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Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:07 PM

Why Didn't Jimmy Lee Dykes Get A Trial?


Jimmy Lee Dykes, the Alabama man who was holding a child hostage in a bunker for several days, was apparently killed by law enforcement.

He was not arrested, he was not charged, he was not tried, he was not given access to an attorney. He was shot dead.

Same with Charles Whitman, Bonnie & Clyde, and countless other criminal suspects apparently engaged in violent activity and showing no sign of desisting from that activity.

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Arrow 69 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Didn't Jimmy Lee Dykes Get A Trial? (Original post)
jberryhill Feb 2013 OP
Sheldon Cooper Feb 2013 #1
TheCowsCameHome Feb 2013 #2
randome Feb 2013 #3
cali Feb 2013 #4
jberryhill Feb 2013 #13
Comrade Grumpy Feb 2013 #29
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2013 #5
CTyankee Feb 2013 #6
HappyMe Feb 2013 #9
CTyankee Feb 2013 #12
randome Feb 2013 #10
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2013 #26
randome Feb 2013 #40
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2013 #42
randome Feb 2013 #44
Luminous Animal Feb 2013 #47
randome Feb 2013 #51
Luminous Animal Feb 2013 #56
jberryhill Feb 2013 #14
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2013 #66
jberryhill Feb 2013 #20
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2013 #31
jberryhill Feb 2013 #50
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2013 #57
jberryhill Feb 2013 #61
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2013 #63
jberryhill Feb 2013 #67
Recursion Feb 2013 #27
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2013 #35
Recursion Feb 2013 #36
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2013 #38
Recursion Feb 2013 #39
SidDithers Feb 2013 #7
slackmaster Feb 2013 #8
jberryhill Feb 2013 #16
madokie Feb 2013 #11
jberryhill Feb 2013 #17
madokie Feb 2013 #24
2naSalit Feb 2013 #34
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2013 #41
madokie Feb 2013 #46
Whisp Feb 2013 #15
jberryhill Feb 2013 #18
Whisp Feb 2013 #37
Brother Buzz Feb 2013 #19
jberryhill Feb 2013 #22
Brother Buzz Feb 2013 #23
EastKYLiberal Feb 2013 #21
RebelOne Feb 2013 #43
NightWatcher Feb 2013 #25
Recursion Feb 2013 #28
Comrade Grumpy Feb 2013 #30
MicaelS Feb 2013 #32
madokie Feb 2013 #33
JaneyVee Feb 2013 #45
ljm2002 Feb 2013 #48
jberryhill Feb 2013 #49
ljm2002 Feb 2013 #52
jberryhill Feb 2013 #54
cthulu2016 Feb 2013 #53
jberryhill Feb 2013 #55
cthulu2016 Feb 2013 #58
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #59
jberryhill Feb 2013 #69
Myrina Feb 2013 #60
LanternWaste Feb 2013 #62
Zoeisright Feb 2013 #64
jberryhill Feb 2013 #68
RZM Feb 2013 #65

Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:09 PM

1. I think if he would have surrendered peacefully, or at least released his hostage,

that could have happened. Jimmy Lee Dykes is the only person responsible for what happened to him.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:10 PM

2. He did. It was over in a flash.

It's more than he deserved, actually.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:11 PM

3. Superman was busy diverting an asteroid at the time.

Otherwise, he would have been brought to trial.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:11 PM

4. Is this an oblique reference to the extra-judicial killings of Americans

who are purportedly engaging in terrorist activity?

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Response to cali (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:35 PM

13. Yes, I'm trying to figure out what are the distinctions


While I realize that DU is all about first forming an opinion and then declaring those who don't agree with it to be miserable, awful people, there are situations where person engaged in a course of life-threatening activity and who cannot be apprehended are the subject of deadly force by law enforcement.

Charles Whitman, Bonnie & Clyde, John Dillinger.... other persons engaged in activity, or dangerous suspected felons who are fleeing or evading capture become the subject of deadly force in the course of law enforcement. It's not some strange unusual and new thing from that very general point of view.

