1
   

Laws for the benefit of who?

 
 
Reply Fri 22 Feb, 2008 09:13 pm
I've just been made aware of a legal case where an inmate at a correctional facility had, after months of counseling from a criminal psychologist, taken his own life.
The psychologist had been treating him for a few months, and determined that he was a danger to society, but not to himself, and therefore should remain in the correctional facility in lieu of being transplanted into a home for mentally unstable persons.
The family of the "victim" in this case is suing the facility, the psychologist, and the jail for their loss.

The victim was in prison for setting his ex-wife's house on fire and causing the death of the ex-wife and their 2 daughters.


Laws were originally set into place to protect the people from criminals who would prey on them.
As far as I can see, their was no predator in this case, and therefore nobody to protect (but that's just my opinion)

In the case where people sue a third party for damages in the case of something such as the example I gave above...who is benefiting from this law, really? Who suffers?

A burglar comes into my house at night, and I hit him with a baseball bat because I have 3 kids and a pregnant wife who may be in danger...the burglar sues me for personal injury and court fees.
What kind of a world allows this perversion of justice to run rampant?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,956 • Replies: 21
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Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2008 03:58 am
@Aristoddler,
A world in which greed is valued above justice. Our consumer culture reinforces greed. Its a 'damn the innocent, as long as I turn a buck' mentality. Unfortunately this sort of mentality is broad casted from every angle, the OC and like shows literally brainwashing our youth. Reality, and the suffering of reality is set aside in favor of illusion, personal discontent, and violence.
0 Replies
 
Aristoddler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2008 12:14 pm
@Aristoddler,
So Law is superseded by Greed, which fuels laws.

So nice to see that our world is as morally corrupt as Orwell predicted.
0 Replies
 
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2008 03:28 pm
@Aristoddler,
Orwell predicted something far worse than the current state of affairs.
0 Replies
 
NeitherExtreme
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2008 06:10 pm
@Aristoddler,
Personally I'd mix the "greed over justice" value with a breakdown in common sense within the beuracracy of our court system.

Yes, it is a pathetic state of affairs.
0 Replies
 
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2008 06:25 pm
@Aristoddler,
But what would cause a breakdown in common sense, as you say? Such a thing would be odd if spontaneous.
NeitherExtreme
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Feb, 2008 07:11 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
But what would cause a breakdown in common sense, as you say? Such a thing would be odd if spontaneous.

Good question... I'd say it partly of the very nature of beaurocracy to over time become encumbered with red tape and precedence at the expense of the ideals that founded it. I'd also say that common sense/critical thinking hasn't been a high priority among the American public for a while, though that might just be normal humanity that I'm noticing rather than anything new or especially "bad".

On some more thinking, I also think there's a certain value or ethic in our current society that favors the one who is being hurt over the one causing the hurt in any given situation, regardless of why it's happening. Maybe it could be called overzealous compassion or something. Not sure how that plays into the whole thing as well, or what it's causes would be.
0 Replies
 
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Feb, 2008 02:52 pm
@Aristoddler,
I suppose my point is that the breakdown in common sense you speak of (because this is certainly apparent to anyone who keeps up with politics) might be a symptom of the greed, and not a separate matter.
0 Replies
 
PaulG
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Oct, 2008 04:31 am
@Aristoddler,
If you are being attacked, it is legal to use reasonable force to protect yourself and others. Bragging to the Police about using the baseball bat that you keep beside your bed just in case someone breaks in can't be seen as using reasonable force. The laws are, allegedly, there to protect all of us. A welfare mentality has, however, created a generation of greed. Cases of people suing coffee shops because their coffee is too hot, suing Winnebago because the cruise control didn't drive the vehicle while you were in the back having a cup of coffee are just 2 examples. You're both right, common sense is lacking. Hopefully that will change in the near future.
ciceronianus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Oct, 2008 10:45 am
@Aristoddler,
First, you must consider the difference between criminal and civil law. While civil law may function to protect people, by making, for example, the negligent actor liable for damages caused by his negligence, thereby arguably acting as a deterrent, it is not intend to "protect" society in the same sense as criminal law.

This appears to be a negligence action. Civil law provides that someone who negligently causes harm is liable in damages. In many states, there are statutes which grant those close to a person who dies due to the negligence of others a claim for damages, on the premise that the person who died had some value to, for example, a spouse or a child. The law cannot being the dead back, so it is limited to making damages available to compensate for this like "loss of society and companionship" and economic harm resulting from loss of income which the deceased would have likely produced.

