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David and Goliath, why no charges?

 
 
Sturgis
 
Reply Wed 1 May, 2019 01:39 pm
As a commercial ran last week for a national law firm (U.S.), a puzzlement came to me.
Why is it that in the biblical take about David killing Goliath, no charges were ever filed?

According to the story, David petitioned King Saul to go fight Goliath. He loaded a stone or rock into his slingshot and knocked Goliath in the head causing the man to fall. In all likelihood he was at this point unconscious. Then, unprovoked due to Goliath on the ground and in no way threatening, David steals Goliath's sword and with complete disregard for Goliath and his family, cuts off his head!

Why were no charges brought forth? For true justice to prevail a trial should have taken place. If Goliath was the threat (by many accounts he was), then he should have been tied up and taken to a dungeon or prison. Instead he was murdered! His wife was left without a provider and his children forced info child labor.

A very tragic ending for a man who was probably taunted and ridiculed constantly for being different, which I surmise may have been the real reason for his often destructive behavior.


David should have been sent to trial.

Agree or disagree
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 389 • Replies: 19

 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 May, 2019 05:05 pm
@Sturgis,
Different legal systems?
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 May, 2019 05:58 pm
@Sturgis,
I was about to mount a brilliant legal defense based on the standard of whether an incapacitated Goliath still represented a threat to David and or bystanders. The legal standard is pretty low... it is whether a "reasonable" person would feel they were in danger. I would argue that a heavily armed giant backed by an army represents a continuing threat even as he is temporarily stunned.

However, when I reread the text, the facts make this is an easy case. David is innocent.

1 Samuel 17 wrote:
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.


According to this account Goliath was already dead at the point that David cut off his head.

The only option that you, the jury, find my client not guilty.


roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 May, 2019 06:47 pm
@maxdancona,
You're okay with mutilation of the dead, then?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 May, 2019 06:50 pm
@roger,
It is certainly a less serious crime than murder.

Are we applying the Geneva Conventions? I am pretty sure that the Geneva Conventions happened after the battle between David and Goliath.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 May, 2019 08:09 pm
@maxdancona,
You want to throw out the Geneva Conventions. You might be thinking of the Hague Convention, but if you toss them both out, you can't really retain the modern concept of murder, can you?
neptuneblue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 May, 2019 08:42 pm
@Sturgis,
Disagree.

No crime was committed. The oral contract of the fight was to the Death. Both David and Goliath knew only one could be the victor.

The spoils of war...

I think, in those times, Goliath's widow would have been required to marry David. I could be way off base on that one though.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 May, 2019 09:32 pm
@neptuneblue,
In that particular situation, I'm guessing David might have fallen a bit short of expectations - if you get my drift.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Wed 1 May, 2019 11:34 pm
@neptuneblue,
So if two people agree to fight to the death, and one kills the other... it isn't murder?

I am pretty sure you are wrong about yhat. Neptune.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Wed 1 May, 2019 11:40 pm
@roger,
Jehovah God commanded his people to kill civilians, including women and children. God allowed his soldiers to rape women taken in war.

If we are going to judge these actions, we have to chose some legal or moral framework. Many of the actions allowed or commanded by God in the Bible are now understood to be war crimes. Mutilating a dead body seems, in my judgement to be one of the least important.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 May, 2019 11:48 pm
@maxdancona,
Better than mutilating a live body, I suppose.
0 Replies
 
neptuneblue
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2019 05:35 am
@maxdancona,
What's the problem now, Max. I agreed, under the circumstances, David is innocent of murder.

maxdancona wrote:
1 Samuel 17 wrote:
So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.


According to this account Goliath was already dead at the point that David cut off his head.

The only option that you, the jury, find my client not guilty.


David didn't kill him with a sword, he killed him with a stone. And again, the oral contract clearly meant only one victor would succeed. Cutting off Goliath's head was an act of vengeance, which could be tried as a crime against a corpse, if you want to go that option.

In any case, David is innocent of murder, to kill (a human being) unlawfully and with premeditated malice.

David was acting in the capacity of a wartime act, it wasn't malicious in nature, it was an Act of War. Murder does not apply in this situation.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2019 07:56 am
@neptuneblue,
Killing a incapacitated enemy soldier does count as murder... I think. We agree that isn't what happened here.

But if Goliath were alive and no longer posed a threat when David whacked off his head,, under current standards of law and morality that would be a war crime.

Of course later on, David did commit murder by having Urriah the Hittite killed in cold blood. But then again, following modern standards he would invoke executive privilege and have his loyal aides stonewall in Congress.
Ponderer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2019 10:15 am
One oft-missed point of the story is that David picked up "five smooth stones".
He only needed one.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2019 11:08 am
@Ponderer,
I love your confidence. You'd probably go into a gunfight with one bullet.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2019 02:31 pm
@Ponderer,
That was before the six-stone repeating sling.
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  4  
Reply Thu 2 May, 2019 02:43 pm
@Ponderer,
Quote:
He only needed one.


