CA "Good Samaritan" Law

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by chanel, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. chanel
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    chanel Silver Member

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    Calif. bill requires witnesses to report crimes - California State Wire - Fresnobee.com

    Good idea?
     
  2. Father Time
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    Father Time I'll be Still Alive

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    Terrible idea.

    First of all not reporting things to the police should not be a crime because well it's not violating anyone.

    Second it would mean less info to the police in some instances. Let's say someone witnessed a crime and didn't say anything. If they were to have a change of heart and report it they would be admitting to a crime.

    Also isn't this technically compelled speech (i.e. violation of the first amendment)?
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  3. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    I am torn, HOWEVER. The fact remains as long as we do not require reporting crimes we encourage that behavior. They already require crimes on children under the age of 15 to be reported, so tell me how does one determine the age of the child victim?

    A simple fix for your problem is to make it so they can not try them if they later tell what they know, BEFORE it is to late to help.
     
  4. Father Time
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    Father Time I'll be Still Alive

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    Not really, by making it a crime in the first place we're discouraging the behavior.
     
  5. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    I disagree. People do not want to get involved. They refuse to tell anything. If it were illegal some people would feel compelled to talk. Further if the cops KNOW someone saw something they would have the ability to try and force information out of unwilling people.
     
  6. lawbuff
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    lawbuff Member

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    That is not really a good samaritan law, that is, say, where I give first aid to a car accident victim. As long as my aid was not grossly negligent, etc., I am immune from a civil suit for damages by them or thier estate.

    Here we have a mandatory reporting law. In my state it is only mandatory to report a felony, if not, it is a misdemanor of the 4th degree.

    The US Code also has a felony reporting statute, Misprision of felony.

    Some are already bound by law to report crimes, say a doctor who knows that a child has been abused, even if it was a misdemeanor crime.

    Reporting can be done anonymously. Even if one is caught not reporting one, the penalty is small.

    The law here deals with "violent attacks ", per the article, and the crime in question was witnessed like the Kitty Genovese case. Failure to report in this case should be a lower level crime, I have no problem with that.
     
  7. Gem
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    Gem BANNED

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    I have several concerns with this law...even though I think that people should always report crimes that they have witnessed.

    From a purely non-emotional standpoint...is this law truly enforceable? If you come across a hit and run and no one has remained at the scene...are we really going to task our already over-worked police departments with hunting down all of the witnesses to charge them with a crime? What about the paperwork involved and the office processing fees, etc. in charging 25 people with a minor crime? It seems to me that this might be one of those "sounds like it might be a good idea" until it becomes another nightmare of paperwork, ridiculous fees, time spent and money lost...

    And as far as the Kitty Genovese crime is concerned...read "Super Freakonomics" it has an absolutely fascinating look on how what most people believe about that case is actually dead wrong.
     
  8. JD_2B
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    JD_2B Little Vixen

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    They shouldn't have changed the age rule. The rule that was in place already was ample. Now a bunch of people will be in trouble all the time, including child victims that don't report their own victim status. I also agree, Father time, that this is a violation of the fifth amendment.
     
  9. manifold
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    manifold Diamond Member

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    What a sad commentary on the current state of society where people would actually need a law to compel them to report the rape of a minor.
     
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  10. Luissa
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    Luissa Annoying Customer Supporting Member

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    I think it is sad they would have to have a law, but in today's world I guess we need one.
     

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