Jump to content

The Human Rights Poll


Callie
 Share

Human Rights  

56 members have voted

  1. 1. Is access to healthcare a human right?

    • Yes
      43
    • No
      9
    • Other
      4
  2. 2. Is access to education a human right?

    • Yes
      41
    • No
      10
    • Other
      5
  3. 3. Is access to the internet a human right?

    • Yes
      22
    • No
      27
    • Other
      7
  4. 4. Do humans have a right to reproduce?

    • Yes
      33
    • It depends
      16
    • No
      4
    • Other
      3
  5. 5. Torture should be...

    • Prohibited under all circumstances
      37
    • Permissible in some circumstances
      13
    • Other
      6
  6. 6. Do humans have a right to voluntary euthanasia?

    • Yes (under any or most circumstances)
      30
    • Yes (in the event of terminal illness)
      19
    • Yes (other)
      1
    • No
      4
    • Other
      2
  7. 7. The death penalty should be permissible for the following offenses:

    • Treason
      10
    • Terrorism
      16
    • Espionage
      7
    • Other crimes against the state
      2
    • Crimes against humanity
      20
    • Murder
      21
    • Rape
      14
    • Torture
      14
    • Child molestation
      13
    • Armed robbery
      3
    • Kidnapping
      7
    • Other violent offenses
      4
    • Drug trafficking
      2
    • Human trafficking
      13
    • Desertion
      5
    • Perjury leading to wrongful execution
      11
    • Other nonviolent offenses
      0
    • Never
      23
    • Other
      6
  8. 8. Abortion should be permissible in the following circumstances:

    • Upon request
      33
    • Rape
      39
    • Incest
      33
    • Fetal defects
      32
    • Fetus endangers mental health of mother
      35
    • Fetus endangers physical health of mother
      40
    • Socioeconomic factors (i.e. poverty)
      24
    • Never
      6
    • Other
      5
  9. 9. Humans begin to gain rights at what point?

    • Conception
      7
    • During the first trimester of pregnancy
      6
    • During the second trimester of pregnancy
      4
    • During the third trimester of pregnancy
      5
    • Birth
      24
    • After birth
      3
    • Other
      7
  10. 10. Is it ever ethical to use nuclear weapons in warfare?

    • Yes
      4
    • Yes (but only in extenuating circumstances)
      17
    • No
      29
    • Other
      6


Recommended Posts

It is presentation of evidence that makes the difference.

 

Ferguson was lots of evidence and showing conflicting testimony to a grand jury. Telling them that eye witness testimony in this case conflicted with physical evidence. It left the jury with the view that the cop was doing his job.

 

The New York chokehold case had video of the incident, so was force justified and was the hold legal. So there were experts to say that under normal circumstances the hold wouldn't have killed the victim. Statements that the victim said he had breathing difficulties were ignored.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right. State prosecutors rely on cops in many ways, so they aren't in an impartial position and can't be relied upon to prosecute them in any way, clearly.

 

Stereotype much? I realize that it has not been extensively publicized, but South Carolina has indicted three Caucasian police officers this year for shooting African Americans. I do not know of the details of the three cases (one of which was after a multi-year investigation, one of which was after the video that I mentioned in a previous post), what percentage they are of the total, etc, but it appears that at least some prosecutors will prosecute police.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is presentation of evidence that makes the difference.

 

Ferguson was lots of evidence and showing conflicting testimony to a grand jury. Telling them that eye witness testimony in this case conflicted with physical evidence. It left the jury with the view that the cop was doing his job.

 

The New York chokehold case had video of the incident, so was force justified and was the hold legal. So there were experts to say that under normal circumstances the hold wouldn't have killed the victim. Statements that the victim said he had breathing difficulties were ignored.

 

As was mentioned by another poster above, the world made up their mind about what happened without any regard, and long before, there was any evidence. Just based on the Wikipedia summary of the death of Michael Brown, the most inflammatory witness accounts (Dorian Johnson, Michael Brown, Piaget Crenshaw, Tiffany Mitchell) do not match the physical evidence at all. The other accounts match the evidence much better. Quoting from Wikipedia:

"On October 16, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an interview with a black Canfield resident who testified before the grand jury. The man, who did not want his name released, said he saw the entire event. Wilson drove past Johnson and Brown and then backed up again. A scuffle ensued in the police vehicle and Wilson's hat flew off. There was a gunshot from the vehicle, and then Brown ran down the street followed by Wilson. Wilson aimed his gun at Brown and repeatedly yelled "Stop", but did not fire until Brown turned around and stepped toward Wilson. At that point Wilson fired three shots. Brown staggered toward Wilson from 20 feet away with his hands out to his sides, when Wilson fired again. The witness said that Brown was already falling as the last shots were fired and that, in his opinion, the final shots were murder.[50]

According to several people close to the grand jury investigation, seven or eight witnesses have given testimony consistent with Wilson's account. Details of the testimony were not reported. Speaking on condition of anonymity to The Washington Post, the sources said that the witnesses are all African American, and that they have not spoken publicly out of fear for their safety."

If the above is true, then the only thing that concerns me is the potential pause before the final shot which is not mentioned in the above quote. Stopping shooting once you have started is extremely difficult, 99% of the time, human beings (especially ones with some training) continue to shoot until the person they are shooting is on the ground. The decision that somebody is threatening your life is made before the trigger is pulled the first time. In this case, it looks like there were either two of three such decisions. The first time was in the car, the second time was when (according to the above) Mr. Brown turned on Officer Wilson. The potential third is if there was a pause between the second to last shot and last shot. There is an audio tape that may or not be authentic that shows a three second pause, I am not sure that any witness statements support it. Officer Wilson would have had adrenaline running through his system and been concentrating on the front sight of his pistol and Mr. Brown's center of mass, not has hands, in fact Officer Wilson (or anyone else in a similar situation) could probably not testify to anything about Mr. Brown's hands once the shooting started. If there was a 3 second pause between the second to last shot and last shot then I would have concerns with the last shot; if the last shot was fired in close proximity to the other shots, and based on the witness testimony mentioned above, plus the physical evidence, then this does not look like an improper shooting.