...but what if he had chosen the wrong one?
0 Replies
 
mark noble
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 6 May, 2019 11:15 am
@Sturgis,
Needy for attention, Sturgis? - Any and All?

Grow up, fella - Nobody gives a fluffy bunny.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 May, 2019 11:36 am
@Sturgis,
It’s the classic confrontation. David, small and quick, lines up against the hugely ugly and powerful Goliath. Goliath goes down with one stone from David’s sling, defeated, beheaded, and abused for eternity. David becomes the rich king of all he sees. No one since has doubted that the Philistine deserved to die.

Taking a closer look, the man had three brothers, a mother, father, and a hundred dependents. A breadwinner with a long work history and a bright future, the man would be sorely missed, the loss of his care and protection worth boatloads of gold. The calculation of damages, all those zeros, could excite the dull deposition of any expert economist. Proving the death a wrongful one would be less heresy, more common sense. If the lawyer did his job to get a fair jury beyond all the hype of public attention, the facts could roll out easily. The theme, and all trials have themes, is that this death could have been avoided. Sure, this obnoxious man had stood in the valley for forty days, screaming challenges, but when jurors thought about it, taunts don’t justify murder. David’s lawyers could not justify the deadly strike. The young man’s move had been calculated, premeditated. It didn’t matter how much bigger Goliath was. It didn’t matter how afraid others might be. David had acted without fear, without doubt or remorse. It didn’t matter that Goliath killed when he felt like it. Even the most grotesque among us has the right to live. The trial would not need especially clever cross-examination. Before two thousand witnesses, David had marched ahead toward Goliath with a single, openly stated purpose. He said he’d kill him. He intended to kill him. He felt no fear. He even took off his armor. He was that confident, even arrogant, in his righteousness.

The death scene wouldn’t help David’s defense. The nine-foot Goliath, as tall as he was, stood in a valley beneath two hilltops. When the experts measured the angles, everyone could tell that David struck from above, from a distance Goliath had no chance to reach. As powerful as the man was, he could not have hurled his heavy sword the entire distance if he’d wanted to, and no one saw him try.

Faster, more agile, more clever, David’s advantages began to add up. Trained for years in the arts of his sling, teachers said David could nail a bullseye from a hundred paces, and Goliath stood much closer than that. Whatever Goliath could see coming toward his one good eye wouldn’t matter anyway. Everyone knew Goliath was too slow to move out of the way of anything, too slow-witted to think to duck. When they tried to defend David with a self-defense theme, good counsel would have been ready. There was that trick move David pulled before he let go with his sling. Samuel wrote it in the Bible, and so it must be. David yelled that he was going to feed Goliath’s carcass to the birds. When David pointed overhead, and Goliath looked up toward birds that weren’t even there, when the big man didn’t see it coming, David unleashed his strike.

Wrongful death. Murder. In the first degree. David’s defense would be left to flay away with cute lies… ‘if the stone don’t fit you gotta acquit’ and that sort of thing. The dead man’s family had proven liability, and significantly, a defendant with the means to pay. David would be King with a store of gold. Damages, punitive damages, the sky was the limit. Of course, King Saul had on retainer lawyers who were too smart for all that. The day after, and for all time, David was an international celebrity, famous beyond all realms. With such a reputation to protect, a legacy greater than the fits and grief of the few, Saul’s lawyers had the situation surrounded with overwhelming efficiency, and privacy. Philistines might complain that the celebrity got unfair favorable treatment, what with no prosecution, being made king and all. But Philistines never could know what was happening behind the scenes. That was the whole point of it. The competence of the lawyers guaranteed the privacy of the outcome. Real names were hidden by trusts, the agreements were tight, the consequences of breach severe. If anything hit the press, they were ready with pre-packaged releases on self-defense and good riddance.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone if money were paid privately to protect a world class celebrity. It wouldn’t cost too much, because after Goliath died, David’s men routed his army, looted his villages and left the victims very needy. They couldn’t wait for a long trial to feed their kids. Food and shelter before lawsuits, David’s lawyers said. And they were right. They also knew there would be a payment. There could be no trial, no tarnish, nothing to hold back the creation and wonder of the celebrity that was David. That’s celebrity justice. Today it’s the hamburger stand against the Big Mac, the indie film hunting distribution in a crowded market, a sexually harassed employee with no witnesses, the boutique against the chain. Anytime it’s small against big, the few against the many, it’s David and Goliath all over again, and both of them need help.

-Philip W. Boesch, Jr.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 May, 2019 05:29 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
But if Goliath were alive and no longer posed a threat when David whacked off his head,, under current standards of law and morality that would be a war crime.
From whhence gatherest thou thy legal opinion?? "Elimination of threats" are the standard, If you felt that G was sufficiently dead (by long established European standards, which were millennialy preceded by a form of Lex Talionis), G 'family or his cohort would have had no basis to convict. You could try a civil court but Im certain such courts didnt even exist in a fashion of which we are more familiar.

Remember, this is in an age where the King may have intervened with some really screwy means of property distribution (remember cutting a baby in half to flesh out a mother),

0 Replies
 
 

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