Charles Manson

gerhard1

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I can believe this in the case of a partial print, or perhaps a distorted print in a plastic medium, e.g. putty or butter, but I find it hard to believe that two full, clear fingerprints have ever been demonstrated to be identical in two different people.

I am open to being contradicted, though.

maximus otter
I believe you are correct, there.
 

gerhard1

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That's a decent point. However, if the law is simply "the rules" laid down by a government with no moral or ethical component, then surely it's just a tyranny? "Do what we tell you".

By extension then aren't you arguing that 'stealing' isn't ethically wrong and that we just imprison the thief for it to discourage them from stealing other stuff. If law is not a question of ethics, what's wrong with stealing?
Yes; IF the government is corrupt and tyrannical. But where the rule of law prevails, such as the US, the UK and other Commonwealth countries, the government is also bound by the law--the same law that it enforces.

In many cases appeals are not based on factual innocence of the accused. In the vast majority of cases, the accused is indeed guilty of the act for which he or she is being tried. The majority of appeals are based upon the allegation by the accused that the government did not follow the rules, and that the due-process rights of the accused were thus denied.

Take the case of Ernesto Miranda. Miranda was accused and convicted of rape if memory serves, and signed a confession to the crime.

His conviction was overturned by the US Supreme Court in what became a landmark case, because the police had not informed him of his rights, and the case was sent back for retrial. This time around the prosecution was able to get a conviction due to other evidence and when Miranda appealed this time, the conviction was upheld. The USSC denied review this time.

And I am most emphatically not arguing that stealing or any other mala in se crimes are not wrong. Of course they are unethical. Mala in se means 'wrongs in themselves'. Theft, most homicides, assaults, treason. etc., are common examples. Mala prohibita or 'wrongs prohibited' are actions that are not wrong in themselves, but are intended to prevent greater harm. An example of this might be speeding. Mala prohibita violations, such as speeding, don't necessarily involve an ethical decision.

The point that I was trying to make earlier was that the moral equivalency you alluded to is just not there when the law acts to protect the community from a criminal. If it were, the government could not function.
 
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The point that I was trying to make earlier was that the moral equivalency you alluded to is just not there when the law acts to protect the community from a criminal. If it were, the government could not function.
As I understand it: there either is moral equivalence in a system of law, in which case the citizens are protected simply in the name of protection of it's citizens from behaviour defined by the system of law as criminal; i.e. the populace and the system of law have an ethical equivalence; or there isn't moral equivalence, in which case the system of law and order answers to a higher ethical standard that the populace.

Surely it's in the latter that I'm suggesting capital punishment is unacceptable? In the same way due process in the latter (for example making a defendant aware of his rights on arrest) is a 'higher ethical standard' as it is designed to ensure the executors of the process are acting ethically and not (say) corruptly.
 

Dr_Baltar

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I can believe this in the case of a partial print, or perhaps a distorted print in a plastic medium, e.g. putty or butter, but I find it hard to believe that two full, clear fingerprints have ever been demonstrated to be identical in two different people.

I am open to being contradicted, though.

maximus otter
Unless the fingerprints of all 7-odd billion people on the planet (not to mention other primates and now, koalas) are taken (as well as all those who have lived and have yet to be born), you cannot conclusively state that fingerprints are unique. You can have a stab at statistical likelihood, but all that can be stated with any modicum of certainty is that, so far, no two clear fingerprints have been interpreted as identical. It may be taking things to the extreme, but so is claiming something is unique or a definite match when that is not scientifically justifiable but, at best, only statistically probable.

Likewise, when I mentioned DNA evidence, it doesn't matter how unique DNA may or may not be, the key word here is 'evidence'. What matters is human interpretation and presentation of that evidence. That's what judges/juries use to come to their decisions. I believe that 'beyond reasonable doubt' isn't good enough when you're talking about the state taking someone's life.
 

maximus otter

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...no two clear fingerprints have been interpreted as identical.
Correct, to the best of my knowledge and belief.

What matters is human interpretation and presentation of that evidence. That's what judges/juries use to come to their decisions.
DNA evidence is - at its poorest - strongly indicative; at its best, as close to conclusive as science can manage. A skilled prosecutor's job is to get a jury to understand the odds.

maximus otter
 

gerhard1

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As I understand it: there either is moral equivalence in a system of law, in which case the citizens are protected simply in the name of protection of it's citizens from behaviour defined by the system of law as criminal; i.e. the populace and the system of law have an ethical equivalence; or there isn't moral equivalence, in which case the system of law and order answers to a higher ethical standard that the populace.

