, and again the media barely covered it, and one local station again ran a story on the alleged killer's troubled childhood.
At that point I don't give a shit about this guy's troubles. Screw him.
And even though I am adamantly opposed to the death penalty I can't really find it in myself to get worked up over the (rare) execution in California. The individual murderer doesn't elicit sympathy in me.
I agree, Inter, that it often angers us when see extreme examples of criminal behavior (such as that in your comments, as well as the recent rape/murder of young children). If you are human, you are sickened and become understandably furious. At these times, we all cry out for blood, for revenge.
My point is that it is precisely at these times of extreme emotions that we should be careful that we do not agree to some reduction of all of our rights because we do not like how they are being applied to someone whose conduct we deplore. The larger extreme of this tendency can be seen in how easily we agreed to the infringement of our Constitutional rights after 9-11. The Patriot Act is anything but patriotic. And notice, that once government is able to sell us any limitation of our liberties, under whatever pretext, that they aren't satisfied until they get more. Witness the recent attempts to reduce the power of the courts and increase the power of police.
My comment was just a "heads up" to encourage us to focus on the fact that the rights we give up while we are angry or afraid, are OUR RIGHTS, not the rights of criminals or other subgroups.
Understand and appreciate your examples, and certainly feel the same when these sorts of things happen. However we feel, though, the preservation of liberty is much, much more important than any single case, or issue.
Griffon, I agree with you. I just don't know why this has to be turned into an issue of the Patriot act though. I agree with most of your sentiments on the Act.
A more appropriate criticism, but one that is harder to make than the Patriot Act argument, is the State of Florida's heavy-handed legislation regarding sex offenders. That would really demonstrate a civil libertarian bona fides. The Patriot Act doesn't really have any value in just mentioning it.