Yes, there are all sorts of distinctions as well, but I'm more interested in hearing what lines other people draw than in pontificating about my as-yet unformed opinion.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #13)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:52 PM

29. In these cases, the threat was not even "imminent," but immediate.

How is a 16-year-old kid eating dinner at an outdoor restaurant in Yemen an "imminent" threat?

Or even a guy posting propaganda videos?

The Obama administration has to destroy the English language to justify its assassination policy.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:18 PM

5. Jimmy Lee Dykes was suspected of kidnapping and murder.

resisting arrest, endangering a child, and according to reports engaged in a gun battle with police attempting to protect the child and arrest him for alleged crimes. Pursuant to an attempt by the police to return the child in Dykes possession to the child's family, he resisted officers of the law, who, with reasonable cause, shot him in a gun battle in a hidden bunker now known to have been bobby-trapped with explosives.

In the cases you mentioned, all of those men and women were involved actively in crimes and the taking of lives, and were being sought by the police, either with active warrants or using probable cause. (Whitman was shooting people from the Texas Bell Tower.)

What analogy are you trying to make with these issues of law enforcement?

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:22 PM

6. oh, good lord yes! This whole story gives me chlls of horror...I can only imagine

what he had in store for that kid.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:28 PM

9. I heard on the noon news that

he had an IED planted by the entrance and another by that pipe that they were communicating through. They only blasted when he was observed with a gun in his hand.

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Response to HappyMe (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:34 PM

12. I think they had gone as far as they could go with him and had a strong inkling that he

was getting ready to explode. I think they handled this case appropriately. I wish the police in Cheshire, CT had handled that home invasion case better and saved the doctor's wife and two daughters. That was a hideous tragedy.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:28 PM

10. Isn't probable cause the basis for the killing of suspected terrorists?

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Response to randome (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:48 PM

26. Someone actively involved in a crime

endangering or threatening the lives of others and who reuses to surrender to a legal authority can be engaged using deadly force by law enforcement officers.

So, if that terrorist is in the U.S., and law enforcement was involved, probable cause would be necessary for deadly force.

A terrorist in the hills of Afghanistan or in a house in Yemen is not being pursued by law enforcement, and the military (excepting only valid members of the military police) are not law enforcement officers and have no law enforcement powers. They work under rules of engagement set by the Pentagon with the guidance of the Secretary of Defense and the President.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:16 PM

40. We are invited into those countries by their governments.

So, yes, we are being given whatever authority we need.

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Response to randome (Reply #40)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:21 PM

42. That is not necessarily true. Pakistan did not invite us.

I am not sure that Yemen would have approved allowing hundreds of Marines or dozens of Rangers or Seals to apprehend people in their country. We are not being given whatever authority we need. Because Yemen allows us to provide air support for their own military actions or to pursue possible terrorists with drones is not the same as allowing an invasion force to fight an active battle in their countryside.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #42)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:42 PM

44. I believe Pakistan furnished information about OBL's location. On the sly, as it were.

It's a complicated relationship there. The government protests mildly but secretly wants us to help them 'clean up' the more radical tribesman. You know, the ones beheading women and cutting the hands off unbelievers.

If Yemen objects to our invited presence, they need to step up and say so. But I think, like Pakistan, the government would prefer we stay.

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Response to randome (Reply #44)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:17 PM

47. Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S., Sherry Rehman denies your "secret" agrremnt.


"Operationally, it is counterproductive because it creates more potential terrorists on the ground instead of taking them out," she says, adding public perception in Pakistan turns the attacks into a recruiting tool for terrorist organizations. "We need to drain the swamp."

Rehman denies accusations that Pakistan outwardly condemns the strikes, but is privately complicit in their effectiveness.

"There is no question of quiet complicity. There is no question of 'wink and nod.'
This is a parliamentary 'red line' that all our government institutions have internalized as policy," says Rehman, who has been in her current position since the end of 2011. "I also say this as not just a policy that we say. It is important to us."


