TheLibrarian, on 28 February 2012 - 05:01 AM, said:
I'm sorry but I don't think killing people is the way unless your life is in danger. Like I said, hit them ontop of the head with a hammer, knock them out. How the hell is a person going to laugh when they are unconscious? And again, I believe that death is an escape, not a punishment.
I actually teach use of force/deadly force professionally. And I completely understand your point of view and encounter it often. If you don't mind a possibly lengthy post, I'll explain the reasoning to you best I can in terms of the law (with a bit of my own morality thrown in):
1. To be more clear, it is never legally justifiable to intentionally kill someone (short of government condoned executions/death penalty). When we say flippant things like "he needed killin'" or "he deserved to die" - we are doing just that, being flippant and less than completely accurate with our speech. To be perfectly clear from a legal perspective, the use of deadly force (which by it's definition is force that is known to have a very high potential for causing death or serious bodily injury) is justified to STOP someone from committing certain criminal acts - including rape and violent sexual assault. And by STOP, I mean to halt the immediate or imminent commision of that criminal act (this does NOT include retaliation for a crime that has already ceased - that is NEVER justifiable under the law). I realize it seems counterintuitive and like lawyer's double-speak to say we cannot INTEND to kill someone but we can use force known to have a high likelihood of killing someone, but that's the way the law is written. In legalese, intentional killing = premeditated murder. Using force that could cause death in a desperate attempt to stop a violent felony crime such as rape = self defense.
2. What you (and you're not alone) fail to understand is that hitting someone over the head with a hammer, from a legal standpoint, is THE SAME as any other use of DEADLY force. For purposes of determining criminal liability, there is NO DISTINCTION between hitting someone over the head with a hammer and shooting them with a gun. BOTH actions are uses of DEADLY force. Both actions are UNLAWFUL unless you have a clear legal justification to take such action. Defending yourself or another from rape is one of those clear legal justifications that authorizes you to use ANY deadly force at your disposal - hammer, knife, gun, etc. Point is, all of these actions are known to have a very high potential for causing death or serious bodily injury, thus they are all labeled the same under the law - use of DEADLY force.
3. The REASON why they are all lumped together is that someone in a desperate life-of-death situation does not have the time nor the ability to stop and think "gee, this man is only
trying to rape me, he's not necessarily trying to kill me, so in this instance I'll use my trusty hammer I keep near me whenever the potential for being raped is high. If you are being raped (or attacked in any other violent manner) you are in a DESPERATE situation - the gravest possible extreme. And while it's easy to sit here in front of our computers and determine we would react rationally in such a situation, the reality is VERY different. Panic, fear, and involuntary impulses CONTROL us when our lives are threatened in a very real and immediate manner. It is unconscionable to expect the VICTIM in such extreme circumstances to think rationally about just the right level of force to utilize to stop the attack.
4. Rape, like aggravated kidnapping, robbery, etc is a VERY violent crime. The very nature of rape has a high potential to cause death or serious bodily injury to the victim. And if the victim waits until she knows for certain the rapist is going to try to kill her, then it's too late to defend herself - she's likely already dead or dying. This is why the law makes no clear distinction between murder, rape, robbery, etc. when codifying justification to use deadly force to STOP such criminal attacks.
5. Is rape equal to murder? In the eyes of the law - it's close enough, as I've explained above. My own personal opinion is it can be worse. As you've said yourself, "death is an escape". So in that context, rape is worse than murder because it delivers all the torture, torment, and degradation of murder - without the escape.
Again, I fully understand your opinion on the matter: That killing should only be a last resort of self defense against attempted killing. But rape is such an intimately personal and disgustingly violent crime that I believe it warrants a self defense reaction "by any means necessary" - and this is truly what last resort self defense in the gravest extreme circumstances really is - ANY MEANS NECESSARY to STOP the attack.
If the attacker happens to die as a result of the self defense action, too bad. He made his choice when he decided to violently assault someone in the most personal and destructive of ways.
Putting all of this into perspective of Shane's actions against Lori at CDC: At the moment that Lori scratched and kneed Shane, she was justified
in using force or deadly force (any means necessary) to STOP his attack. Luckily for her (and for him) in hindsight she only
needed to use force to repel his attack. But many rapists don't stop so easily (as I've said before). And it is not possible for a victim to determine the exact level of force necessary to stop the attack while the attack is happening. Thus ANY MEANS NECESSARY is justified under the law, because the harm the victim seeks to stop is egregious enough to warrant ANY MEANS to stop it.
Look at it like this, if you're STUPID ENOUGH to try to rape someone - then you have given your implied permission for that someone to do ANYTHING to you to STOP you from raping them.