I don't know what damages would be claimed in these circumstances. You may believe that the life of a convict has no "value" and that therefore no claim should exist, but the law does not make such an absolute assumption. Negligence generally is the failure to abide by a duty of care (if I run a red light and braodside another vehicle and people are injured, I caused those injuries by my negligence). I cannot say whether the defendants in this case would be negligent, but their negligence would have to be established before they could be found liable.
Earth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 12:23 am
@Aristoddler,
Aristoddler wrote:
What kind of a world allows this perversion of justice to run rampant?


I don't believe the notion of justice, which is something intangible and fluid, can be accurately represented by a legal body that deals with the material world and it's consequences. Albeit, the ideal is a corner stone of thought for thousands of years, what it exactly is, is entirely outside of any codified system of rules and regulations.

The world has this implicitly held view that the legal system, instead of being a means to contain, and govern the social order of a country, or groups of them, is a sort of moral guide, when it's only a rigid tool defined by previous laws, and authority. It's isolated from the regular population in that it's exclusionary, elitist in thought and language, and almost self contained, in that it survives as a whole even if the entire nation changes over the short span of a hundred years. I'm not making a value judgement on it yet, keep in mind.

The idea that the legal system is here to essentially protect, and grant security over a population is misleading. That view doesn't take into account the fundamental relationship with it's subjects. It's role entails those things, but not as a basis. I think it's first and fundamental job is to protect social order, which is not explicitly a positive for the population. It essentially legitimizes the political, whatever it may be, and can shape the dynamic between people.

It works for us all, or it can, because of the rigid nature in establishing it's laws and procedures no matter the circumstance. It treats everything with an almost "objective" sense, and keeps it's regulators, the judges, and authority figures in check by it procedural process, and it's own regulations, not to mention by sheer social indoctrination ever since it's establishment.

Because it's bureaucratic, and it's function is spread about through the role of different specialists, it creates a very closed off, specialized system in dealing with issues. I'm speaking specifically about the modern legal system, not grouping ancient or modern tribunal systems.

I'll finish this later. :flowers:
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Dec, 2008 07:10 am
@ciceronianus,
Cicero makes a good point; one I'd like to present and expand on.

I'd agree wholeheartedly that greed has perverted much (as its always done - and will continue to do). I'd also agree that "common sense" is a factor here. I would; however, like to interject a few thoughts.

The provisions in legal codes - as I understand them - that allow for suing are intended to serve as a recompense for someone done damage by way of another's negligence or incompetence in the civil setting. I believe the ability to sue is necessary in many cases and that it needs protection. This being said, let's turn to human nature; that same nature which will abuse the very tools it most needs.

Human nature says that its quite likely that I, when in the midst of grief for my dirtbag brother who just died in jail, believe he's been misdiagnosed. I believe that this needs addressing due to: (1) The the quackery and idiocy that I perceive in psychiatry -and- (2) What I believe is an institutionalized form of neglect for those in prision. So I turn to the allowance I have to sue. What happens next is a curious thing: Others seeing this situation judge my motives to be nothing but slovenly, abject greed.

On the other hand, perhaps it is greed. Maybe it's yet another sad testimony to those who'll abuse litigation to "milk" the system for yet another buck. But maybe not; and when we place stock-judgments upon one who's motives we cannot know on a situation whose details we do not know we further water the seeds of hate, mistrust and prejudice.

... do I believe this is the case? Hell, I don't know. I recognize that both possibilities exist. I do; however, think it prudent that we reserve judgement on any such cases unless and until we know the specifics.

Just another perspective. Thanks Smile
ciceronianus
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2008 09:12 am
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:
Cicero makes a good point; one I'd like to present and expand on.

I'd agree wholeheartedly that greed has perverted much (as its always done - and will continue to do). I'd also agree that "common sense" is a factor here. I would; however, like to interject a few thoughts.

The provisions in legal codes - as I understand them - that allow for suing are intended to serve as a recompense for someone done damage by way of another's negligence or incompetence in the civil setting. I believe the ability to sue is necessary in many cases and that it needs protection. This being said, let's turn to human nature; that same nature which will abuse the very tools it most needs.