She also states this:

"We see them as a direct violation of our sovereignty. We also see them as a violation of international law," the ambassador said at a meeting with reporters Tuesday. Rehman would not elaborate on the Pakistani reaction if the U.S. continues with its current actions.


http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/02/05/pakistani-ambassador-us-drone-strikes-cross-a-red-line

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #47)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:59 PM

51. So if this is true, why isn't the government of Pakistan saying it? Why an ambassador?

This only supports the contention that there IS 'quiet complicity'.

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Response to randome (Reply #51)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:16 PM

56. From April of 2012

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the strikes which killed three suspected militants in the North Waziristan tribal area Sunday "are in total contravention of international law and established norms of interstate relations."

"The government of Pakistan has consistently maintained that drone attacks are violative of its territorial integrity and sovereignty," it said.

Pakistan's parliament demanded an end to the strikes in mid-April when it approved new guidelines for the country's relationship with the U.S.

....


It's not the first time the U.S. has ignored Pakistan's parliament, which has called for the drone strikes to end since 2008.


http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57424029/u.s-drone-strike-riles-pakistani-politicians/

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:37 PM

14. The drone stuff


As a general case, the use of deadly force in law enforcement is not unusual, but there are rules around it.

How do these things compare and contrast?

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 04:13 PM

66. Drones are defined by rules of engagement in an active war.

They are not tools of a police investigation.
Rules of engagement define who can and can not be killed on the battlefield, and when you can and can not shoot them. Drones fall under rules of engagement as tools of war.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:40 PM

20. And Al-Awlaki?


Was suspected of what?

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #20)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:58 PM

31. Al-Awlaki wasn't a target of law enforcement...

He was a military target who advocated violent Jihad and the military attack of the U.S. and its citizens and was one of the leaders of Al Qaeda in Yemen.
http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/a/anwar_al_awlaki/index.html
As I understand the authorization to use force, that made him a valid military target. Since the Authorization to Use Force defines the battlefield very broadly, he was killed on the battlefield in a military supported action.

My feeling is that we should have sent in seal teams, the Marines, or Army Rangers with U.S. Marshals attached and attempted his arrest. Chances are, this would have led to the deaths of a number of Americans. I also think we should have had a Marshal to arrest Bin Laden if at all possible when we went into his compound.

It is the scope of the war that I have concern with.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #31)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:57 PM

50. I believe your concerns are shared

And shared by me. What I don't like about the tone of the discussion is the labeling and categorizing that goes on.

One of the things I wonder about is whether there is adequate opportunity to surrender.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #50)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:25 PM

57. You can't surrender to a drone.

There must be a human present. That is why drones would be reserved for active military roles and used as we use aircraft to bomb or attack targets on the ground in combat.

The Seal Team that took down Bin Laden could have accepted a surrender if Bin Laden offered to surrender.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #57)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:42 PM

61. I meant prior to it reaching that point


I'm behind in my reading, so I'll have to read what's come out in the last couple of days.

However, if there is clear notice to the effect of

"If you engage in activity X, you are subject to being captured or killed" then is that fair notice to one engaging in activity X.

For example, if I commit armed robbery, I do know that I could get shot by a cop while doing it. The penalty for armed robbery is not "getting shot by a cop", but we all know that it can happen simply because you are out committing one.

So, one question is, would any of the targets be surprised to know they were targets?

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #61)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 04:08 PM

63. People on the battlefield are not surpised that they are targets.

A bank robber is not engaging the police on a battlefield, but in the public, civilian arena here in the U.S. The police do have rules about the use of deadly force.

Anwar al-Awlaki was operating in Yemen, working with a branch of Al Qaeda, calling for people to fight a violent Jihad against America. The authorization to use force says this.

(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

As I see it, the battlefield in that authorization is anywhere were those people exist. Since the U.S. was engaged in active warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Yemen and other countires in the region, he had no reason to be surpised that he was a target. A combatant on the battlefield does not enjoy the same rights as a bankrobber in Bank America or even a kidnapper and murderer in a bunker in Alabama.

Al-Awlaki was a combatant making war against the United States on what Congress defined as an active battlefield. His citizenship in this country was irrelevant once defined as a combatant on the battlefield. He can and will be shot and killed if he does not surrender, and no one is required to ask him to surrender.

