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Punish the Innocent or free the Guilty?

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posted on May, 23 2014 @ 07:40 AM
a reply to: ArtemisE

2 completely innocent people were in the same room where the bank robbers were apprehended. No one in the room has an alibi and everyone swears they are one of the 2 innocents.

According to that scenario all the police know is they apprehended ten bank robbers. So according to their perspective they arrest all ten suspects and don't care what they say. They know all felons will claim to be innocent. What who me?

Due to the outrage (20 brutal murders) the courts will likely be forced to prosecute all 10 to prevent a Rodney King style riot.

Sorry innocents, time to take one for the team. Life sucks to be them.

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 07:41 AM
a reply to: ArtemisE

no - it is not a " normal philosophy question " - its a artifice that sets absurd boundaries

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 07:48 AM
If I were the judge, I would ASK that they all take polygraph tests, now polygraph are inadmissable in court however my belief is that they are accurate , the two who are innocent, would jump at the chance AND would pass the polygraph, the guilty would fall, even if they jumped at the chance to take a polygraph. As well all of the guilty are more than likely going to have some connection in their background the two who are innocent are not going to have any meaningful connection to the others. As well body language and physiology trend to be extremely accurate in determining who is telling the truth. Like it or not, admissable in court or not, we have way of making you talk.

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 07:48 AM
a reply to: nugget1

Y'all have zero imagination huh? It's a hypothetical! Any senerio with the same result works! The OP is about what's better the to jail an innocent or free a monster. It's about how we would answer the question. Not if the question is 100% air tight.

Would everyone please just not reply to the yahoos who can't imagine a hypothetical situation.

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 07:57 AM
I will pick 8 of the 10 and jail them somewhere the truth will come out.

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 07:58 AM
a reply to: DonVoigt That's a good idea because unless your a trained govt. agent who can keep his/her pulse still and calm your screwed. the avererage criminal or even the advanced sophisticated one will fail the test unless they are trained.

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 08:17 AM
a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe
Your completely right when you say empathy plays into this because i cant think of this hypothetical situation without felling empathy for the wronged victims(right or wrong). In my original post i might have got off track but this is exactly what i wanted the ATS community to do is play along with the hypothetical story. I truly think that innovation comes from people asking hypothetical questions and pushing the boundaries of what is fact. It makes you think in different context when its theoretical so it lets the mind play and that leads to great things in social or science subjects. Because after all Einstein came up with relativity while riding on a bus and asking a theoretical question "does time move faster for people on the outside of the bus".

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 08:18 AM

originally posted by: ArtemisE

This is a pretty normal philosophy question.

What's better? To allow the guilty to go free or to in prison the innocent?

Not exactly. You're posing the question in a scenario that already has fairly clear guidelines set out - and while those guidelines may differ between jurisdictions, the general principal would remain true that there must be sufficient evidence to conclude, beyond a reasonable doubt (or whatever your specific jurisdiction's wording may be) that the individual committed the crime for which they have been charged. I would imagine in most jurisdictions it may not even reach court in the exact scenario that you describe.

In the absence of evidence, all walk free. There is no moral choice for anyone to make in that situation, there's simply long-established principle; the scenario you present is flawed from the outset for the kind of question you are posing.

The essence of your question is whether the good of the many should outweigh the good of the few. A more traditional version of this question would be the railway-track question - you see a train coming that is going to collide with another and kill multiple people. You have the chance to throw a lever and divert the train onto another track, but it will result in the deaths of some workmen on that other track. Do you let the collision occur (a situation that was completely outside of your making) or do you sacrifice the workmen (a situation that did not exist until you created it)?

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 08:48 AM
reply to: ArtemisE

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." Yogi Berra

With jerks to work with, its unlikely they would get far with this. In the first place, if the innocents
are truly innocent, their police records will immediately set them apart. Under questioning some will be caught
in a lie and will implicate themselves. In exchange for leniency they will implicate their co-conspirators.

A bigger problem is that societies that are becoming corrupt tend to punish the guilty leniently, but eventually
turn with vengence on those who stand for morality.

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 08:52 AM
What happend to innocent till prooven guilty idea?

