February 27, 2007 4:18am CST
If Party A knew that Party B were going to commit a crime, is it moral/justified/wise/legal to arrest Party B before the crime is committed? to take this thought even further, is it moral/justified/wise/legal to punish Party B for that crime even though, technically, they have not committed it yet? just wondering what your thoughts are on this subject.
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27 Feb 07
Yes, one does have a moral obligation to tell the police if a friend is going to commit a crime. However, this has very little to do with your next post. Yes, the police have every right to arrest people if they have evidence. My understanding of the arrests since the 11th of September is that a number of people were arrested with no conclusive evidence. Sure, police arrest people on the suspicion of a crime, but I heard the only suspicion was that someone just dobbed them in and gave no reason. That is completely reprehensible, and illegal under the French legal system and under the philosophies of Locke, which our societies are based on. What is more disturbing is that people think that if, after a month in jail for no good reason, a simple apology to these people will make it all better. Their rights have been stripped from them for a month. Heads should be rolling in the government, not mouths wagging. As for legal representation, I think that there is no greater evil in a Western democracy today than Camp X-ray. Coming from a strongly letigious background I think there is nothing worse than democracies stripping basic rights from anyone (not just it's citizens) by denying people access to legal avenues. Most people are fairly ignorant of the law, and if the government is allowed to lock people up as long as they want, they probably can't find a legal reason why they shouldn't be in there, where a lawyer can. Every person in the world deserves justice. Everyone in prison should deserve to be there for a valid reason, not because of the biggoted government of the time thinks they can score some political points by appealing to the biggoted paranoia of some people.