Print Story Moral Compass and Facial Hair
Diary
By codemonkey uk (Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 08:38:52 AM EST) (all tags)
Am I wrong to find this a little bit worrying: Judge, Jury, and Executioner?

In other news, Movember is over (donations are still open till the 10th of December, so it's not too late) and I am strangly reluctant to give up the mustache.  "Team Climax" has raised over £600 for prostate cancer charities.

Inside - Poll: Beard, Clean Shaven, or Mustache.



Pictures of all three looks can be found here.

In other other news, the light can be seen at the end of the SHSM crunch tunnel.  Should be done before Xmas.  Maybe even by the end of the week.  Thank fuck.

Vote! -->

< They always say write what you know. | Fun fun fun. >
Moral Compass and Facial Hair | 33 comments (33 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
are you surprised ? by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 08:55:45 AM EST
I wasn't when I heard on NPR that they shot the guy.. He never would have seen trial, that's a given. If taken alive, a "suicide" in his cell, shanked by an inmate, something would have happened..

Not surprised by codemonkey uk (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 09:04:00 AM EST
More, disappointed, I think.  Disappointed at the reporting of the incident that is.  Like, it seems like no one even cares that the cops go out and just kill some guy.

The police are not supposed to be above the law.

--- Thad ---
Almost as Smart As you.

[ Parent ]
The score is 4-1 by dmg (2.00 / 0) #24 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 05:41:12 PM EST
So I guess you could look on the "bright" side... 
--
dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
Where's the Dec 1st Photo? by darkbrown (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 09:12:43 AM EST
It's epic and you should keep it.

There is no Dec 1st photo by codemonkey uk (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 09:32:04 AM EST
Nov30th photo is on facebook, but I was waiting for the guy who took our final team group photo to email it round before I updated the web page, so I could include both.


--- Thad ---
Almost as Smart As you.
[ Parent ]
hrm by R343L (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 11:06:59 AM EST

It is bothersome, but given Clemmons had one or more weapons, it seemed unlikely he was going to just come along quietly if an officer finally made contact. Are they supposed to just let him go entirely if he runs? If the officer had given chase (instead of shooting) what would have the outcome been? The options seem to be:

If the officer had called in backup, the possibilities seem quite similar. It is also ignoring more lethal possibilities like Clemmons entering a house or other building with other people present to be injured.

Unless the officers who finally made contact with the suspect were able to come upon him sound asleep (seems unlikely given apparently he intermittently had help from friends/family who presumably would wake him up), I'm not sure there was much hope of a different outcome than him being, at the minimum, shot again with all the likelihood of death.

Unlike others though, I obviously don't believe this is because every officer hunting for him was planning to shoot him dead, but that given the circumstances, it was unlikely to have any other outcome. Peacefully apprehending a suspect is unlikely unless the suspect is unarmed and/or (at least somewhat) willing to be apprehended.

But, of course, I am continually disappointed that cops fire first. I can understand why they don't in these cases, given the perceived likelihood of a shoot out or something that kills more officers (and/or bystanders), but it's still disturbing. This is one of those ethical cases where, while I think it is wrong, I can see how a person could see that it is the "only" way to prevent a worse harm. However, I believe they should accept that not everyone will see it that way and accept that they will be judged by those who don't accept their justifications.

Not that the officer will get in any trouble for firing first because (our) society has largely agreed that it's okay for certain kinds of cases (far too many in my opinion).


Rachael

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
link updated since i posted by codemonkey uk (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 11:14:41 AM EST
note: when I posted this, the news article was much less detailed, it basically said: "Police in Washington have found and killed a man who was accused of the shooting of four police officers at the weekend".

The tone was basically: We found him and we shot him dead, 'cos he deserved it (hooray for the cops, fair trials are just a waste of time anyway).

That said, what on earth is wrong with shooting people in the legs.  Or using a Tazar.  A fleeing suspect is not a lethal threat.

--- Thad ---
Almost as Smart As you.

[ Parent ]
Don't tase me bro! by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 11:33:11 AM EST
Dude! Everyone who's not a complete fascist knows that using a taser is a Crime Against humanity!

Much more acceptable to just shoot him.

Also, tasers have a very limited range. As to shooting in the legs, training is to shoot for "center mass", the body, as hitting other parts is much more difficult.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
more difficult by codemonkey uk (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 11:37:23 AM EST
also more difficult to have to do all that "fair trial" nonsense when we know he's guilty...

--- Thad ---
Almost as Smart As you.
[ Parent ]
You've never fired a pistol or rifle. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 11:44:22 AM EST
Shooting someone in the leg means hitting a 4 inch wide target (maybe 2 feet high, but still 4 inches wide), that's moving, in the dark. The penalty for missing might be your life (if he returns fire), or someone else's life (if he gets away and continues shooting people).

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Sorry by codemonkey uk (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 12:00:34 PM EST
I didn't realize that US cops were armed with single shot muskets.

