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Enforcing the law purely because it is the law.

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  • Enforcing the law purely because it is the law.

    Right or wrong?

  • #2
    Let's just say I'm glad officers have some discretion.

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    • #3
      Try adding a little more information to your question.
      sigpic
      Don't make me gassy.
      You wouldn't LIKE me when I'm gassy...
      _________________________________

      If you're offended by something that I've said...it was just your turn.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Irespire View Post
        Right or wrong?
        Maybe....
        The Red, Bold, Italic is my official sarcasm tag.



        "I think many years ago an advanced civilization intervened with us genetically and gave us just enough intelligence to develop dangerous technology but not enough to use it wisely. Then they sat back to watch the fun. Kind of like a human zoo. And you know what? They're getting their money's worth"
        George Carlin

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        • #5
          I say wrong

          If the officer knows or feels the law is wrong they should not enforce it.

          One New Jersey example would be a young man learning firearms safety in the forest with an air powered BB gun not during hunting season, giving them a ticket would be wrong to me.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by David Hineline View Post
            If the officer knows or feels the law is wrong they should not enforce it.


            Ekkkk. I do not know if I like that statement in broad terms. Just because the officer doesnt feel the law is right doesnt mean they should/can ignore it.


            Until the SC says Pretextual Contacts/Traffic stops are illegal.....I hope may officers continue to enforce those "pesky" laws.

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            • #7
              Enforcing the law purely because it is the law.

              Originally posted by Irespire View Post
              Right or wrong?

              You mean like where someone kills someone else, but like they really deserved it, and arresting the killer for it, just because it is the law?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Irespire View Post
                Right or wrong?
                This really comes across as baiting. You're looking for just black and white in a world full of shades of gray. Let's just say that the law is the law, but I'm grateful that there's a legal definition for the words "justifiable" and "officer discretion".

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                • #9
                  Generally speaking, I tried to enforce the philosophy of the law, rather than enforce the law, just because it is the law.
                  Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Fëanor View Post
                    Let's just say I'm glad officers have some discretion.
                    +1. Well said for a non - LEO.

                    Originally posted by David Hineline View Post
                    If the officer knows or feels the law is wrong they should not enforce it.
                    -1. That made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

                    Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                    Generally speaking, I tried to enforce the philosophy of the law, rather than enforce the law, just because it is the law.
                    In California, it is known as "letter of the law" vs. "spirit of the law." It is actually spelled out in Penal Code section 4.
                    The following is from http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.html/pen_..._contents.html

                    4. The rule of the common law, that penal statutes are to be
                    strictly construed, has no application to this Code. All its
                    provisions are to be construed according to the fair import of their
                    terms, with a view to effect its objects and to promote justice.

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                    • #11
                      How do you think the citizens would react if they called for service and I showed up, agreed that an offense was committed, but then told them I would do nothing becasue I didnt agree with the law. And people call about all kinds of laws...muni codes, vehicle codes, penal codes,etc. I havent come across a law yet that I do not agree with (there may be some out there, but it hasnt been an issue). If I feel that a warning will suffice to enforce that law then a warning is given, if I feel further action needs taken then so be it.

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                      • #12
                        My answer is yes.
                        Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

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                        • #13
                          Alabama — All sodomy acts illegal - affects only unmarried couples.[18][19] Penalty = (1 year/$2,000)

                          If officers were to follow the outdated law, they would have to arrest every homosexual on sight and arrest any unmarried couple getting a hummer at makeout point.

                          Some laws can range from improper, to un-constitutional, to damnation in hell for enforcing them.

                          Officer/judicial discretion is just fine.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Officer discretion is an accepted common-law practice in Canada. Further, many offences, especially committed by Youth Criminals (> 12 < 18 years old) but even by > 18 yoa, are dealt with by alternative measures and similar proceedures.

                            Nobody going to gaol for littering today! Tomorrow is a whole other situation!!
                            #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
                            Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
                            RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
                            Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
                            "Smile" - no!

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                            • #15
                              From a non-LE perspective: I'm glad that officers can and do exercise due discretion when it comes to some laws. I don't agree an officer should not enforce a law simply because they do not agree that it is a good law. There is no doubt that there are officers who disagree with marijuana prohibition, certain drinking laws, or any issue that can be politicized. I don't think an officer should turn their back to something because they don't agree with a law, but I think they should use their best judgement in looking at the totality of a situation and deciding what to do (i.e. with a kid with a scrawny MJ plant under a crappy grow light in his closet vs. a "professional" grow operation).

                              On the other hand, if an officer truly believes a law is unconstitutional and infringes on the rights of others (i.e. sodomy laws) then I have no problem with them acting in good faith to do what they feel is right. I think everyone can drum up images of societies where police, military, and the citizens blindly enforce any and all laws dictated to them. I imagine you had better be prepared to explain yourself very well, though, if you decide to completely ignore a law. Deciding the constiutionality of a law is up to the Supreme Court and not law enforcement officers, after all.

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