This would have been different if he were pursued for alleged crimes by law enforcement and not occupying the battlefield.

My concern is that we have created far too broad a definiton of battlefield and pursued a war that has no set victory conditions and, therefore, no end. the authorization I quote above says "any future acts" so it amounts to a declaration of endless war on a battlefield that is anywhere one of these defined terrorists stand.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #63)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:14 PM

67. What I'm wondering

Picking up with your last paragraph, the question is not what the current rules (or non-rules) ARE, but what they should be.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:49 PM

27. Do you have any proof for that other than the fact that the government said so?

(This is not a CT question; I'm pointing out this is the exact same question we ask about drones.)

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Response to Recursion (Reply #27)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:04 PM

35. There were witnesses from the bus.

The negotiators that tried to get him to surrender delivered drugs and supplies for the child that he admitted he held in his bunker.

He was asked to surrender by law enforcement officials on suspicion of kidnapping and murder, for which there were witnesses, and he refused.

When the police entered to apprehend him, he did not surrender.

I think there is a pretty clear case that he was engaged in endangering the welfare of a child and that he was violent.

I think the analogy between Mr. Dykes and Drone warfare is way too tenuous, as drone warfare is not used by law enforcement officials to arrest people.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #35)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:06 PM

36. It's a bit naive to say SWAT tactics are used to "arrest" people, IMO

Yes, the ones who do exactly what the cops say when the burst through the door are not shot. Many are. What's the purpose, really?

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Response to Recursion (Reply #36)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:14 PM

38. If police were not allowed to defend themselves within the law...

There would be no law. SWAT came into existence in response to very violent criminals who don't answer to "please." The vast majority of arrests don't involve SWAT officers breaking down doors.

So, you feel that Dykes murdering a bus driver and kidnapping a child should be all right? That society can only ask him to please surrender himself?

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #38)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:15 PM

39. No, but I also am at worst ambivalent about drone strikes against Americans in arms against the US

I'm ambivalent about both but I also recognize deadly force is sometimes required. It's probably used too often in both cases.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:24 PM

7. DU rec...

Well done.

Sid

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:25 PM

8. He didn't want a trial

 

If he had wanted one, he would have surrendered peacefully rather than shooting at law enforcement officers.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:37 PM

16. Well, we don't know what he wanted, now do we?

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:32 PM

11. At the point that they had to go in and rescued the child the man did not deserve a trial

he fucked up and thats that. If he would've opened the hatch and threw his weapon out and surrendered he would have been given his day in court. He didn't do that, time was running out and he got what was coming to him. I don't feel bad for the cretin at all. sorry

You can bet your ass if he would have been the first one to a trigger he would have killed as many of them as he could have. No the man did not deserve the air he breathes. IMO

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Response to madokie (Reply #11)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:38 PM

17. Everyone who can be apprehended deserves a trial


The problem is when they are engaged in a ongoing course of deadly activity, and cannot be apprehended.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:46 PM

24. i agree

In this case the man shown he wasn't wanting a trial. He never gave the man he killed or the child he destroyed the benefit of the doubt. I say child he destroyed, I mean the kid will never be the same after what he went though and no one and I mean no one deserves that especially a 5 year old child who due to his time on earth had no chance to develop into a figure who could have protected himself from the likes of the cretin, if anyone could that is. In my view justice was served on mr Dykes

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Response to madokie (Reply #24)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:04 PM

34. Ever heard of "Suicide by Cop"?

Dykes appears to be one of those individuals who decide that they can't take "it" (whatever it is in that individual's mind) and that their end is coming but they can't do themselves in so they d something outrageously awful so that a cop will have to shoot them instead leaving them to not having to actually kill themselves. Happens more often than one might imagine.

A sign of our times?

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Response to madokie (Reply #11)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:16 PM

41. I disagree. He deserved a trial. It was his right.

His victims deserved a trial to see justice.

He did not give police the opportunity to pursue that course.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #41)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:54 PM

46. True that

His not getting a trial wasn't anyones fault but his own in my view
I'm just happy that its over

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:37 PM

15. maybe he wasn't American?



good post, jberryhill. you are quite the astute one, aren't you.