Human nature says that its quite likely that I, when in the midst of grief for my dirtbag brother who just died in jail, believe he's been misdiagnosed. I believe that this needs addressing due to: (1) The the quackery and idiocy that I perceive in psychiatry -and- (2) What I believe is an institutionalized form of neglect for those in prision. So I turn to the allowance I have to sue. What happens next is a curious thing: Others seeing this situation judge my motives to be nothing but slovenly, abject greed.

On the other hand, perhaps it is greed. Maybe it's yet another sad testimony to those who'll abuse litigation to "milk" the system for yet another buck. But maybe not; and when we place stock-judgments upon one who's motives we cannot know on a situation whose details we do not know we further water the seeds of hate, mistrust and prejudice.

... do I believe this is the case? Hell, I don't know. I recognize that both possibilities exist. I do; however, think it prudent that we reserve judgement on any such cases unless and until we know the specifics.

Just another perspective. Thanks Smile


There are laws governing standing, or the right to sue. In a wrongful death situation, the laws generally limit that right to the spouses, parents and children of the deceased, because the law recognizes them as generally having more of a "stake" in the life of the deceased then, say, a sibling. Also, they are generally more dependent on the deceased than others for their financial welfare.

You make a good point, however, and that is that, for policy reasons, a legal system may want to tolerate those who use the legal process for purely selfish reasons within the rules of standing to sue, for the purpose of creating a deterrent to negligence or incompetence which result in harm generally.
0 Replies
 
JLP
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 03:07 pm
@Aristoddler,
Aristoddler wrote:

A burglar comes into my house at night, and I hit him with a baseball bat because I have 3 kids and a pregnant wife who may be in danger...the burglar sues me for personal injury and court fees.
What kind of a world allows this perversion of justice to run rampant?


The civil ramifications to a home owner defending him or herself in such a situation varies largely by locale.

The Castle Doctrine has been adopted, in similar forms, by a growing number of states, and is a reaction to a larger trend of disgust on par with what you are voicing -- the perversion of traditional Western notions of justice and the ability of a criminal to opportunistically manipulate the civil justice system. Most forms of the Castle Doctrine grant a presumption of self-defense to a homeowner (and automobile owner, in my state of Ohio) and prohibit relatives of the perpetrator from filing civil suits against the person who was acting in defense.

Some states have "stand your ground" laws that permit self-defense under certain circumstances, while on private property or in public, for instance.

Still other states may have limitations on the use of deadly force in the home, and a "duty to retreat" while in public areas. Laws may also vary by municipality, with cities generally having stronger restrictions on weapons (and their use in defense).

I personally favor stronger castle laws and a legal right to defend oneself and others in public places.


As for the case with the suicidal inmate and treating psychiatrist, it is difficult to analyze legally without specifics. If the family's cause of action is based on negligence, then the case would likely come down to an alleged breach of duty by the doctor and whether such breach directly or proximately caused the inmate's harm.

I'd be very interested in reading a description of this suit, if you know of any specific details or have a link that you could provide.
VideCorSpoon
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 04:28 pm
@JLP,
In a way, I would agree with the principle of defending oneself, one's family, and others. It seems only right and admirable. But in another sense it seems problematic. In matters of home invasion, I think that a person should be fully within their rights to defend their family and property against intrusion. Heck, if there is a law for "quiet enjoyment" in real estate law protecting the rights of the tenet against the intrusions of the lessor, who owns the property to begin with, why not provide for a legal protection of the invasion of personal property by someone with no claim to it.

But I don't know about extending a law as far as defending others in public spaces. That seems to be a potentially big issue. Like what is implied in the duty of care, there is a limit, however hazy and illusory it may be, as to where responsibility begins and ends. (Palsgraf v. Long Island R.R.) For instance, could I be permitted under law to protect others and be found at fault for not helping others as is a very essential problem in good Samaritan laws? Would the permission to protect others be a permutation of Good Samaritan Laws? I think the duty to rescue is very much entwined in both of these issues.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 05:40 am
@PaulG,
PaulG wrote:
If you are being attacked, it is legal to use reasonable force to protect yourself and others. Bragging to the Police about using the baseball bat that you keep beside your bed just in case someone breaks in can't be seen as using reasonable force. The laws are, allegedly, there to protect all of us. A welfare mentality has, however, created a generation of greed. Cases of people suing coffee shops because their coffee is too hot, suing Winnebago because the cruise control didn't drive the vehicle while you were in the back having a cup of coffee are just 2 examples. You're both right, common sense is lacking. Hopefully that will change in the near future.
Reasonable..what is reasonable if your acting to defend your family ? making sure he dont get up again and if that means hitting him with a hammer a sword a bat then ide..well i have done it..I hit an attacker with a claw hammer and put him hospital and the police where going to arrest me.I have no pitty for those instigate the crime in the first place nor should the law..
0 Replies
 
