In our idle time a few of us dabble a little in the study of law and criminal sciences, these proclivities for acquiring such knowledge certainly doesnâ€™t empower one as an authority of these fields, even the best of us who are considered professionals and experts find it difficult at times to determine what is legally responsible or morally dignified as it pertains to dispensing criminal justice. This is never more meaningful than determining when and if civilian justice or services is either warranted or justified, in criminal cases where the civilian takes the law in his/her own hands and may be perceived as vigilante justice.
The rapid response of professional law enforcement agents could result in the apprehension of the perpetrators of possible crimes. Unfortunately the perfect world has yet to be achieved; instead there are many social elements in which we would have to factor in the process of law and order.
When the ultimate punishment (execution) is executed by civilians, who are not directly threatened, should we condone vigilantism as a means to secure justice, or are we opening Pandoraâ€™s box widely to expose a nation of uncontrolled civilians who find it lawfully acceptable to take the law in their own hands. In turn this new trend may lead to chaos as our law enforcement system has a tendency to dispense an irregular kind of justice to many different ethnic groups these new incentives of vigilantisms may foster the same attitudes in many others. This incident has the potential to shatter what legal system that we already have in place, it certainly will invent new ideas of what is lawfully acceptable while placing many in danger of committing many crimes as a result of protecting their property.
For example if an undercover cop who was on patrol or investigating the robbery or perhaps a family member that the neighbor (Joe Horn) didnâ€™t see too well came to pick up or recover some items in the house for the absent neighbor and Joe Horn killed them would he then be justified in his actions. He would then be cited for murder because he would have either killed an undercover cop or he would have killed the distant adopted black cousins of his vacationing neighbors. Thus although his actions would be perceived in complete contempt by the court system for either killing his neighborâ€™s cousins or an undercover cop it appears unjust that those same actions would be viewed as justified. Due to the fact that these two men are now dead it is impossible to extract their side of the story and many suppositions might be floating around, as many are now saying that these two dead men may not even have been burglars, it is highly improbable that two black men (who are said to be immigrants) would park the getaway car down the block, break into a house in broad daylight in a white neighborhood and then walk casually to their cars or to another house with a bag full of stolen items.
In a perfect world justice would prevail without dissention, there would be neither protest nor rallies, because the police would arrive on time to apprehend criminal suspects and deliver them to the courts unscathed, to be judged fairly then processed according to that judgment. In this case the protest began with Quanell X (born Quanell Ralph Evans on December 7, 1970 in Los Angeles, California) a leader of the New Black Panther Party in Houston, Texas , Quanell X attempted to lead a protest in Pasadena, Texas on December 2, 2007 in front of Horn's house, there he met an assembly of opposition.
Regardless of the legalities of this incident consideration to the jurisprudence in this matter should not be construed by racial divisions as its deciding factor. We must look at this in a legal sense in a productive effort to quail the possibility for divisions between the races. This case has the potential to spark the words needed to instigate a race riot and the landslide of social instability.
An armed, citizenry (not an armed vigilante citizenry) is the first line of defense in the ongoing battle to maintain our mutual security. If you surrender the responsibility for your own safety to others, no matter how professional they may be, you do so at your own great peril. However when property is threaten you must consider life to be far more valuable and use wisdom which tempers the use of deadly force, we can detain someone without killing them, we can wound them if they insist on the criminal action, as long as they have no weapons in which to threaten you with then deadly force is not essential and by using this wisdom we in turn do not break manâ€™s laws nor the laws of God.
â€The incident may prove a test for a new law recently passed in Texas which expands the right of citizens to use deadly force.
Under Texas law, people may use deadly force to protect their own property or to stop arson, burglary, robbery, theft or criminal mischief at night.
But the legislator who authored the "castle doctrine" bill told the Chronicle it was never intended to apply to a neighbor's property, to prompt a "'Law West of the Pecos' mentality or action," said Republican Sen. Jeff Wentworth. "You're supposed to be able to defend your own home, your own family, in your house, your place of business or your motor vehicle."
We must decide the kind of society that we really want, either we are at odds with the law and with one another or we are truly unified on all levels. There are some claims of injustice which surrounds this national case and many believe that Joe Horn committed murder as he shot two unarmed burglars in the back as they were running away, after he was told by the police departmentâ€™s operators not to pursue the suspects. Yet how could they have been running away and at the same time be coming towards Joe Horn and his property to steal or threaten him? Whether we are in agreement or not with what Joe Horn did we should be prepared for the social effects of his actions.
Keep in mind that the difference between an armed vigilante and a armed citizen is that a vigilante is operating outside of the law, where an armed citizen cooperates and assist in law and order.
61 year old Joe Horn was sitting alone in his home in Pasadena Texas during the afternoon of November 14th, 2007 when he heard breaking glass in his neighbor's house and then saw two men burglarizing the neighbor's property. Joe's next move was to call 911 to try and get police to come and take care of the situation. The police didn't arrive in time though, and Joe went outside and shot and killed the burglars.
Crimefilenews.com summarizes the pro-Joe side pretty succinctly here:
The other side of the argument is that Joe went way over the line as far as premeditated murder. That he should have listened to the 911 dispatcher who said "Property's not worth killing someone over. OK? Don't go out the house. Don't be shooting nobody."
Joe says early on "I'm gonna kill 'em." So is he wrong to go outside given that he already knew the outcome of that situation? Or was he in the right because he rightly feared that his safety was at risk?
The tape is ripe with evidence to support both sides of the debate on whether Joe was in the right or whether it was just premeditated murder. However as you listen to these tapes let your mind imagine that these shoes (the circumstances) were on a different foot for a change and consider the effects of this case should a black man shoot two white men in this same fashion, would the outcome then be the same? I donâ€™t know, you tell me. Is a bag of property worth more than life? And if so where does the law draw the line?
Vigilante Joe: Hero or Villain?
Just listen to the 911 tape of Joe Horn killing before, during and after killing two burglars in Texas and you're sure to see why it is generating such a controversy.
Here's a link to the audio http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=local&id=5538780
Here's a link to a (partial) transcript: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1926577/posts
Other sites with info both for and against:
Houston Chronicle http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/5309288.html
ABC: Activists protesting article http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=local&id=5771154
ABC: Widow's side http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=local&id=5766455
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Professional Law Enforcement Vs. Joe Horn
Issues Of Justice And Vigilantes
Copyright © 2010 Credo
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