Re: Death Penalty (was Re: Didn't need no welfare state)

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Wed Apr 19 2000 - 11:06:28 MDT

>From: "Michael S. Lorrey" <>
>Zero Powers wrote:
> >
> >
> > In California if you're not a cop, you'd better be *darn*
> > sure that the suspect is guilty, especially if you resort to deadly
> > because if the suspect you shoot is not actually guilty of a felony you
> > up a creek. Even if you use non-deadly force you had better be sure
>that a
> > crime has in fact been committed and you had better have "reasonable
> > grounds" to belive that the suspect you arrested is the actual perp.
> >
> > Short of this, you are just opening yourself up to being sued (and
> > criminally charged) for assault, battery and false imprisonment. All in
> > I say you're better off just calling 911.
>These are standards no different than what cops face every day. If you
>witness the crime, you are considered responsible to affect an arrest.

Well I can't speak for your part of the world, but in California the
standards for cops are less stringent. So long as they can show probably
cause, they are immune from suit regardless of whether or not the person
they arrested actually committed the crime, and regardless of whether or not
a crime has in fact been committed.

Also, in California there is no responsibility to effect a citizens arrest
whenever you witness a crime. In fact you have no obligation whatsoever to
even call the police. So long as your conduct does not rise to the level of
"aiding and abetting" the crime, you can sit back and enjoy the

I do recall a Seinfeld episode where Jerry & the gang were arrested for
failing to come to the aid of a crime victim when they traveled to (I think)
Massachusetts. So there may be places in the world where the average
citizen does have the obligation to stop crimes in progress. California,
thankfully, is not one of them.


"I like dreams of the future better than the history of the past"
--Thomas Jefferson

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