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Response to Whisp (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:39 PM

18. I'm not trying to make a point


But I would like to know what people believe to be the relevant distinctions.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #18)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:14 PM

37. If the Jimmies plotting against americans in some far off land

were let to kill their hostages or something like another 911 occurred, there would be enormous blow back on that too and the President would be blamed for being too weak and ineffectual. He can't win. And he knows that.

I can see people being nervous about this, but I also see the usual suspects who have been calling Obama a wall street stooge, a caver, worse than Bush - these people are jumping in with all feet like a dog with a new bone.

Because I believe that Obama is a decent and honest man, I also believe he is doing what he thinks is necessary. He is in charge of protecting the whole country and he will take blame and responsibility when things go bad, and things always go bad.

Bush on the other hand was a pawn for the blood sucking vampires and had not a reasonable decent or honest bone in his head so when I hear comparisons like that I dismiss the poster for being agenda driven or just plain ignorant.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:39 PM

19. Obama ordered him whacked so he wouldn't talk

Was he handled by someone? Was he drugged? Was he subjected to hypnosis? We'll never know now, will we?

Obama is trying to show that some person can appear out of the blue and do bad things so he can ban guns and gain an absolute power.

Do I insert the sarcasm thingy, or not?

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Response to Brother Buzz (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:41 PM

22. I don't like the sarcasm smilie


Use of the sarcasm tag really ruins it. One does take one's chances, though.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #22)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:45 PM

23. Done

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:40 PM

21. People like Jimmy Lee Dykes are their own judge, jury, and executioner...

 

They convict themselves in the court of life choices and are solely responsible for whatever outcome that results from their actions...

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Response to EastKYLiberal (Reply #21)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:38 PM

43. Agreed. n/t

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:47 PM

25. Let's play The False Equivalency Game: DU Edition

What do these two things have in common?
Nothing.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #25)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:50 PM

28. Really? Nothing at all?

Two cases of the government killing people that they claim are present dangers to others have nothing in common?

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Response to Recursion (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:54 PM

30. Dykes was a true "imminent" threat. Al-Awaki's teenage kid, not so much.

Despite the linguistic gymnatics of Obama's lawyers.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 12:58 PM

32. I agree with you except for Bonnie and Clyde.

I think the evidence shows they were flat out executed. They weren't engaged in criminal activity at that moment, and they were not given the opportunity to surrender, at that moment.

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Response to MicaelS (Reply #32)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:02 PM

33. according to the movie that is

at that point in time I think history shows their very existence was a crime.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 01:53 PM

45. Drones were used during the standoff of Jimmy Lee Dykes.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:29 PM

48. Uh, because he was engaged in an ongoing crime?

He wasn't planning it, he was executing it, and he had a hostage.

If I read your post right, you are attempting to draw a parallel between this and the current hot debate about drones and targeted assassinations. I don't think there is any real parallel here.

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Response to ljm2002 (Reply #48)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:51 PM

49. Planning and execution is a good distinction

Is the scale of the act planned, or the limited ability we have to know "if someone is planning X" whether we don't know if they are planning Y, where Y may be larger than X, a factor?

I mean, sure, guy in bunker with hostage in Alabama - we know where he is, what he is doing, and what the worst case consequences are.

How far down the road should someone go in a situation where they cannot be apprehended before it reaches the point where it IS parallel to the use of deadly force in the ordinary law enforcement context?

I had brought this up before when there was a guy in Seattle who had a habit of shooting cops. There was a string of situations where he had shot police who were trying to apprehend him. When he was found one night, there was some question about whether the cop who did find him was too quick on the draw, but on the other hand, there were previous cops who were slower on the draw and had holes in them.

I'm not suggesting a parallel with Jimmie Lee Dykes per se, but the more general case where we do accept use of deadly force in law enforcement situations, subject to appropriate conditions.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #49)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:00 PM

52. You are right it is seldom black and white...

...and there are many vexing aspects to these issues when they occur in real life. That's why we need to adhere to some things as a matter of principle.

