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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Hypothetically speaking would you turn a blind eye to a crime if the person doing it can justify it?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26829points) February 7th, 2011

Let say you are in a parking lot late at night, you see a portly middle aged man running with his brief case. Chasing him is a teen girl about 15 or so. The man runs between two tall SUVs and you hear him fall. The teen catches up and you hear screaming then the man’s voice pleading “No please don’t!” You heard 3 to 5 pops of a 9 millimeter with muzzle flash. The teen exit from between the vehicles and spies you. She rushes you and begs you not to call the cops or say anything but if you did say he was shot by a mugger. If she said she did it because he was a stepfather that was touching her since she was 11 and also raiding her college fund so she could not escape to college. Would you just get in your car and drive off? Would you lie to her and tell her you won’t say anything then when safe in your car call the cops? If you called the cops would you stick around until they showed or make the call then haul butt out of there. If you believed the guy was a scum bag would you avoid getting involved figuring he had it coming? Or the law is the law and the ends do not justify the means?

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28 Answers

bkcunningham's avatar

I would call the police and tell the truth about what I saw and heard. I’m sure I’d be shaken and in shock, but I’d do my best to remember specific details and a description of the shooter.

marinelife's avatar

It is not up to me to judge people’s stories.

I would call the police and make myself available to tell what I saw.

Summum's avatar

I would call the police and be a witness for them. There is no justification for killing except to protect ones family or life. If he was hitting her and saying he was going to kill her and she then shot him I would still call the police and testify in her behalf.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, that scenario I would leave up to the cops and the legal system. There are other scenarios that I can imagine where I wouldn’t tell, like an obviously hungry kid stealing some food. Of course, if I saw that, I’d be buying them some food.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I’d lie to her so that she wouldn’t shoot me too, but then I would call the cops!

Seelix's avatar

I’d call the police. How am I to know that the girl is telling the truth? Best to let the authorities decide on that one.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I would believe EVERY SINGLE WORD that this teensager says,then I’d ground her and take her gun away.
I would probably suggest she get treatment for her Yosemite Sam Personality Disorder from a licensed therapist.

funkdaddy's avatar

I think for lesser offenses people would look the other way and do all the time.

Have you ever seen a place that will sell you a shopping cart? What are those worth, $200?

We see it as a justifiable offense for those to be taken for whatever reason but will chase the same people down in the parking lot if they steal a $2 loaf of bread or a $5 six pack of beer.

Not judging either side, just an oddity in our culture.

downtide's avatar

I would lie to the girl and call the cops as soon as I was out of sight of her.

Nullo's avatar

Ours is a society of rules. Ignore the rules, and you lose the society. I can’t much say that I like everything that society has become, but it beats misanthropic anarchy.
The girl in question might be morally justified in killing the man, but not legally. I don’t know enough to be able to judge the morality, but I do know that laws were broken and due process circumvented – AFAIK it is only legally permissible to kill someone to save your own life or the lives of others. I would probably call the police.
Why does the caliber of the firearm matter?

cazzie's avatar

NOTHING excuses the taking of a life. Lie to her, watch where she goes, and call the police. The girl is seriously messed up.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@cazzie I disagree. I can think of times where taking someone’s life is justified. Extreme circumstances, of course, but still…

wundayatta's avatar

I would freeze the whole scene with my stasis ray, and then call deputy space monkey to come and sort it out.

cazzie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Well, I think I simplified this, of course…now that I think second about it, I can think of scenarios where I could take a life, if someone was aiming a gun at my son, for example.

But here, she ran him down and shot him. That sounds a bit crazy to me. She could have got a confession from him on tape or with witnesses that were hidden from view. She sounds nuts.

I could certainly see some sort of revenge wanted in a case like this, but killing him in cold blood like that?? nope.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree with that, @cazzie!

ucme's avatar

Book her Danno!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@ucme… one of the best songs of all time!!! Well, the first part, with the kettle drums, anyway.

ucme's avatar

@Dutchess_III Ahh, you can’t beat a kettle drum…...except that you can!

Coloma's avatar

I’d call the authorities and be witness to what had occurred.

Hows that saying go ‘if you arn’t part of the solution you are part of the problem.’

I would never look away from a crime because I was too lazy or afraid to get involved.

snowberry's avatar

I would call the police for the man.

On other less traumatic issues, I’d not bother.

flutherother's avatar

I would go and see if the man needed help.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Without a way to verify the story, I wouldn’t feel comfortable covering for someone. If it was someone I trusted and knew their story was true, I’d probably let them get away with it.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

In this case? I’d call the police, like most people said above.
However, I don’t think that the law is flawless. Far from it. I agree with @Dutchess_III, in fact that was the scenario that came to mind before I clicked on this question. Going just by the title, I imagined someone stealing food. I could see myself turning a blind eye to that.

The_Idler's avatar

The answer to the title question is YES,
but I think you’d struggle to justify murder, EVER, and how can I believe her anyway!?

If I saw a starving kid steal an apple from a supermarket, completely justified.
If I saw someone smash through a shop window, trying to escape an armed robber, completely justified.
If I saw a normal person exploiting the corporate super-structure, completely justified.

Nullo's avatar

I am supposed to destroy all of the cooked chickens that are returned to the rotisserie chicken case because I need to be certain of the safety of my products, and I don’t know what may or may not have happened to those chickens while they were rolling around in the store. Putting them back out for sale would be thoroughly irresponsible.
So it is with this hypothetical scenario. Sure, it may look reasonable, but there’s no telling what happened off-screen.

mattbrowne's avatar

I guess so. If someone raped a young girl and the police officers kicks him in the balls before arresting him I would probably not report this to his superior.

Nullo's avatar

—@mattbrowne I believe that our own @johnpennington65 has a compelling story of kneecapitation.

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