So we got into a discussion last night regarding the concept of an accessory to murder. I believe if you are involved in a murder or well any criminal act then you are an accessory. Erik however believes that just because you tell somehow to kill another person doesn’t mean you had anything to do with the actual murder.

Example: Charles Manson manipulated a bunch of people to kill and at his instruction they did. Manson went to jail for murder even though he never actually killed anyone himself.

Do you think he should be in jail for it and why?

Erik believes that people should be held responsible for their own actions and these people conceded to Manson’s instructions. Just because you go and tell someone to do something, doesn’t mean they have to do it.

I believe that Manson, like Hitler, may not have actually committed murder but if it wasn’t for them it never would have been set in motion. It’s confusing though, how do you decide if someone manipulates someone into doing something and just happens to mention it. Where do you draw the line?

Anyway, Erik thinks Manson shouldn’t even be in jail for murder.

I’m eager to hear your thoughts…

  • http://pointless-drivel.com Mr. Fabulous

    Avitable could probably clue us in to exactly what constitutes being an accessory. Of course Manson should be in jail. If Erik believes otherwise then this is a reason to call off the wedding. :crazy:

  • http://www.roadlessunraveled.com Robin

    But why should he be in jail, should he be in jail for murder?

  • http://pointless-drivel.com Mr. Fabulous

    The crimes would not have been committed if not for him, correct? He did not have to wield the knife to be guilty of murder.

  • http://www.roadlessunraveled.com Robin

    [playing devils advocate]

    But what about free will? Nobody HAS to do what someone tells them to do. I could go up to someone on the street and just say “Hey, kill that dude over there for me would ya? Thanks!” but most likely they wouldn’t do it. If they did, would I be held accountable? What about music lyrics and movies that people say influenced their children to kill themselves or others?

  • http://www.avitable.com Avitable

    It was considered a conspiracy to commit a murder.

    If you are part of a conspiracy to do something, and that action happens, even if you’re not there, you can be charged with that crime.

    It is a rule created specifically for situations where people like a member of the mafia may direct someone to kill another person. So that’s why he’s in prison for murder, and it makes perfect sense.

  • http://www.iliveunderarock.com Geeky Dragon Girl

    I think the answer lies with intent. Let’s say EvilGuy asks SmartGuy about how to kills someone in a certain way. SmartGuy describes it in detail because he has the knowledge. EvilGuy later goes and kills a person in that exact same way. Is SmartGuy to blame? No, because he didn’t know about it.

    Now if SmartGuy told EvilGuy how to murder, and then told him to try this method on his landlord because he hated the guy, now he’s guilty.

    Yet another scenario – if SmartGuy shares his knowledge with EvilGuy, and then EvilGuy tells him that he’s going to go kill his wife later that night, is SmartGuy guilty of something because he didn’t tell the authorities or try to stop it in any way? He never suggested the wife be killed, but he didn’t try to stop it either. He’s guilty of something lesser than murder, but still guilty of something. (I just don’t know what.)

    Should Manson be in jail, hell yes! He was involved in plots to murder. He’s as guilty as a guy who hires a hitman to do his dirtywork for him.

  • http://www.avitable.com Avitable

    Your scenario where he knew about the murder but didn’t do anything to stop it is likely an accessory to murder. It’s not as severe a punishment.

  • http://www.roadlessunraveled.com Robin

    I wish the man was around a computer to offer his thoughts, you guys are certainly helping me with my argument.

  • http://www.iliveunderarock.com Geeky Dragon Girl

    We’re helping with your argument because we’re right and he’s wrong. By his logic, mob bosses (whose hands are technically clean because they never do any of the actual dirty work) should not go to jail either.

  • http://www.avitable.com Avitable

    Exactly what GDG said – we’re right!

  • http://www.roadlessunraveled.com Robin

    Well I know that, I just thought I wasn’t getting my argument across well enough last night or maybe he’s just too stubborn to see the other side…we’ll see.

  • http://www.iliveunderarock.com Geeky Dragon Girl

    It’s likely he’ll acknowledge your point on the inside, but will never admit to being wrong. Stubborn folks (like me) HATE to be wrong.

  • http://www.roadlessunraveled.com Robin

    Actually he admits to being wrong to me all the time, nobody else really though.

  • http://www.themuttprincess.wordpress.com themuttprincess

    I believe that if you tell someone to do it on your behalf (hire them or manipulate them into it… whatever) I believe you are guilty of murder as well as the party who actually did the actual deed.

  • http://www.iliveunderarock.com Geeky Dragon Girl

    Well that’s good. A person who can never admit to being wrong has way too much pride, and that makes them unpleasant to be around. You wouldn’t want to marry an unpleasant fellow!

  • http://www.gemini.roadlessunraveled.com/ Gemini

    Um that is interesting… I think that he just used a really bad example of what he was trying to say… I think that Manson is where he belongs…

    GDG said everything that I would have said (just a little smarter.. lol)

    Um just noticed when did I become a Slut????? lol :robin:

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