Wednesday, August 30, 2006

This is Vigilante Justice

JusticeIn cases of self-defense, the media always cry "vigilante justice." I wonder what they will say about a case that is about vigilantism?

AP Wire | 08/30/2006 | Lawyer charged with murdering neighbor.

Whatever the facts of this case are, there is a tragedy here somewhere. More than one.
FAIRFIELD, Conn. - A lawyer climbed through a neighbor's bedroom window and stabbed him to death after being told by a family member that the man had molested his 2-year-old daughter, authorities say.

Barry James, 58, was stabbed in the chest nearly a dozen times Monday. The lawyer, Jonathon Edington, 29, was charged with murder and burglary and was released on $1 million bail Wednesday.
I don't have much to say about this case, only that even if the accusation of molestation is true beyond the shadow of a doubt, taking the law into your own hands is usually wrong.

A father's violent rage may be understandable, but that doesn't make it right. If we aren't a nation of laws, then we're a mob.

The rule of law is the cornerstone of our civilization, if we abandon it, we revert to what Thomas Hobbes called the state of war.
and such a war as is of every man against every man.
Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, judged guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, entitled to a jury of your peers.... None of these were in play.

And where do we end up if we abandon the law, if there is not "a common power to keep [us in line?]"
men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
In short you would be living in New Orleans in the days immediately following hurricane Katrina.

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