There are lots of bad guys out there, in the world at large and within our own borders. There are people who most of us would agree should be put away forever, and even people who most of us agree should just be put down -- even if one is against the death penalty, some crimes test that belief. We've had a few recent threads on such crimes. It is natural for rage to well up against the most heinous of criminals, but as civilized people we must adhere to the rule of law.

One of my main concerns with the drone memo is that it codifies executive power to determine that an individual US citizen is a thread and can therefore be assassinated. I am not comfortable with it.

On the other hand, we're so far down the rabbit hole that I'm not at all sure we can get back out again. We have a CIA that engages in unregulated black ops, that interferes with other sovereign nations at will, and that has engaged in drug running in the US to fund its illegal operations. We have peaceful demonstrators beaten and arrested, we have so-called "free speech zones", we have total email surveillance, well you get the picture. It goes on and on. I just don't know whether our concern for the finer points even matters anymore.

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Response to ljm2002 (Reply #52)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:09 PM

54. Oh, I think the finer points do matter


Because overbroad generalizations aren't always helpful either.

First, what we have is a system of government, not a recipe for utopia. When people say things like "our rights have become meaningless" it really doesn't ring true to me. Prior to say, Gideon v. Wainwright, the sixth amendment was a whole lot less meaningless than it is now. Prior to the 14th amendment, none of the Constitutional guarantees applied directly to actions by states in the first place.

Some things improve, some things don't, and some things come about as a consequence of new circumstances. How we work those out is an ongoing thing. I don't think we reach a point where we say, "Okay, well, we've got all of our actions and principles lined up and humming along, let's chill out for a few decades."

The conversation matters, and how we conduct it matters.

Some things jump out at me as odd, and maybe this one is generational... I dunno. My childhood was against the backdrop of the knowledge that we were, at any time, on 30 minutes notice of a full scale nuclear exchange with the Soviets. The president had, and still has, sole and individual authority and discretion to unleash hell on earth. So, while ideally we should have a system of government in which the functions and checks are well defined enough that the inclinations and character of those occupying positions in it doesn't effectively matter - i.e. there's only so much harm an asshole can do. The exigencies of the Cold War were such that we were always on that hair trigger, and hence the character of the people we elect mattered a whole lot.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:09 PM

53. This is not a good analogy, IMO

If an American citizen sympathetic to al Queada grabbed a kid off a school bus and holed up in a bunker and was shot by the CIA or special forces in a hostage rescue attempt, despite our preference that he surrender, I doubt that very many people would have much to say about it.

If, on the other hand, we redefined "imminent" in American law enforcement to include whatever a policeman thinks the category ought to include...

There are practical reasons for a lack of judicial review of a gunfight.

If, however, the police maintained a list of persons to be shot by police snipers at some future date based on the police's idea that it would be a good idea they should at least have to get some judge to rubber stamp the thing.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #53)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:11 PM

55. It wasn't intended as a good analogy

I realize DU is a place for people to post their conclusions and conversation enders, but I'm looking for the distinctions and differences.

You provide some good ones to think about.

Is "wanted, dead or alive" still used? Because there have effectively been such lists of persons who were considered dangerous enough, and who were capable of surrender, were effectively considered to be subject to deadly force pursuant to apprehension on sight.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #55)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:30 PM

58. I don't know that WDOA exists today

If the FBI #1 most wanted is sitting on a park bench I can't walk up and shoot him.

I might not get into trouble for doing so, in practice, but the FBI's relative level of interest would not change anything legally except in terms of an argument that the FBI ranking would lead "the reasonable man" to have believed the suspect to be an imminent threat to others by merely existing.

A jury might be sympathetic to that, or not. But the argument would have to be madeóthere is no FBI most wanted list exception to any justifiable homicide standard I know of.

The cases of 1930s figures like Bonnie and Clyde are often extra-judicial executions, and planned as such. Ma Barker's shack was practically cut in half with machine guns like a stealth attack on a German mortar position. J. Edgar Hoover planned the deaths (not captures) of people on his list. It is hard to read the Dillinger death as anything other than a planned "hit."