--- Thad ---
Almost as Smart As you.
[ Parent ]
41 shots by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #16 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 01:09:03 PM EST
at an unmoving target in a confined space/vestibule, and they only hit him 19 times (~50%).. (Though it was night time..).. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amadou_Diallo#Events_surrounding_death

[ Parent ]
Shooting someone in the legs vs. lethal force by Captain Tenille (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 11:43:11 AM EST
Consider that someone shot in the legs can still fire back.




---------

/* You are not expected to understand this. */


[ Parent ]
Anyone alive can shoot back. by codemonkey uk (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 12:02:05 PM EST
Better kill everyone.

Probably saves paperwork overall that way.

--- Thad ---
Almost as Smart As you.

[ Parent ]
I think the police use lethal force too often. by Captain Tenille (4.00 / 1) #14 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 12:09:29 PM EST
In this particular case, though, I'm a bit more understanding of why he would shoot the guy when he tried to flee; he'd proven himself to be extremely dangerous, he was likely to be armed (as he turned out to be), and he clearly had no compunctions about killing cops.

It would have been better if they'd been able to take him alive and put him on trial, of course. I don't think anyone's saying that it was best to have shot and killed him (here, anyway. I shudder to look at the News Tribune's website's comments on this).


---------

/* You are not expected to understand this. */


[ Parent ]
Shoot to kill by miker2 (2.00 / 0) #17 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 01:21:16 PM EST
I remember in high school sitting in the auditorium watching a State Trooper (NJ) give a talk on why to stay on the proper side of the law.  At the end he pointed to his (holstered) gun and said that, in NJ, when a cop draws his gun he shoots to kill, usually emptying the magazine in the process.

The officer did his job and did it well.  The unfortunate part is the anti-gun folks will trot out this case as a reason why we need more gun control when, in fact, Clemmons could not legally own a gun due to his convicted felon status. 

Ah, sociopathy. How warm, how comforting, thy sweet embrace. - MNS
[ Parent ]
so what was the breakdown in the system by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #19 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 01:57:53 PM EST
that allowed him to get one?

seems like it's reasonable to focus on that.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
uh, um by R343L (4.00 / 1) #20 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 02:06:06 PM EST
I hope you're joking, right?

It's pretty trivial for ex-felons to get a hold of guns in metro areas:

  • Buy one on the black market. As Clemmons apparently had enough money in May to meet the 10% requirement on a $40,000 bail bond, he probably could afford this.
  • Steal or borrow one from a sympathetic friend or relative who can legally acquire them.
  • Steal one from another criminal or break into someone's house and steal one.
  • Etc.
The only way to change that would be to (likely) change the gun laws more towards the laws in the UK and also actively remove pretty much every existing gun from the population.

.. I don't see that happening any time soon.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
from which it follows by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #21 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 02:10:17 PM EST
that laws against felons - or the mentally insane - owning guns are pretty much pointless.

so: either we believe that these laws are worthwhile, in which case we should design a system that makes them work; or we should accept that they are pointless and repeal them.

this message brought to you by the society for abstract political idealism.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
I'm not sure they are pointless by R343L (2.00 / 0) #22 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 02:30:03 PM EST
Take a case of a felon out on parole.

It is illegal for him to possess a gun. If his parole officer (or just any officer or even a family/friend) finds out he has one, then he can be thrown back in jail.

If it's not illegal for him to own one, then the person finding out he has one just leaves the discoverer knowing the felon is likely to commit a crime in the near future but has no way to prevent it.

One can argue that once a felon is released from prison he should be re-integrated into society as much as possible so "special" laws for former felons are counterproductive, but I think we can reasonably make a distinction between restrictions that serve a public interest and don't unduly restrict the ex-felon (gun ownership) versus ones that don't (voting rights restrictions).

Yes, it does mean that if you commit a crime you don't get to take up sport-shooting as a hobby but I'm not sure this is unreasonable.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
In most States by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #23 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 03:24:09 PM EST
the felon can petition to get his rights fully restored. I know a couple of people who've done this.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Hmmm.. by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #31 Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 12:23:57 PM EST
If it's not illegal for him to own one, then the person finding out he has one just leaves the discoverer knowing the felon is likely to commit a crime in the near future but has no way to prevent it.

In this sentence, have you not just equated possession of a firearm with a probability that the person is likely to commit a crime? If the same rationale doesn't apply to the rest of society, why does it automatically apply to the felon?

While not an expert on these matters, I'd imagine one of the main reasons felons would carry firearms illegally is to offer some semblance of protection from other felons that might have some intent to harm them. By disarming them, you're leaving them defenceless. Seems a little old testament to me.


----
Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
Depending on my mood, I tend to agree :) by R343L (2.00 / 0) #32 Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 12:57:35 PM EST
I mostly making the usual argument (hence the "not sure useless").