Surely it's in the latter that I'm suggesting capital punishment is unacceptable? In the same way due process in the latter (for example making a defendant aware of his rights on arrest) is a 'higher ethical standard' as it is designed to ensure the executors of the process are acting ethically and not (say) corruptly.
Your basic point seems to elude me. You appear to argue that in the the case of the death penalty, society is complicit in murder; that is that the death penalty is the moral equivalent of murder thus we should not lower ourselves to the level of the murderer. Is this a fair statement of your position?

If it is, then you have not explained how imprisonment is not also the moral equivalent of kidnaping. That is what I'm having problems with.

As I have said before, there are valid arguments against the death penalty, but the only one that really troubles me is that once applied, it cannot be undone. That is the only argument that I don't have a good answer for.
 
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Your basic point seems to elude me. You appear to argue that in the the case of the death penalty, society is complicit in murder; that is that the death penalty is the moral equivalent of murder thus we should not lower ourselves to the level of the murderer. Is this a fair statement of your position?
I conceded your point was valid in this respect, as I admit I hadn't considered my stance in this way. I'm exploring your point about moral equivalency and exactly what it means in the context you used it.

As I understand it: there either is moral equivalence in a system of law, in which case the citizens are protected simply in the name of protection of it's citizens from behaviour defined by the system of law as criminal; i.e. the populace and the system of law have an ethical equivalence; or there isn't moral equivalence, in which case the system of law and order answers to a higher ethical standard that the populace.

Surely it's in the latter case that I'm suggesting capital punishment is unacceptable? In the same way due process in the latter (for example making a defendant aware of his rights on arrest) is a 'higher ethical standard' as it is designed to ensure the executors of the process are acting ethically and not (say) corruptly.
So have I got this right? That 'moral equivalence' as you used it assumes the same ethical standards on both sides of the law, that is 'law breakers' and 'the process of law' are ethically equivalent?
 

gerhard1

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I conceded your point was valid in this respect, as I admit I hadn't considered my stance in this way. I'm exploring your point about moral equivalency and exactly what it means in the context you used it.



So have I got this right? That 'moral equivalence' as you used it assumes the same ethical standards on both sides of the law, that is 'law breakers' and 'the process of law' are ethically equivalent?
If I am understanding your question, there is no moral equivalency between the law breakers (under most circumstances*) and those who enforce the law. If we accept the premise of government, we also accept that in certain cases the agents of the government have the authority to compel others to do things that they would otherwise not do, such as submit to lawful arrest. Other examples of this might be seen in the field of eminent domain, or taxation.

In short, if someone breaks the law, he risks paying the penalty. And generally speaking, this is ethical. I don't believe that most people will see an armed robber as the moral equal of the police that arrest him. So, in those nations, (the UK, the USA Canada, etc.) that have the rule of law, this argument does not apply. In Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, etc. the argument is perhaps a bit stronger, as there, fewer civil rights were accorded to the individual.

I do hope I have addressed the issue that you raised.

*An exception to this moral equivalency argument might be civil disobedience where laws that some see as unjust are challenged. Here I am thinking of the civil rights movement in the American South during the 1950's and 1960's. Even though I disagreed with some of what he said, people such as Martin Luther King did much to advance the rights of Black people by openly breaking what he (and for that matter, I as well) saw as an unjust law and willingly submitting to the consequences.
 
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I do hope I have addressed the issue that you raised.
My apologies, I'm trying to understand what you meant by 'moral equivalency' in your original post:

The point that I was trying to make earlier was that the moral equivalency you alluded to is just not there when the law acts to protect the community from a criminal. If it were, the government could not function.
What exactly do you mean by 'moral equivalency' in the context of this statement?
 

gerhard1

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My apologies, I'm trying to understand what you meant by 'moral equivalency' in your original post:



What exactly do you mean by 'moral equivalency' in the context of this statement?
What I meant was the belief that the actions of the law-breaker are no less moral than the actions of the law-enforcer. Or conversely, that the actions of the law-enforcer have no more morality than those of the law breaker.

An illustration, if I might: an armed robber is about is about to kill his victim and a policeman happens upon the scene before the murder can take place. He shoots the robber and saves the life of the victim. There are those that would say that the officer's killing the robber was as immoral as what the robber was about to do, and there was no moral basis for the robber being killed. After all, he was a human being with a family, he was good to his dog, and circumstances forced him into crime, etc. If they believe, as a few do I imagine, that the state or it's agents should never kill, then what this policeman did was wrong. That is one example of moral equivalency.

