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People Who Try Not To Break The Law Shouldn't Be Punished

DebateChallenge

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A person should not get in trouble when they break the law accidentally, when they aren't trying to commit any crime.
 

Cameron

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A person should not get in trouble when they break the law accidentally, when they aren't trying to commit any crime.
Is it your opinion that as long as someone didn't intend to break the law, it doesn't matter how reckless their behavior, they shouldn't be punished?

What about if someone simply is not aware of the law? Do you think that should be an excuse?
 

Xelor

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A person should not get in trouble when they break the law accidentally, when they aren't trying to commit any crime.

To the extent that a crime requires criminal intent be shown, one will not be convicted of a crime one didn't intend to commit. Intent is the reason, for instance that Hillary Clinton wasn't prosecuted. It's also the reason a number of people won't be prosecuted in connection with aiding and abetting the Russians' 2016 election meddling.

 
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joko104

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The legal premise is culpability. In many states, an affirmative defense can be offered on criminal cases (not civil cases) that the accused not only did not know the law but had no reason to believe what the person did was wrongful behavior. For example, if some obscure criminal regulation is used for prosecution that a person would only know by actually reading the law that would constitute a defense.

That is EXACTLY the claim Jim Comey made about Hilary Clinton. It was 100% fact that she violated criminal laws. However, he said since she didn't know what she did was criminal she could not be successfully prosecuted. That is the legal principle of culpability.
 

Lutherf

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A person should not get in trouble when they break the law accidentally, when they aren't trying to commit any crime.

That only works if you're Hillary Clinton and Jim Comey is investigating you. The rest of us get the full meal deal.
 

Mr Person

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A person should not get in trouble when they break the law accidentally, when they aren't trying to commit any crime.

There are some 'accident' defenses, ie, you're charged with assault and battery but you argue that it happened when the subway train you were on screeched to a halt, causing you to fall into someone else and you accidentally smacked them in the face while grabbing for a hold.

But on the other hand, a distracted texting driver who runs someone over shoudn't be able to escape justice by saying "well, I didn't mean to kill anyone....I just wasn't paying the slightest bit of attention and oopsie-daisy"
 

Mr Person

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That only works if you're Hillary Clinton and Jim Comey is investigating you. The rest of us get the full meal deal.

Poorer darker people get "the full meal deal." A rich white person can rely on stuff like "affluenza".
 

Bodhisattva

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A person should not get in trouble when they break the law accidentally, when they aren't trying to commit any crime.

Accidentally, or "Accidentally"?
 

Bodhisattva

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That only works if you're Hillary Clinton and Jim Comey is investigating you. The rest of us get the full meal deal.

The full meal deal sounds like a good deal...
 

Mach

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Then to prosecute most laws they would have to "prove you knew the law", which is nearly impossible to do, making most laws nearly impossible to enforce.

Indirectly, your "clean record" indicates you have tried to not break laws. They take that into account in many cases.
They may also take character witnesses into account for "he's a good boy" type of stuff. Not sure how effective that is, but it's there too.
 

joko104

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There are some 'accident' defenses, ie, you're charged with assault and battery but you argue that it happened when the subway train you were on screeched to a halt, causing you to fall into someone else and you accidentally smacked them in the face while grabbing for a hold.

But on the other hand, a distracted texting driver who runs someone over shoudn't be able to escape justice by saying "well, I didn't mean to kill anyone....I just wasn't paying the slightest bit of attention and oopsie-daisy"

That's not how it works, because a person should not take their eyes off the road and therefore did something they knew or should have understood endangers others. That eliminates the lack of culpability defense.
 

joko104

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Then to prosecute most laws they would have to "prove you knew the law", which is nearly impossible to do, making most laws nearly impossible to enforce.

Indirectly, your "clean record" indicates you have tried to not break laws. They take that into account in many cases.
They may also take character witnesses into account for "he's a good boy" type of stuff. Not sure how effective that is, but it's there too.

No, that is inaccurate. You do not have to know the law. You just should have some sense what you are doing is wrong conduct.
 

DebateChallenge

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Is it your opinion that as long as someone didn't intend to break the law, it doesn't matter how reckless their behavior, they shouldn't be punished?
No in that case they should be punished. But somebody who is being responsible and is trying not to break the law and accidentally does should not be punished.

What about if someone simply is not aware of the law? Do you think that should be an excuse?
If the law isn't clearly posted that should be an excuse.
 

DebateChallenge

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To the extent that a crime requires criminal intent be shown, one will not be convicted of a crime one didn't intend to commit. Intent is the reason, for instance that Hillary Clinton wasn't prosecuted. It's also the reason a number of people won't be prosecuted in connection with aiding and abetting the Russians' 2016 election meddling.

Than how about Shaneen Allen?
 

DebateChallenge

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There are some 'accident' defenses, ie, you're charged with assault and battery but you argue that it happened when the subway train you were on screeched to a halt, causing you to fall into someone else and you accidentally smacked them in the face while grabbing for a hold.

But on the other hand, a distracted texting driver who runs someone over shoudn't be able to escape justice by saying "well, I didn't mean to kill anyone....I just wasn't paying the slightest bit of attention and oopsie-daisy"
I agree with everything you said. However, somebody such as Shaneen Allen shouldn't get in trouble, she was trying to be responsible and she was not trying to commit any crime.
 

Hawkeye10

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A person should not get in trouble when they break the law accidentally, when they aren't trying to commit any crime.

Laws need to be written so that people trying to avoid violating them almost always can.

If they are not then they are abusive, the citizens are being abused.
 

Cameron

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No in that case they should be punished. But somebody who is being responsible and is trying not to break the law and accidentally does should not be punished.
It sounds like you are mostly against strict liability then. There are not many laws for which violators are strictly liable. On the criminal side -- statutory rape and felony murder. On the civil side -- abnormally dangerous activities like blasting, ownership of wild animals, and product liability. For many of these, it is considered more just to impose the burden on the violator to make sure what he is doing is safe/legal than to impose a burden on the victim to watch out for people who don't realize their conduct is safe/legal.

If the law isn't clearly posted that should be an excuse.
Where/how should we clearly post laws?
 

holbritter

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No in that case they should be punished. But somebody who is being responsible and is trying not to break the law and accidentally does should not be punished.


If the law isn't clearly posted that should be an excuse.


Can you give an example?
 

Irwin Corey

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A person should not get in trouble when they break the law accidentally, when they aren't trying to commit any crime.

Logical progression, I suppose. Our President try's not to lie ("whenever he can") and suffers no consequences for lying. So (even though your statement fly's in the face of hundreds of years of precedence) I guess you have some supporting "logic" from our ConManDuhNCheat. :roll:
 

Thoreau72

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A person should not get in trouble when they break the law accidentally, when they aren't trying to commit any crime.

That's the way Obama was thinking when he decided not to investigate the crimes of his predecessor. That's the way the entire federal government thinks about the perjury and other crimes of Clapper and Brennan.

That's the way they think and rationalize inside the Beltway. Ain't it great!
 
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