In general, we (as a society) have said that certain crimes lose you certain rights for a long time (or forever) because of the risk of repeat offense. Some of these I think are obviously ridiculous -- e.g. sex crime hysteria that puts a statutory "rapist" in the position of having to avoid children for twenty years for sleeping with his one year younger girlfriend. On the other hand, while I'm unsure about the general case (though obviously didn't point it out when arguing the general felons-can't-have guns), I think an argument can be made that if a person commits, say, an armed robbery (with a gun), it would be reasonable to restrict that person's access to guns for a longer term after they leave prison than, say, a non-violent offender.

But, as I said in the comment, I'm pretty unsure about this, but am unsure in both directions enough to not say "well, let's just remove all restrictions on felons having guns since they don't make sense / aren't fair / whatever".

On my more positive (and trusting-of-fellow-man) days, I tend to be in the camp that release from prison / parole means you should not be treated any differently (by the government) than someone who never committed a crime. But in reality it doesn't work that way of course ...

Rachael

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
It makes the teachable criminals by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #25 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 06:54:19 PM EST
more likely to hide their guns. Presumably far enough away to limit how often they can shoot the next victim. If anyone has reason to fear the felon, and is not a felon himself, this might be an advantage.

Wumpus

[ Parent ]
In addition to the above reasons why by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #26 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 06:59:21 PM EST
aiming for the legs is a good idea, you might want to google "Sean Taylor". The one you will be looking for was an American Football player for the Washington Redskins.

Now that I think about it, I'm not sure how many places you can hit the leg, drop the perp, and miss the femoral artery.

Wumpus

[ Parent ]
How do you know he wasn't shot in the legs? by chuckles (2.00 / 0) #28 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 08:53:47 PM EST
Other than the abdominal wound he received in his initial attack on the four officers, the article doesn't state where on his body he was shot. Perhaps the officer who killed him did shoot him in the leg(s), and severed a major blood vessel.

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
[ Parent ]
What those other people said by LinDze (2.00 / 0) #29 Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 03:05:22 AM EST
So over here whenever an officer discharges their weapon its investigated. For a shooting its going to be investigated internally by the police and externally the DA (~= CPS?).

WRT "less lethal" force, its not how it works. Using a firearm is  always with the intention of destroying the target. There's simply no such thing as "shooting to injure".
Tazers/pepperspray/words arent a appropriate response to a lethal threat.

-Lin Dze
Arbeit Macht Frei

[ Parent ]
not to mention by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #30 Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 12:08:28 PM EST
by the citizens' review board in those communities which have such things.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
The disturbing thing about the shooting by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #11 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 11:56:06 AM EST
is that Clemmons shouldn't have been on the street. From the Seattle Times
Over four days in May, Maurice Clemmons' behavior and mental state deteriorated. Family members worried he had gone crazy, that he was verging on collapse. His conduct became so erratic — punching a sheriff's deputy, forcing relatives to strip naked, according to police reports — that authorities eventually charged him with eight felonies, including one count of child rape.

Still, at the end of those four days, Clemmons wound up on the loose — a delusional man with a propensity for violence, who had managed to escape the grip of authorities.

He should've been in jail, or a psych ward, or better yet a psych ward in a jail, but the systems, both justice and public health, failed. This is, of course, one of the failure modes of the US system, which generally tries not to lock people up without cause. It can be really hard to get someone held overnight, much less longer, even if they seem to be a threat.

Then they go off, walk into a coffee shop, and start shooting.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

the long-term political fallout from this by aphrael (4.00 / 2) #18 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 01:54:24 PM EST
will be a further decline in the use of executive clemency.

this is an unfortunate trend: clemency power exists for a reason ... because sometimes the system does fuck up and punish people more harshly than is just, and a system which is just will have some sort of escape valve for that.

but in most of america, that escape valve is sealed shut, and any attempts at rattling it loose just got a fucktonne harder.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
The 'stache is great. by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 12:52:34 PM EST
No need to shave it off just because Movember is over.

Thanks for your explanation of 'try' and 'catch'. It seemed so weird - why would you set up parameters to fail? But now I get that it's just for times when you aren't certain of what is going to happen. Thanks a bunch.


A purpose gives you a reason to wake up every morning.
So a purpose is like a box of powdered donut holes?
Exactly
My Name is Earl

Top work for Team CLiMAXXXX! by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #27 Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 07:46:09 PM EST
The Spaghetti Western style does indeed suit you I think.

I don't have the option of letting the beard loose; if you do go for it next year count me in for sponsorship. 

Thanks for doing this.

For those of you that haven't given codemonkey_uk any money - I'll make it clearer.

HE'S RAISING MONEY TO STOP YOU GETTING CANCER UP YOUR BUM.


Yar worrysome by duxup (4.00 / 1) #33 Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:43:37 AM EST

Yeah that is a bit scary. It seems like it easily could have been some other dude and some unrelated dude gunned down in that situation.
____
Moral Compass and Facial Hair | 33 comments (33 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback