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Difficult Terrorists make Bad Laws
Posted by: Jon Henke on Thursday, July 05, 2007

I would not support a Federal Law allowing people to deliver swift kicks to the crotches of presumed terrorists. And yet, while I would support keeping said violence illegal as a matter of standard policy, I don't think anybody would argue that such a standard policy would lead to this fellow being put in jail. (via Instapundit)
HERO CABBIE: I KICKED BURNING TERRORIST SO HARD IN BALLS THAT I TORE A TENDON
It would be absurd to argue that we should abandon our general legal policy against violence because, after all, "what if we need to kick a terrorist in the crotch one day?" Extrapolating general rules from unusual cases, such as this, does more harm to the genuinely valuable rules than it does good in the unusual cases. When circumstances genuinely call for unusual responses, either the law or the court of public opinion will recognize the value and/or legitimacy of operating outside of the standard procedures.

An obvious point, perhaps, but only to make the same point in an area where some people still seem to believe otherwise: torture and abuse.

Ticking time-bomb scenario do not justify the normalization of torture and abuse as policy. If circumstances genuinely ever justify such horrible acts, we can employ them and make the case for its justification. Perhaps that person will be vindicated, perhaps they will not.

But we should not tear down the wall, simply because it might get in our way some day.
 
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I don’t understand your reasoning. Kicking an attempted killer in the nuts is inherently not illegal. It lacks malicious intent and has a net benefit of reducing harm which goes to the mental state thing.

Although it may require you to turn the crank of the judicial system, it doesn’t require you to be let off the hook in the look the other way sense.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I don’t understand your reasoning. Kicking an attempted killer in the nuts is inherently not illegal. It lacks malicious intent and has a net benefit of reducing harm which goes to the mental state thing.
I don’t understand your reasoning. the law generally prohibits people from kicking each other in the ’nads. There’s even a name for it: Battery.

Now, a prosecutor may decline to prosecute you because of the particular exigencies of the moment, but the general policy of the law is to prohibit nut-kicking.

It seems like a fairly simple point.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
You need intent.

I guess I see Defense (Self or Others) as a Right and not a Privileged to be dispensed at the court’s discretion.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
the general policy of the law is to prohibit nut-kicking.
Isn’t this inscribed in stone somewhere?

Well, if it ain’t, it oughta be. Classic.
 
Written By: Jinnmabe
URL: http://
I guess I find it strange I’m defending the idea of Defense as a Right on a Libertarian website. I guess its the danger of absolutist attitudes towards something like ’torture’.

I mean its true. There isn’t any really comfortable technical cutoff. The only difference from the use of force from terrorist in GITMO to stop a bombing 2 months from now and the use of force to stop a bomber seconds from plowing into a crowd with a car bomb is time & space. At what point in time & space do you say this is no longer Self-Defense or Defense of Others but torture?

So because of that, I have to have my Right of Defense categorized with torture and no longer be considered a Right but a Privilege? Sorry, but I think my Right to Defense isn’t what needs to be rethought. Its the absolutist policy against ’torture’ that needs rework, if there’s a problem reconciling the two.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I guess I find it strange I’m defending the idea of Defense as a Right on a Libertarian website.


I find it strange, too, since no one is arguing otherwise. The thing is, that you don’t get to make an unassailable claim of self-defense. There’s a process of review where the police, initially, and the prosecutor a bit later, get to review your self-defense claim. And, if the prosecutor decides to prosecute because he thinks your claim is faulty, a jury of your peers gets to make the final determination.

That’s the way the legal system has always worked, and always shall.

The law generally prohibits you from harming another person. If you do cause such harm, then make a claim of self-defense, then the claim is subject to audit. Just because you say it was self-defense, doesn’t necessarily make it so, after all.
You need intent.
I do not think that word means what you think it means. In the case of nut-kicking, the sole element of the offense that concerns intent is whether or not you purposely kicked someone in the huevos, or if it was an accident. If it was purposeful, then the element of intent is satisfied.

In any event, as far as torture goes, the law should generally prohibit it. We may very well wish to decline to prosecute torture in certain circumstances, under some sort of defined "lesser evil" principle. But that’s entirely different than specifically authorizing torture. It puts torture into the last resort category, and requires the the torturer to justify the act within narrowly prescribed bounds to avoid prosecution, and be sanctioned if the torture fails to meet the appropriate mitigating specification.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
just to be lawyerly about it, the claim of self-defense is an affirmative defense, as is for example the claim of defense of others. An affirmative defense exists when a person is found to have committed all of the elements of a crime, but is not found guilty of the crime by having affirmatively demonstrated that an additional fact exists which negates the crime.

Self defense is the classic affirmative defense against battery-type crimes. Being drunk is an imperfect defense; it negates the crime of murder, but does not negate manslaughter.

The prosecution bears the burden of demonstrating, beyond reasonable doubt, that the facts exist which constitute the elements of the crime. The defendant, by contrast, bears the burden of demonstrating beyond a reasonable doubt that the facts exist which give rise to the affirmative defense.
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
When I was in middle school, I got in trouble for getting in a fight with another boy. I was mad because I didn’t think I should get any punishment when I was defending myself, and my dad told me a very profound thing. He said "Everything you do has a price, son. You have to decide, before you take action, if the action is worth the price. If it is, you go ahead and do it, and when they come to collect, you pay it without complaint. Sometimes, they make you pay the price, and sometimes they give you a freebie, but it is the PRICE the keeps us from being animals."

The ticking time-bomb scenario always makes me think about that. Because it is an example of a situation where the price would be worth paying.
 
Written By: Dustin Vines
URL: http://
Intent in the criminal sense goes beyond just simply being a purposeful act.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
"Everything you do has a price, son..."

Bingo.

 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
It would be absurd to argue that we should abandon our general legal policy against violence because, after all, "what if we need to kick a terrorist in the crotch one day?" Extrapolating general rules from unusual cases, such as this, does more harm to the genuinely valuable rules than it does good in the unusual cases. When circumstances genuinely call for unusual responses, either the law or the court of public opinion will recognize the value and/or legitimacy of operating outside of the standard procedures.
My contention is that the idea of what is self-defense is well established. And generally when it is determined the act was self-defense (or of others) the Judge’s hands are essentially tied.

But above here we have a statement which makes it an at-will discretion. It isn’t. Otherwise if I get a drunk state football hero running at me with a knife, and I somehow manage to cold cock him, I deserve to go to jail because my self-defense was unpopular?
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
When kicks to the nuts are outlaws, only outlaws will have kicks to the nuts...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Anyone remember Bernie Goetz?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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