To get in the truth, you must be smart to handle the questioning part. Separate murders from bank robbers greatly and when questioning one by one, offer the same deal, see how many point to the shooter guy, those 2 innocent to the crime in question most likely would keep on their innocence, you could also use those lying detect tests to clarify outcome.
edit on 23-5-2014 by romilo because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 09:33 AM
I'd let them all walk free because there is no hypothetical evidence to bring up charges on them. I would also watch all of them like a hawk because the sick individuals who hypothetically murdered 20 people are gonna do more criminal things in the future. People like that don't change they are what they are…so you should be jailing them soon anyway if your already paying attention.

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 09:56 AM
Better a thousand guilty go free than one innocent is punished

Not a hard decision in my opinion

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 10:32 AM
a reply to: ArtemisE

There are always going to be varying degrees and case-by-case comparisons of severity but, in general, it is better to let the guilty free.

If the guilty has done something "bad", it has already been committed. Condemning an innocent person to imprisonment is just another "bad" thing.

If you imprison a person who may or may not be guilty, there will definitely be a bad thing happening (by either the guilty party or the people imprisoning the innocent party). However if you pardon a person who may or may not be guilty, you at least have the chance of there being no bad thing happening which is impossible with the first scenario.

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 10:34 AM
a reply to: ArtemisE

IMO, it's always better to let the guilty go free rather than take a chance on punishing the innocent. And if a family member were one of the victims, I would have the same answer.

Wow... I agree with Semper... again!

edit on 5/23/2014 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 10:42 AM

originally posted by: ArtemisE
What's better? To allow the guilty to go free or to in prison the innocent?

Free the guilty. Eventually they will mess with the wrong person and get themselves murdered or a vigilante will take them out. It's better to let a guilty person go then take a chance on imprisoning an innocent person. IMHO.

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 02:48 PM
My first reaction is to free the guilty. Far better than to punish an innocent man or woman.

However, it also depends on the type of religious belief that the People subscribe. Although "new" america wants to preach secularism (which is funny since all of the Founding Fathers held God dearly to them), the Bible would say to set the guilty free. However, certain Asian religions would say to punish the innocent, so as long as it isn't excessively inhumane (ie, life in prison would be a terrible Fate for any innocent, but a quick and swift execution would not be nearly as bad).

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 07:42 PM
a reply to: DonVoigt
They are not admissible in court because they are rubbish. They are not lie detectors at all, they are emotion detectors. And lieing is but one of many many things that might trigger a change in emotion and thus pop up to the lieing level.

I say screw it, free them all. The bad guys will either take it as a blessing and change their ways, or screw up again and end up in jail anyways.
edit on Fri, 23 May 2014 19:44:55 -0500 by TKDRL because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 24 2014 @ 08:21 AM
An FBI polygraph expert would give tests to determine the innocent people not the guilty.

Done thousands of times a day in America and the world.

Separate interrogations with threats of the death penalty, or promises of a reduced sentence, would determine the guilty and innocent.

It might take all of one afternoon to determine that.

Amazing that all the television you people watch you don't know that separate interviews would clear this up in no time at all.

A polygraph can legally be used to determine someones innocence.

posted on May, 24 2014 @ 08:47 AM

originally posted by: thisguyrighthere
40% of murders go unsolved
60% of rapes go unsolved
70% of robberies go unsolved
90% of burglaries and auto thefts go unsolved.

99% of corrupt Government officials get reelected...

And the beat goes on

posted on May, 24 2014 @ 09:19 PM
As it is simply a hypothetical, a spur to discussion, and announcing that this may not express my true beliefs, I think it depends on what one thinks a prison is for.

If it's for rehabilitation, then sling them all in. There's nothing wrong with a nice rehabilitation program.

If it's for deterrence, sling them all in again. Whether the innocent get punished or not makes no difference to the deterrent effect. Actually it may make it stronger, showing that the state will imprison people willy-nilly for murder without any legal excuses or loopholes.

Those two reasons are the ones which, unfortunately, many people believe to be the proper role of imprisonment. Do I need to repeat the cries of "But, he's a changed man, let him out he's learned his lesson?"

The only reason to imprison someone is that justice demands it. Here, it doesn't.

Personally, I hate and fear the idea that prison is for rehabilitation. That means, obviously, that you can't leave until you're rehabilitated as determined by a government employee, by the government's standards.

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