Last night I watched a recent repeat of last week’s “L&O:SVU”. (they air on USA the following week). The story was about a young woman who was raped and murdered by her boss. One of the investigators let it slip that the perp may get off, so the dad took the law into his own hands. So he got a gun and reeneacted his daughter’s murder, then killed him. He was convicted of 2nd degree murder. The DA was worried about jury nullification out of sympathy. I KNOW I couldn’t convict a man of 1st degree under such circumstances, so I was grateful it was 2nd. BTW, I hope the jury, as I would IRL, went home after the verdict and WEPT for this poor man!
Sure I could convict him. He killed the guy just on the possibility that he’d get off. The murderer hadn’t gone to trial, and SVU’s investigation was not complete. Based on what they knew at the time the father killed him, he’d have probably been convicted (though the father didn’t know that, he also didn’t try to find out).
As the ADA said in her closing arguments, if you allow guys like this to get away with revenge-killings, then the murderer’s family should be allowed to kill the father, then his family retaliate for that, and so on. This is why we allow the law to handle these situations.
What if Eliot had not only been wrong about whether the boss would be convicted, but had also been wrong that the boss was the killer? It would be the same situation from the father’s point of view. Would it still be OK for him to kill the suspect?
You, know, eric, I was thinking about that very same episode of SVU this morning.
I don’t know what I would have done if I were on the jury. I do know, though, as a parent, I’d probably have to be held down as to not execute the piece of human excrement that harmed one of my babies.
yeh i would let him go, especially if the guilty man might be getting away with it.
I could definitely convict him. We don’t need vigilante justice in real life.
What he did was illegal. If you’d be willing to acquit him, would you be willing to support a law to make it legal? Would you support a law that says murders of revenge are okay?
Saltire: LOVED her closing! IA that vigilaltism is terrible, because we’d all be blind and eating through straws.
If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.
Archenar, YOUR post is why I put my parenthesis in the OP. Great question, of course vigilanties need to be illegal, but the human instinct for it can’t be totally ignored.
tons of simulposting here! I hit a nerve!
You’re missing something crucial, something that makes me wonder if you paid attention to the show at all.
The woman was NOT murdered. She was a mixed-up, deeply manic-depressive in a (CONSENSUAL!) degrading sexual relationship with her boss. Now, her boss was NOT a nice man! Far from it. He was a creep who got his jollies degrading women. It just so happened that she enjoyed the humiliation… at least, part of the time. The rest of the time, she felt miserable and ashamed of what she was doing. Ultimately, her depression, misery and shame drove her to commit suicide.
Got that? When her father sought out and shot her boss, he was NOT “getting the man who killed his little girl.” He was getting a man who’d been having sex with his daughter, and was only tenuously involved in her death.
A jury MIGHT very well have sympathized with the father’s actions if there’d been any evidence that his daughter’s boss had killed her or even driven her to suicide. But there wasn’t any such evidence. The jury concluded that the dead woman was simply a mentally disturbed woman who killed herself, and that her father wrongly took out his grief on a man who was NOT responsible for her death.
I’d convict him in a second. While his loss is immeasurable, I have no sympathy for vigilante justice, especially without allowing the justice system to at least try the case.
astorian: THANK YOU!!! As I read your post, the scene you allude to, in the ballistics lab/morgue (don’t know which) flashed in my mind! To get in the dad’s head for a moment: he believed the bf’s kinky sex drive DROVE her to a suicide she otherwise would never had contemplated. <out of his head> didn’t she stop taking anti-dep meds soon before her death?
Well, which is it, young feller? Was she murdered or did she commit suicide? Mean to say, if’n she was murdered, I’d say “Kill the SOB” but if’n she killed hersef, I’ma gonna have to disagree. Okay then!
Never kiss an animal that can lick its own butt.
OK catfish, I’ll make up my mind: If you mean capital punishment; as the DA said, no way. But I find it hard to be heartless toward a man who lost his daughter, nearly blew his own head off in the middle of Central Park, and saw this as the only way to get justice. (IN HIS MIND!) This has been a provocatave thread!
Yet another example of why we must end the trial-by-jury system in the USA as soon as possible. Too many people “KNOW” what they think about a case even before evidence is presented. In the meantime, we can only hope that erictelevision and his ilk are not selected to serve on any jury ever. (sadly, this is too much to hope for)
Thanks, astorian. I’d forgotten that denoument.
What do you propose as an alternative? I’d be very interested in a separate thread in the relevant forum on this topic, so as not to hijack this one.
…Unless it has been done before. The search hamsters keep eating my queries.
For kicks, often gang violence is ascribed to “getting the punk who shot my…” Is that more or less okay than this?
Mixie-- the alternative is bench trials.
No more Simpson trials, that way. Judge Ito might have been a bit of a goof, but he probably wouldn’t have let O.J. walk.
Wasn’t this the plot of Grisham’s A Time to Kill?