Or that the state cannot ethically do anything to force anyone to do anything. As in imprisoning a criminal. But, in fairness, you seem to have conceded this point.

I think our basic difference concerning state actions seems to be one of degree: in other words, where is the line drawn? For myself, I think that the death penalty is warranted in limited, rare instances, whereas you do not.
 
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What I meant was the belief that the actions of the law-breaker are no less moral than the actions of the law-enforcer. Or conversely, that the actions of the law-enforcer have no more morality than those of the law breaker.

An illustration, if I might: an armed robber is about is about to kill his victim and a policeman happens upon the scene before the murder can take place. He shoots the robber and saves the life of the victim. There are those that would say that the officer's killing the robber was as immoral as what the robber was about to do, and there was no moral basis for the robber being killed. After all, he was a human being with a family, he was good to his dog, and circumstances forced him into crime, etc. If they believe, as a few do I imagine, that the state or it's agents should never kill, then what this policeman did was wrong. That is one example of moral equivalency.

Or that the state cannot ethically do anything to force anyone to do anything. As in imprisoning a criminal. But, in fairness, you seem to have conceded this point.
Aha, I see (thank you). So in effect the case would be that the same ethical code (such as it might be) is applied equally to both parties, that is ‘the state and its agents’ and the ‘law breaker’, irrespective of circumstance.

I think our basic difference concerning state actions seems to be one of degree: in other words, where is the line drawn? For myself, I think that the death penalty is warranted in limited, rare instances, whereas you do not.
Quite, but I now need to consider how I arrived at this position as it appears as if I've committed the error of having an opinion, then finding an argument to support it, which if followed through, proves to be faulty reasoning.
 

gerhard1

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Aha, I see (thank you). So in effect the case would be that the same ethical code (such as it might be) is applied equally to both parties, that is ‘the state and its agents’ and the ‘law breaker’, irrespective of circumstance.



Quite, but I now need to consider how I arrived at this position as it appears as if I've committed the error of having an opinion, then finding an argument to support it, which if followed through, proves to be faulty reasoning.
Here is a good example of what I'd call misplaced moral equivalency. It comes from the old (and now defunct) IMDb board for the 2013 Tom Hanks film Captain Phillips, concerning an act of piracy off the coast of Somalia in 2009. The OP asked the question about how many kidnappers can be killed to save the life of a hostage.

Here is one answer.

I asked myself this same question after I finished watching this film as the OP did. I believe the situation could have been handled better. I don't believe the massacre of all 3 was warranted especially considering that there was no real violence done to anyone except for a bit of roughing up on the captain after he somewhat brought it upon himself when he failed to sit down in his seat and stay quiet as instructed. Of course what is anyone to do in that situation. Waiting patiently to be saved is tough and just goes to show the Captain's distrust in the military.

The only real crime the Somalis committed was losing out on the birth lottery. I especially despise the way they were tricked into believing that some type of deal or arrangement would be brokered with the elders. You also can't help but question if race served as a motivating factor as well but I'll let the South Park Episode address that one as I believe they addressed it much better and comical than I would.

I think the film does a good job of pointing out who the real criminal is in all this and that the good captain along with his kidnappers are all victims of the same villain, corporate influenced foreign politics.


My response:

This whole post is, to put it mildly, naive in the extreme, but the part I highlighted really takes the cake.

*The only real crime the Somalis committed was losing out on the birth lottery.*

Utter claptrap. Try kidnapping; try piracy on the high seas. Those are crimes, and the Somalis committed both of them. They weren't tried for for losing out on the birth lottery, because that is not a criminal offense. Piracy is. That (and nothing else) is what the Somali was tried for.

As for your outrage at the trickery, sorry, the guy gets no sympathy from me on that account, either. All he had to do was take the $30,000 that Phillips got out of the safe for him and go. He had several opportunities to do this before the US Navy got there, and his choice was not to do this. His greed seems to have gotten the better of him. This deception that you complain so bitterly of is SOP for any police or military agency faced with a hostage situation. Talk them down and take your time, and wear them out, distract them, trick them if it is safe for the hostage.

No, this was entirely ethical on the part of the Navy, and I am damned proud of what they did here.


