HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Shot by Police versus Exe...

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:00 PM

Shot by Police versus Execution

Last edited Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:42 PM - Edit history (2)

Please, please, please do not conflate the police shooting a suspect and an extra-judicial targeted killing.

Police sometimes kill a suspect. If it is a "good shoot" (a justifiable homicide) they are, as a matter of law, not executing the suspect without a trial.

If that were the case the police would, legally, be guilty of murder. (As to whether they would be charged is another thing, of course. In practice, police do sometimes de facto execute people with the intent to not bring them in alive, but it isn't legal.)

The police actually say, "We are going to apprehend Jimmy Smith for bank robbery. If he pulls a gun on us we will shoot him in self defense." Self defense does not require that Smith be guilty of the bank robbery. The police will shoot anyone, anywhere, any time who pulls a gun on them.

Similarly, if Mister Smith is in the process of shooting people, or even pointing a gun at people, the police will shoot him to protect others even if the police are in no danger.

What the police can not do (at least not legally) is conclude that Smith is likely to kill someone in the next year or two and have a cop on top of a water tower with a deer rifle drop him at 1,000 yards while he is sitting by the pool.

Soldiers do that, but police do not.

We cannot sensibly use law enforcement examples to argue for a military extra-judicial killing protocol because if any policeman in America did what we are talking about (making a list of people to kill on sight and then killing them) he would be guilty of first degree murder, no matter how awful the targets were.

The best hope for arguments for targeted extra-judicial killing begins with establishing that there is not any parallel with police procedure.

18 replies, 1190 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Shot by Police versus Execution (Original post)
cthulu2016 Feb 2013 OP
Autumn Feb 2013 #1
LineReply .
cthulu2016 Feb 2013 #2
Recursion Feb 2013 #3
ProSense Feb 2013 #4
cthulu2016 Feb 2013 #7
ProSense Feb 2013 #8
Whisp Feb 2013 #5
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #6
cthulu2016 Feb 2013 #10
Robb Feb 2013 #9
arely staircase Feb 2013 #11
cthulu2016 Feb 2013 #12
arely staircase Feb 2013 #14
cthulu2016 Feb 2013 #15
arely staircase Feb 2013 #16
cthulu2016 Feb 2013 #17
arely staircase Feb 2013 #18
EOTE Feb 2013 #13

Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:13 PM

1. Very good.

rec

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 01:59 PM

2. .

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:02 PM

3. I don't know. In some cities, from everything I've read, when drug busts go tactical

It's along the lines of "sure hope nobody resists and we have to shoot them, *wink wink*".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:03 PM

4. Wait,

"Please, please, please do not conflate the police shooting a suspect and an extra-judicial targeted killing."

...isn't this getting silly? I mean, when was the last "extra-judicial targeted killing" in the U.S.?

The OP gives the impression that being shot by the police is to be less feared than an extra-judicial targeted killing.

I don't fear drones.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022325243

5 Practical Ideas To Rein In The Presidential Power To Kill Americans
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022328063

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ProSense (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:11 PM

7. My concern is law, not stats

(The stats argument goes both ways. If killing Americans is to be incredibly rare then what's the problem with some oversight?)

The problem is not what personal fear I have of being droned. The problem is for the executive branch to assert the power to assassinate an American abroad as part of a permanent war-footing with no judicial review.

The assertion of unilateral and uncheckable power is a legal/governmental problem even if it is never used.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:16 PM

8. In the context

(The stats argument goes both ways. If killing Americans is to be incredibly rare then what's the problem with some oversight?)


...of my point (when was the last "extra-judicial targeted killing" in the U.S.?), it isn't "rare," it doesn't happen.

Shooting by law enforcement, either by accident or other motive, does happen.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022329028

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:05 PM

5. I think one of the biggest differences between drone and police

 

is what apparatus you can get there for aid.

For a school shooting, eg:, we have ambulances, swat, first responder, police help, etc., from other areas - they all come in huge waves of vehicles. And sometimes innocents get killed in that situation too.

when seeking out enemies in faraway places those options are not there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:11 PM

6. The police are ALWAYS subject to judicial (and public) oversight and review

 

In order to make this whole "Police" nonsense fit it would have to look like this:

Officer Obama spots a suspect. He is really sure this guy is a criminal. The monster is not currently breaking any laws, not right this second, but Officer Obama believes that given enough time he will. So without reporting this to anyone he follows him around, discovers his patterns, then late one night he kicks in the guys door and murders the suspect, his wife, and his children. Just to be sure, he kills the neighbors as well -- they do live next to this guy after all, and that makes them potential accomplices. Officer Obama does not feel any need to report this, no judge or supervisor will review his actions, he's just keeping America safe from the bad guys.

I do not trust Police Officers with the power to kill people they THINK might be bad guys. I don't really care how great their evidence is. I am hesitant to trust JURIES, with entire panels of experts, months of testimony and facts, and the defendant represented in court, with the power to sentence people to death. And even there we don't execute everyone in the area, we just go for the one guy.