As to the death of Mr. Garner, I was taught that the fastest way to evaluate if someone is breathing is are they talking. Like the union rep said, if you are talking, you are breathing. If Mr. Garner did indeed say "I can't breathe" eleven times like certain commentators say he did, then he was lying at least the first ten times. My problem with this one is that it certainly looks like a chokehold to me and the NYPD had banned the use of the chokehold. While the argument that a reasonable person would not have thought that a chokehold would have killed Mr. Garner is true, Officer Panteleo was not supposed to use a chokehold at all which in my mind hurts the reasonable assumption argument. I do think that this one should have gone to a trial, although I am not confident that a jury should vote for conviction beyond a reasonably doubt. A wrongful death lawsuit has already been filed, and with the lower standard of evidence and culpability in a civil trial, I think that there is a better chance for Mr. Garner's family to succeed in the lawsuit, leaving a legal situation similar to OJ Simpsons (not criminally guilty but civily guilty).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is presentation of evidence that makes the difference.

 

In the cases in question, that is certainly the perception among many people. That is my opinion, too. What I'm saying is that even when the prosecution would be willing to bring charges, it is still dependent upon police statements and investigators. It is not just that police are rarely indicted or convicted, it is that crimes may not even be investigated. We really don't know the scale or spread of the problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stereotype much? I realize that it has not been extensively publicized, but South Carolina has indicted three Caucasian police officers this year for shooting African Americans. I do not know of the details of the three cases (one of which was after a multi-year investigation, one of which was after the video that I mentioned in a previous post), what percentage they are of the total, etc, but it appears that at least some prosecutors will prosecute police.

It's less a stereotype and more a statistic. Grand juries almost always indict anyone but police and almost never indict police. There are exceptions, but they are rare. Saying that the indictment rate is nonzero is entirely beside the point.

In the cases in question, that is certainly the perception among many people. That is my opinion, too. What I'm saying is that even when the prosecution would be willing to bring charges, it is still dependent upon police statements and investigators. It is not just that police are rarely indicted or convicted, it is that crimes may not even be investigated. We really don't know the scale or spread of the problem.

In this same vein, I find it unconscionable that we don't collect national statistics on police use of force and police misconduct. We have some statistics, but they're not fully national in scope and fundamentally flawed in key respects. Surely if we could track the numbers we would know where bigger problems are and could track down best practices. It's hard to formulate good policy out of ignorance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In this same vein, I find it unconscionable that we don't collect national statistics on police use of force and police misconduct. We have some statistics, but they're not fully national in scope and fundamentally flawed in key respects. Surely if we could track the numbers we would know where bigger problems are and could track down best practices. It's hard to formulate good policy out of ignorance.

 

This is very true, unfortunately, under our system the solution is not simple. Reporting at the municipal government level is voluntary, with little to no constitutional basis to enforce reporting. Often the way to get reporting has been through bribery, I mean through tying receipt of Federal Grant money to the execution of reports, similar to the way that Federal Highway funds were tied to the 55 MPH speed limit when it was implemented. Several of the national police organizations (that may be opposed to the idea for other reasons) have brought up the legitimate issue of administrative burden, though the estimates that I have seen show around 1000-1500 officer involved shootings per year which spread out amongst the 18,000 police departments in the US doesn't seem like that much of a burden.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure that "administrative burden" is not a relevant concern when we're talking about the union of the sets of "innocent people being killed" + "abuses of state power by individual actors" + "correlation with the continued inequity of a group that had to fight tooth and nail for basic human rights"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congress does not have policing power, Amendments 9 & 10 limit their power. The growth of federal power is tied to the interstate commerce clause which has been stretched and stretched. If someone can come up with a good argument as to how national data reporting is an interstate commerce function than congress can do it. Otherwise, it goes back to the old standby: if you want federal dollars you need to play by our rules. That is how many federal mandates are enacted such as speed limits, BACs, medicaid, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congress does not have policing power, Amendments 9 & 10 limit their power. The growth of federal power is tied to the interstate commerce clause which has been stretched and stretched. If someone can come up with a good argument as to how national data reporting is an interstate commerce function than congress can do it. Otherwise, it goes back to the old standby: if you want federal dollars you need to play by our rules. That is how many federal mandates are enacted such as speed limits, BACs, medicaid, etc.

The Ninth Amendment does not meaningfully limit Congress's power. The Tenth sort of does, and people say that the federal government does not have "police" power — which does not mean what it sounds like. The only general point to be made here is that the presumption is that Congress can't do anything unless the Constitution allows it. (The reverse presumption applies to the states: they can do anything unless the Constitution forbids it.)

 

But Congress has Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. All Congress has to say is that it is concerned that states (via local police) are violating due process and not providing their citizens equal protection of the law, and it wants to monitor local police for Fourteenth Amendment violations in relation to excessive use of force. That's the easy constitutional justification. (Yes, there's the "congruence and proportionality" requirement from City of Boerne v. Flores, but it seems pretty obvious that it would pass it.)

 

You could probably do it under the Commerce Clause power, too, because that power does not have many defined limits — as far as we know, the only limit is that it can't be used to regulate inactivity, per NFIB v. Sebelius — but you don't even have to go there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...