There are two aspects to this:
What the man and his accomplices did was murder. They beat another man to death and were not in fear of their life. It is proper that this is being
However, the man was
in fear of his children's lives until the moment the suspect was pulled from the car. At that moment, the children were
recovered unharmed (except for mental distress, which was at least stopped). But fear don't work like that; you don't turn it on and off like a light
switch. As long as the chase was not extensive (and I don;t think it was based on the article), the man was still justified by self-protection.
Had he hunted the suspect down... no excuse. Had the suspect surrendered, less excuse. Had the police been on scene to take control of the situation,
no excuse. But confronted with someone who had just tried to kidnap his kids, who is showing no signs of surrender, and who is still in the process of
trying to escape justice... I would say justified homicide.
Here's the thing: I am a parent. There is nothing I would not do for my kids, even today when they are both grown. When they were young, between the
age of a few months and 5 years, any attack on my kids would have meant one of us was not leaving the area. Period. It would not matter if it happened
in the middle of a gun accuracy course sponsored by the local police department... I would literally kill anyone who tried to harm my kids. That's
what parents do... they protect their children. That cannot be legislated away.
I have read the thread... I have heard the excuses. "What if they got the wrong guy?" "Where do we draw the line?" "Is the punishment acceptable?"
Let's take these one at a time:
- "Wrong guy": It wasn't the wrong guy; it all happened in the heat of the moment. We're not talking about
someone who later on hunted down someone who had attacked his kids. Had the man done that, I would be much less forgiving (although still somewhat
- "Where do we draw the line?": We draw the line at not stealing from others, and especially at not trying to steal children from others. This
was a direct assault on the man's family, and a direct assault like this will carry consequences. This is also not in comparison with, say, attacking
someone in the middle of the street because of the sign they're holding. This is the single most egregious act I can imagine, and would elicit a
violent response form any reasonable person.
- "Is the punishment too much?": This was not punishment. This was self-defense. As I stated earlier, it all happened during the heat of the moment.
The man was not interested in the least about how much the suspect was punished; he was defending his family. Until the situation was de-escalated, it
matters not that the suspect was trying to flee. There is a line that, once crossed, cannot be uncrossed... and the suspect crossed it.
Long story short: Had those been my children, I doubt he would have made it to the hospital. One of us would not have survived the street
The others who beat the man... now, we're talking a horse of a different color! They engaged without being in self-defense of their family. They are
guilty of murder without the benefit of self-defense. I would not hold them very accountable for a beat-down, but this guy died. That's more than a
beat-down. To be honest, the parent in me hopes they are never identified, but the rest of me understands that they were in the wrong and the law
The mother can be in some legal trouble as well... as in a charge of child neglect. Personally, I think the proper course would be to charge her, then
either drop charges or get the judge to slap her on the wrist... maybe a small fine. I would say she already has figured out the error of her ways.
There's a reason we have people who preside over our trials: not every crime deserves the maximum punishment. This is one of those IMO.
Bottom line: I'll lose no sleep over the carjacker dying. He tried to hurt kids. You attack someone's family, you get what you get. I don't see where
the father did anything wrong; his participation in the murder was in defense of his family. The mother should also not suffer any major legal issues;
yes, she was in the wrong, but the court cannot punish her more than she has already been punished. The others who assisted in the beating? They were
in the wrong, and I'll not lose much sleep over them either if they are prosecuted. If they are prosecuted, it will probably be for manslaughter
anyway, not murder.
The suspect is dead. He paid the ultimate cost for his actions. I say good. Anyone who would steal children should be waking up every day under the
dirt, not on top of it with decent folks.