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Old November 7 2009, 08:40 AM   #1
Jayson
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Location: Oklahoma
Why is it legal to arrest people?

I was thinking of the question within the perspective that we follow the idea that everyone is inocent until proven guilty. If that was true, then doesn't it mean that cops should give everyone they think is guilty a summons to appear in court. I don't mind the current system I just wonder how it fits in with the idea that everyone is afforded the presumption of inocence in the eyes of the law.

Jason
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Old November 7 2009, 12:23 PM   #2
The Castellan
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Re: Why is it legal to arrest people?

With the crazy cops tasering folks and so on, I doubt everyone always is afforded the presumption of inocence in the eyes of the law.
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Old November 7 2009, 12:30 PM   #3
Trekker4747
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Re: Why is it legal to arrest people?

It's sort of a battle of rights and justice. If we didn't arrest people and hold them for trial the guilty would just evade the trial. So we have to hold onto them until their guilt is proven. This is why, most of the time, bail exsists.
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Old November 8 2009, 01:20 AM   #4
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Re: Why is it legal to arrest people?

Innocent until proven guilty, yes. But, in the meantime, depending on the severity of the offense, society needs to be protected from potential repeats and to be assured that the suspect will show up in court. That's why there's a whole range of possibilities from a summons (no arrest) to arrest w/ no bail, or bail in various amounts, or release on one's own recognizance (you just agree that you will show up) or home detention (house arrest w/ electronic monitoring).
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Old November 8 2009, 05:05 AM   #5
StarryEyed
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Re: Why is it legal to arrest people?

Nice responses here on a touchy subject.

A better OP question would be:

How come cops often (usually) get away with throwing their government-given weight around like bullies when we have a government-granted principle of innocent until proven guilty? Why aren't cops (usually) held against high standards of professionalism?
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Old November 8 2009, 05:16 AM   #6
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Re: Why is it legal to arrest people?

I know some nice cops, I have been pulled over by nice cops and not so nice ones. Like in any other profession some people abuse power. -edit-Officers of the law should be held to a higher standard.-edit-

Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward.
Whoever cannot take care of themselves without that law is both.
For a wounded man shall say to his assailant,
'If I live, I will kill you. If I die, You are forgiven.'
Such is the rule of honour.
Lamb Of God-Omerta

Some would agree.
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Old November 8 2009, 05:40 AM   #7
StarryEyed
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Re: Why is it legal to arrest people?

Jetfire wrote: View Post
I know some nice cops, I have been pulled over by nice cops and not so nice ones. Like in any other profession some people abuse power. -edit-Officers of the law should be held to a higher standard.-edit-
You betcha. Like the saying goes: Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The more power one is given, the closer one should be scrutinized to be sure that that trust is not being abused - and not by others who are given the same power. Internal affairs is a joke.
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Old November 8 2009, 05:43 AM   #8
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Why is it legal to arrest people?

StarryEyed wrote: View Post
Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Especially when it's a mob that has that power.

I know that the police and government aren't perfect, but I generally trust them. The alternative is unacceptable to me. (Not everyone can afford to turn their home into an armed camp.)

As for why it's legal to arrest: People can't be trusted, that's why. It's human nature. All defendants will attempt to skip town unless they are either in jail, or secured by a bond of some sort. And when that fails, we have bounty hunters.
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Old November 8 2009, 05:51 AM   #9
StarryEyed
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Re: Why is it legal to arrest people?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
As for why it's legal to arrest: People can't be trusted, that's why. It's human nature.
That's exactly why cops can't be trusted either. Who watches the watchers?
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Old November 8 2009, 05:54 AM   #10
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Why is it legal to arrest people?

StarryEyed wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
As for why it's legal to arrest: People can't be trusted, that's why. It's human nature.
That's exactly why cops can't be trusted either. Who watches the watchers?
At least the cops have the Internal Affairs Division.
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Old November 8 2009, 08:15 AM   #11
Rii
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Re: Why is it legal to arrest people?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
I know that the police and government aren't perfect, but I generally trust them.
That's certainly an interesting position given that history has shown time and again that the most significant threat to the welfare of the individual is the state.
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Old November 8 2009, 08:23 AM   #12
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Why is it legal to arrest people?

Rii wrote: View Post
the most significant threat to the welfare of the individual is the state.
I don't agree. I consider the state to be the most significant *protector* of the welfare of the individual.

The state will respect my rights; a mob will not. Without a state to defend me, I would be faced with the constant threat of attack from anyone who just felt like taking a shot at me, or wanted to take my property (or even my life) - when people can do anything, they will do everything, and thus no one could ever be safe. At least now, there's some semblance of order and stability to try and prevent that.

I don't have the ability or the courage to just whip out an arsenal to defend myself. And I wouldn't last three seconds in a fight, I know this. Does this mean I deserve to die, because I'm weak?
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Old November 8 2009, 08:34 AM   #13
Rii
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Re: Why is it legal to arrest people?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Rii wrote: View Post
the most significant threat to the welfare of the individual is the state.
I don't agree. I consider the state to be the most significant *protector* of the welfare of the individual.
It certainly has that potential. They're two sides of the same coin: power.

The state will respect my rights; a mob will not. Without a state to defend me, I would be faced with the constant threat of attack from anyone who just felt like taking a shot at me, or wanted to take my property (or even my life) - when people can do anything, they will do everything. At least now, there's some semblance of order and stability to try and prevent that.
The real question is to what degree the structure of the system is responsible for the behaviours that it then seeks to regulate. The notion of property is fundamentally anti-social, there is no intrinsic link between the possessor and the thing possessed, the relationship merely entails a negative social construct: the denial of the thing to others.
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Old November 8 2009, 05:43 PM   #14
sojourner
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Re: Why is it legal to arrest people?

People should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people.

Remember, remember the fifth of November....










What!?! The 8th you say? well damn. Can we restart this thread in 362 days?
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Old November 8 2009, 06:40 PM   #15
cultcross
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Re: Why is it legal to arrest people?

^ We are aware that the 5th of November is an anniversary of the government (king) overcoming the plot of an anarchist, yes? We burn effigies of the anarchist.

StarryEyed wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
As for why it's legal to arrest: People can't be trusted, that's why. It's human nature.
That's exactly why cops can't be trusted either. Who watches the watchers?
In our case, both the internal Professional Standards Dept. and the external IPCC.
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