No great sympathy for Dillinger or Barrow here (though Ma Barker was just an illiterate hillbilly who was surely not the head of any crime operation, but merely someone who did not opt to turn in her family... aid and comfort, which is apropos here), but the fact is the FBI did plan to execute Americans extra-judicially.

And J. Edgar Hoover's methods have not lacked for subsequent critique.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:40 PM

59. Because he really did pose an imminent threat to the child as well as to the police.

His killing was in the defense of himself or others.

Is the Threat Imminent?

As a general rule, self-defense only justifies the use of force when it is used in response to an immediate threat. The threat can be verbal, as long as it puts the intended victim in an immediate fear of physical harm. Offensive words without an accompanying threat of immediate physical harm, however, do not justify the use of force in self-defense.

Moreover, the use of force in self-defense generally loses justification once the threat has ended. For example, if an aggressor assaults a victim but then ends the assault and indicates that there is no longer any threat of violence, then the threat of danger has ended. Any use of force by the victim against the assailant at that point would be considered retaliatory and not self-defense.

Was the Fear of Harm Reasonable?

Sometimes self-defense is justified even if the perceived aggressor didnít actually mean the perceived victim any harm. What matters in these situations is whether a ďreasonable manĒ in the same situation would have perceived an immediate threat of physical harm. The concept of the ďreasonable manĒ is a legal conceit that is subject to differing interpretations in practice, but it is the legal systemís best tool to determine whether a personís perception of imminent danger justified the use of protective force.

To illustrate, picture two strangers walking past each other in a city park. Unbeknownst to one, there is a bee buzzing around his head. The other person sees this and, trying to be friendly, reaches quickly towards the other to try and swat the bee away. The person with the bee by his head sees a strangerís hand dart towards his face and violently hits the other personís hand away. While this would normally amount to an assault, a court could easily find that the sudden movement of a strangerís hand towards a personís face would cause a reasonable man to conclude that he was in danger of immediate physical harm, which would render the use of force a justifiable exercise of the right of self-defense. All this in spite of the fact that the perceived assailant meant no harm; in fact, he was actually trying to help!

http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-law-basics/self-defense-overview.html

Dykes was armed and in a bunker, had already killed someone and had taken a child as a hostage. Any reasonable person would agree that killing him was self-defense and defense of the child.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #59)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:23 PM

69. How do these principles apply in the context of suspected terrorist activities and drone strikes?


I realize there are many differences. But the general point seems to be imminence of threat and risk involved in apprehension. I would also suggest that the magnitude of the threat - for example, killing one child versus detonating a dirty bomb in a populated area - might also be something to take into account and balance against imminence.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:41 PM

60. He chose trial by firing squad.

That'll happen when you take a small child hostage in a well-armed bunker...

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:45 PM

62. As was Isoroku Yamamoto.

"He was not arrested, he was not charged, he was not tried, he was not given access to an attorney. He was shot dead..."

As was Isoroku Yamamoto.

Although I'm not at all fond of extra-judicial drone strikes, I'm also not fond of appearing like an idiot by equating two wholly separate areas of law.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 04:11 PM

64. Huh?

Someone murders a person and kidnaps a child, you do everything you can to get the child back.

What a stupid post.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #64)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:19 PM

68. Ah, thank you for your insight


Now, if you might, do you believe there is a comparison or contrast of any significance which bears on the principles involved in targeted drone attacks against individuals abroad who have been determined to be planning or engaged in terrorist activities?

The principal objection on that subject, if you may have noticed the many threads here at DU, is that the targets are not being afforded an opportunity to receive due process in relation to the determination that they are legitimate targets engaged or planning the specified activities.

The point is that there certainly are contexts in which deadly force is used in the course of law enforcement, and the subjects thereof do not get an indictment and a trial. It happens a lot in criminal law enforcement. Some of the objections to the drone program, on the other hand, make it seem as if this never happens in the criminal law enforcement context.

You might also note from the many thoughtful posts already in the thread that there have been some interesting comparisons and contrasts which people who raised in the apparent belief that it is not a "stupid post".

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