JLP
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 02:33 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon wrote:

But I don't know about extending a law as far as defending others in public spaces. That seems to be a potentially big issue. Like what is implied in the duty of care, there is a limit, however hazy and illusory it may be, as to where responsibility begins and ends. (Palsgraf v. Long Island R.R.) For instance, could I be permitted under law to protect others and be found at fault for not helping others as is a very essential problem in good Samaritan laws? Would the permission to protect others be a permutation of Good Samaritan Laws? I think the duty to rescue is very much entwined in both of these issues.


I agree that the circumstances of defense in public would inevitably be of greater complexity than the home invasion scenario, and you bring up some good points.

I suppose that yes, what I am envisioning is a permutation of Good Samaritan laws -- where there is no duty for a bystander to rescue or defend another person, but if he indeed chooses to, then his liability would be mitigated (at least to the offender and target of rescue) pursuant to an objective and reasonable standard of due care-- i.e. if his actions were executed in good faith and did not constitute gross negligence.

The issue you mention about rendering assistance to some and then being held liable for not helping others is a particularly interesting one. There are cases where courts have found such liability (Voluntary-Undertaking doctrine?), as in Erie Railroad v. Stuart (1930).
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 03:00 am
@Aristoddler,
Aristoddler;9022 wrote:
I've just been made aware of a legal case where an inmate at a correctional facility had, after months of counseling from a criminal psychologist, taken his own life.
The psychologist had been treating him for a few months, and determined that he was a danger to society, but not to himself, and therefore should remain in the correctional facility in lieu of being transplanted into a home for mentally unstable persons.
The family of the "victim" in this case is suing the facility, the psychologist, and the jail for their loss.

The victim was in prison for setting his ex-wife's house on fire and causing the death of the ex-wife and their 2 daughters.


Laws were originally set into place to protect the people from criminals who would prey on them.
As far as I can see, their was no predator in this case, and therefore nobody to protect (but that's just my opinion)

In the case where people sue a third party for damages in the case of something such as the example I gave above...who is benefiting from this law, really? Who suffers?

A burglar comes into my house at night, and I hit him with a baseball bat because I have 3 kids and a pregnant wife who may be in danger...the burglar sues me for personal injury and court fees.
What kind of a world allows this perversion of justice to run rampant?
I'm not sure I understand your ways.

- you claim that a man isn't a predator for killing his wife and children and putting the house on fire? You actually consider him a victim?
Maybe he's a victim of himself and the situation in psycology terms, but imo in legal terms he's a danger to himself and society.

- you don't mention that the psycologist seemed quite incompetent, with a wrong judgement of him.

Quote:

Laws were originally set into place to protect the people from criminals who would prey on them.
Imo it's a very very poor definition, and only account for like ~1/20 of the intentions of laws.

- if people doesn't sue, things will never get better. That's more or less the essence of lawsuits.

- if you were allowed to exact unlimited force upon intruders, people would most likely kill intruders.

There's an anecdote not excatly fitting the topic, but close.
Quote:
A japaneese exchange studend got lost and would ask his ways in a farm, in USA. When he enterd the farm he got shot for trespassing. A sing at the farm clearly stated that trespasser would get shot, but the japaneese did see the sign, but couldn't understand it.


Besides, it would also have a bad side effect that people would lure enemies to their homes, then attack them by the pretext of intrusion.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 05:16 am
@HexHammer,
Common sense has to be used when making objective judgements but when confronted with an intruder, an objective view is not upper most on your mind, at that precise moment.
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 05:23 am
@xris,
xris;132779 wrote:
Common sense has to be used when making objective judgements but when confronted with an intruder, an objective view is not upper most on your mind, at that precise moment.
Ofcause not, but one will still possess a reasonable kind of sanity, else the situation split up in 2 other different scenarios.

- you get a blackout and do not know what really happend.

- you have a moment of insanity.

Therefore my initial claim still holds true to a certain degree.
0 Replies
 
 

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