If you do not trust a JURY and our judicial system to get the death penalty right, how in the hell can you trust some faceless official with no trial, no review, no nothing?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:18 PM

10. I agree with what you say here

the distinction I am drawing in the OP about prior review, and the arguments that police routinely kill people without a trial or warrant or any other judicial action preceding the shooting. But police are never allowed to assassinate somebody. They do, in practice, but it is illegal.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:18 PM

9. For an interesting read on the subject of police shooting suspects on sight,

...I would point you to London, and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Kratos

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:21 PM

11. What should have been done with Mr. Anwar al-Awlaki?

How would you have given him his "day in court"?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arely staircase (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:32 PM

12. If I drafted the law... a national security court of

three federal judges, acting in secret, would review the Executive's action of putting him on a "kill on sight" list.

The executive would show the judges evidence (in secret) that Anwar al-Awlaki is actually a menace, using whatever standard the law dicated.

The judges would agree. They tend to always agree. Judges almost always defer to national security claims unless the claims are truly bogus.

(none of this applies to a drone seeing someone actually doing something exigent, like planting a bomb or whatever.)

And when the government of the United States later killed him, in premeditated fashion, then we would know that there had been at least a gesture acknowledging that he is entitled to due process of law. In this case, what is "due" is minimal... but it should not be made nonexistent merely on the Presidents say-so.

That is a terrible precedent.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:43 PM

14. thank you for that response

i am really trying to get my thoughts together on this and that was a helpful response - at least in that it offered a suggestion. on the one hand i understand the ramifications of the president having such authority yet i do not think that hiding out in a remote area where you can't be arrested should guarantee one a safe haven from which to launch fools with c-4 in their undies..

the only problem i have with your suggestion is this - i know people have ridiculed the comparison to the killing of confederate soldiers in the civil war, but just to follow your suggestion, would Mr. Lincoln have had to submit the names of each man in each confederate unit to the three judge panel before he could send soldiers to kill them? and if not, why not? and if so, how might this have altered the course of the war?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arely staircase (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:56 PM

15. I think the Civil War was a fairly traditional war

Any Civil War gets odd in terms of citizenship, but the Civil war was uniformed troops going around having battles. Nobody would mistake it for a SWAT team taking down a meth lab.

The war on terror is a vast law enforcement effort against a form of organized crime, and a war that will never end.

(For instance... who could surrender at Appomattox to end the war on terror?)

So I do not think that we can equate all wars, in this context. The war on terror has a battlefield defined as the entire Earth, and an enemy defined as potentially anyone on Earth. It is not a sensible war, in legal terms.

Also, practicality matters. Just because one executive in one war could not, for practical reasons, give everyone a day in court does not mean that the judiciary is a potted plant.

To the degree it is practical, the judiciary should have a role in safeguarding the rights of Americans, even in a war.

No judge has ever prevented the USA from prosecuting a war effectively. The system always bends to necessity. But I do not see the absence of judicial review in what would be a mere handful of cases to be a military necessity at all. It is just a branch of government trying to claim a unilateral power.

I think Congress (another branch) should write a law specifying some minimal oversight standard for actions against American citizens.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:23 PM

16. It was fairly traditional for its time

whereas fanatics devoted to a cult and hiding in remote regions vs. modern nation states might be more traditional for our time (when viewed from years to come.)

you make a very good point about the vagueries of citizenship in civil war. i think you pretty much have to go with the winners' definition after the fact - as unfair as that may be. In that case the confederates were US citizens the whole time (though "in rebellion" and denied a lot of rights, including that to life.) but your apples and oranges point is well made and well taken.

I will certainly agree that all branches of government should play their constitutional parts in the matter, and I believe they will, slowly and madeningly as they always do.. I really can't say whether I agree with what is in the executive order or not, because i haven't seen it - and i will also agree that that is problematic because a US citizen should know the circumstances in which their government has a policy to kill them. Then again a reasonable person might conclude that joining al quaeda and actively participating in attacks against US civilians crosses that line. But we do have a right to know what the policy is specifically. As you can see I am thinking this through.

As for your secret court suggestion, I find it intriguing and possibly quite a good idea.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to arely staircase (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:55 PM

17. Such courts already exist, I think

For instance, when seeking national security wiretaps

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 04:05 PM

18. i think they are secret to an extent

i believe their members are known but the hearings and records are closed. not sure. the more i think about it the more i am convinced some version of your idea can be done. eventually congress must set the rules, the SCOTUS approve it and the executive must carry it out - be it your idea or another.

quite an interesting debate, with the most serious of consequences. thanks angain for a real exchange of ideas (mostly yours) on an emotional issue (life or death.)

bottom line for now: i believe the public has a right to know more about the details of the executive order and when it can be carried out.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cthulu2016 (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:41 PM

13. Thanks for pointing out this important distinction. NT

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread