Saturday, October 11, 2008

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Doing Wrong to Do Right

Governor Sarah Palin apparently has been cited for losing some of her ethics on the warpath to getting her brother-in-law nailed for his misbehavior. Did the end justify the means? This is an age-old question, especially when it comes down to protecting innocent people.

Let's look at a couple of scenarios that can drive us nuts.

The first one: A man is let out of prison after he has raped and murdered to children. He comes to you one night - say he is your brother-in-law- and he tells you, as he is getting into his car, "I am going to go rape and kill me a little six-year-old girl." You know he means it. Do you shoot him?

The second one: Ten men are fighting the death penalty in court. One is innocent of murder (and truly an honest and wonderful law-abiding citizen) and the other nine are vicious serial killers who we know have killed many times and, if they get off, they will go out and kill ten innocent people a piece. Should we be so strict with our requirements to get a conviction that it is nearly impossible to get a guilty verdict? Is that saying that it is better to let ten guilty men go free to save one innocent one? I don't know why the person who made that statement can't count but if you let the guilty men go free, you are condemning 100 people to death.

Maybe Palin got caught up in this kind of thinking or maybe she just wanted to win and didn't think she had to follow the rules. I tend to think the latter is true but the issue of right vs. wrong in protecting innocent people is really quite interesting and certainly frustrating.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown


Ronni said...

1) No, but you could wing him and take him to the PD.

2) Might be worth taking the death penalty off the table in the interests of a) getting an easier conviction and b) having time to figure out on appeal that the one guy is innocent.

Am I naive?

Levi said...

This is a witch hunt against Sarah Palin. That cop tasered his own child. Who cares if she got him fired? He deserves much more IMO.

Pat Brown said...

Well, Ronni, if you wing the guy and take him to the PD, you get arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. After all, telling the police you shot him because he said he wanted to rape a kid is not a defense for an offensive act. You go away to the big house, creepo goes free to commit the crime. This is why you have to do one of two things:

Shoot him and make sure no one knows who did it


Shoot him and turn yourself in and take the death penalty or lifetime sentence in exchange for saving the child. Unless you are Jesus Christ, I doubt many will do this!

As to the death penalty, I myself think it could be beneficial to remove it for the sake of getting convictions but ONLY if the worst of the worst are transported to living hell on an island of rocks in the middle of the ocean. Going to prison just doesn't cut it as a punishment or a deterrent. I especially object to any killer not receiving the death penalty and being allowed to still have contact with the outside world (and I object to this while they are on death row as well or in for life).

As to your comment, Levi, Palin still can't act above the law even if her brother-in-law is a SOB.

Irelands Lady said...

I don't believe anyone has the right to take another life. I would be against the death penalty.
Prison life should be much harsher for sure. Criminals have it way too easy. Prison is suppose to be a punishment and for alot of criminals it is an easy ride.

transfattyacid said...

Or maybe civil authorites are a law unto themselves - and because no one does anything about it, the police habitually think they don't have to obey the law.

And it just so happened that on this occasion there was a public official who was prepared to take a stand.

A Voice of Sanity said...

When you convict an innocent man you commit the crimes of kidnapping and forcible confinement upon his person. If there is any wrongdoing on the part of anyone involved they should be convicted of these crimes and sentenced accordingly.