It should be pointed out that I am not saying that this your position, but rather an extreme example of badly misplaced moral equivalency.

Also in the interest of full disclosure, I admit to an error in my IMDb post. The Somali I spoke of pleaded guilty to lesser charges in exchange for a sentence to a set term of years, in his case 33. If he had been convicted of piracy, he would have gotten a life sentence. Either way, he will be in prison for a very long time.
 

Analis

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I just woke up and my mind is struggling a bit. What I meant to ask was this: will the UK still be bound by the decisions of the European Court after Brexit?

After Brexit would the Home Office legally be able to keep someone such as Sutcliffe behind bars forever?
At this stage it's unknown.

There are possibilities:

We may enter into an agreement to be bound by the court's future judgments (May is yes-no-yes-no and currently yes on this, but if we don't reach an actual working agreement before departure it's a 'No'). I think those who voted out will be livid if we remain under the court.

We may set up a system whereby judgments are ordinarily enforced and incorporated into law but this is subject to veto.

We may opt out of jurisdiction entirely and have our fairly newly established Supreme Court replace it.

Even if we remove ourselves from formal jurisdiction, British courts already take into account the judgments of foreign courts in their deliberations (I forget the legal term for this). I presume the European Court will simply become another foreign court in this respect.
I believe that there's legal misunderstanding here : if an 'European court' did take a decision against the possibility of a life sentence without parole, it would in all likeliness be the European Court of Human Rights, not the Court of the European Union. The latter has no juridisction over the matter.
The ECHR (seated in Strasburg) has in fact issued a number of contradictory rulings relating to the 'true life sentence', some pro, some opposed to it, and its appeal chamber has not yet, to my knowledge, issued a decision that would clarify a definitive position – but it could come soon, as there are pending proceedings. But in any, case, Brexit would have no influence on the matter, as the ECHR has no relation to the EU. It is a tribunal of the Council of Europe, a body completely independant of the EU, whose the United Kingdom will remain a member. So, it will remain fully bound by ECHR rulings.
As for the Court of the European Union (seated in Luxemburg), I suppose that it will be treated as a foreign court, as its juridisction being mandatory for EU member states, the consequence is that its rulings must be treated as if originating from their own courts in a given case. And so, a British court, in a case involving parties from a EU member state, if it involved a judgement of the UE Court, will have to grant an exequatur (this is the legal term for it).
 

kamalktk

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Now that he's dead they are trying to figure out who gets the body.

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/a-...e-over-charles-mansons-body-is-like-a-circus/

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A month after the mass murderer died in a Bakersfield, Calif., hospital, several people claim his remains. This has put the final disposition of Manson in limbo, setting the stage for a macabre and unusual legal battle.
 

James_H

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Why has he only got one ear?
Accounts vary. According to himself:

''Closer to home, one summer day in 1987, I was collecting the material for the first Manson File. I’d had trouble making a copy of the coroner’s drawing of Gary Hinman’s wounds, which clearly showed how his ear had been sliced by Manson’s sword a few hours before Hinman was killed by Bobby Beausoleil. The copy kept coming out wrong so that I had to look at this picture again and again. That night, I was attacked by unknown assailants who cut my right ear off. If that wasn’t magical warning enough, as soon as I got to the hospital, a social worker told me that I was eligible for financial compensation from a fund Doris Tate, Sharon Tate’s mother, had set up for victims of violent crime in Los Angeles. A magician ignores such obvious synchronicities at his peril.''
According to this webpage:

ITEM: Schreck’s right ear was cut off by a gay bodybuilder who’d spied him putting up homophobic flyers on Santa Monica Blvd. Embarrassed over the fact that this “sissy” was obviously far more manly than himself, Shreck has since told the story that he was attacked by “a gang of blacks”. Look closely; he now wears a plastic ear.
Whatever the truth of the matter, Schreck is an attention-seeking, nazi piece of work.
 

gerhard1

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I was wondering about the name Schreck. There was a Max Schreck, a German actor best known for his portrayal of Count Orlok in the 1922 film Nosferatu by FW Murnau.
 

maximus otter

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I was wondering about the name Schreck. There was a Max Schreck, a German actor best known for his portrayal of Count Orlok in the 1922 film Nosferatu by FW Murnau.
Shreck is just a German word that means "terror".

It can be combined with others into typical German portmanteau words; the one that immediately comes to my mind is Panzerschreck:



"Tank terror" or "tank's bane".

maximus otter
 
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