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anyone have any thoughts?

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May. 12th, 2005 | 08:44 pm
posted by: sayonara_de in philobate

There are a few things I have found in the news lately, and I am interested in hearing other people's opinions.

1. What do you think about Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's statement in Roper v. Simmons : "It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international opinion," and the opinion of the others, such as M.S. Gorbachev, saying that we should use the opinion of the international community to interepret our constitution? Should foreign law be allowed into courts to justify/overrule American laws?

2. Do you believe that the justice system should enforce the hate crimes statutes (adding onto a prison sentence if the prosecution can prove that the defendant killed the victim because of hatred for the person's sexual orientation/religion/race/etc.) found in many states?

Just out of curiosity. :]

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Comments {2}



from: sometimeafter
date: May. 13th, 2005 10:06 pm (UTC)

1. i don't think, obviously, that foreign law should overrule our own law because that just seems pretty ridiculous to me. but i do think we should at least listen to other coutries opinions, even about things concerning us. not that we should act upon them but hey it's always good to get a second or third opinion, right? also, in foreign affairs we should DEFINITELY listen to other countries. many countries advised us not to go to war but we did anyway and now it's just kind of a big mess that could have been avoided probably. i don't know much about this quote (okay, nothing) but this is all that came to mind after reading that. i don't think that we should have any laws in place saying we have to listen to other people, though. i just think it seems like common sense to listen to other countries.

2. this is a really interesting question. i've never really heard anything about it. questions about justice are really hard for me because every single case is different, of course, so it's hard for me to determine what i think about things overall because it seems like making up the way i think something should be about every single thing even if i'm not not there involved in every single thing. i think that any homocide is a very, very sad thing, but when it is done as an act of intolerance, i think it's almost barbaric. we need to, as a society, be able to get over things like this. it is, after all, a free country. and by free country i mean free to believe and act and be what you want, not free to discriminate against people for that. as for extending sentences and such, i really don't know. i don't know enough about the court systems, about that branch of government at all. it's really confusing.

anyone else?

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from: 1ad_astra1
date: Jun. 4th, 2006 10:56 pm (UTC)

As Somtimeafter stated, i believe that international opinion should be listened to and not just noted. International opinion is important because it effects us economicaly and in lesser ways such as when i go to visit different countries (The UK included ironically) General belief is that all americans think alike and i dislike getting into disputes with friends at the pub simply due to poor International Image that our nation currently holds. Surely it is not entirely the US and its poor international standing but it does not help with the ignorance the human race tends to have concerning "others".

Now, i unfortunately cannot come to a decisive answer to your second question because my ethical beliefs collide with my cultural. Our society is partially to blame for hate crimes but to avoid that, you would have to censor other peoples beliefs which obviously can be dangerous depending on who censors and what is censored and whether it begins a chain effect. With that out of the way, a crime is a crime.

Our justice system is at a double standard because in cases where employment is concerned, taking a persons biological differences and putting them against the person is considered a crime. In a more physical situation, when it can be proven that these differences were a part of the motive, we hit murky water. For if it were the same crime commited for different reasons there is no guideline (that i know of)that changes the punishment, its duration and severity; it is up to the jury or the judge if it goes to trial to decide.
I come back to he utopia-like scenerio, a person is a product of their society, can they therefore be punished for what they do? If you go into certain parts of the south, segregation is still at an extreme. can the hatred of particular races be punished and with more severity?
when it comes to Occults, the person should be pursued along with the occults leader.. we then again come upon danger of infringing rights that many cherish.
I then must think that contradicting certain ethical beliefs can be better for a universally happy society and its long-term condition... how do we decide when it is the right time and the right thing to contradict though, are we able to really trust our current justice system to be able to do this without a slant that is detrimental to the people based society we strive for?

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