Subject: Re: [NEWS]: Probe: U.S. Knew of Jet Terror Plots
References: <3D959025.284F175B@verizon.net> <3D98542E.A29B1C44@verizon.net> <5uogpuofnnq
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (David Thornley)
Date: Fri, 04 Oct 2002 02:10:35 GMT
NNTP-Posting-Date: Thu, 03 Oct 2002 21:10:35 CDT
In article <3D9A5B16.B6946819@verizon.net>,
Vince Brannigan wrote:
>The prohibited act is not killing people it is killing people when the killer
>has been shown to have a particular mind set. we call this mens rea. If you
>don't have the mens rea, no there is no crime. if you don't have the
>opportunity to show the mind set, no we have not demonstrated in he legal system
>that a crime has occurred.
Well, yes. Shooting somebody may be murder in the first degree,
murder in the second degree, negligent homicide, or not a crime at
all. (Possible reasons why it may not be a crime include legal
insanity - and insanity is something of a legal fiction - or defense.)
If it were certain that a crime had been committed, then to establish
that a person had aimed the gun and pulled the trigger would be to
establish that that person is guilty of a crime, and that is not
necessarily the case.
>> > Similarly the Nazi's had courts. someone convicted in a nazi court
>> > is a criminal in that system, but those outside the system do not
>> > have to accept it as a "fact".
>> > Palestinians do not have to accept Israeli convictions as "facts"
>> > and so forth.
>> That's right and in Nazi Germany if you committed one of those acts it
>to them, but not to external reality.
Well, we know that in some cases defendants have been convicted of crimes
when they have done a laudable act. What this means is that, just
because somebody has been convicted of a crime, and may indeed have
committed the unlawful act, that person is not necessarily any sort of
bad person because of it.
>> Because what is "prohibited" changes from place to place or even from time
>> to time does not change the fact that it is prohibited. Either you did or
>> you didn't do the prohibited thing. Kind of like being pregnant, either you
>> are or you are not.
>this is a facutal not a legal issue.
Thing is, in fact there are generally border cases that are not quite
one thing or the other (when is a woman pregnant? when the sperm hits
the egg? when the egg implants itself?), whereas in law the border
cases have to be decided as one thing or another. If a lawyer is
supervising the estate of an elderly person, that lawyer may or may not
use undue influence, and it is the job of the court to decide that.
On the other hand, words do not have inherent meanings, and while a
certain definition of "crime" may be useful in some areas it may be
much less useful in others. If a person is killed by violence, with
no known extenuating circumstances, it is reasonable to refer to
the act as a crime, and to be specific murder, as long as one is
not in a formal legal setting. It is reasonable to call the killing
of Polish officers at Katyn murder, even though nobody was convicted
of it and it may have been legal according to the laws in force.
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
email@example.com | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-