• tim wood
    6.1k
    Here the question is whether Trump should be indicted for either negligent homicide or second degree murder. The evidence is his handling of Covid-19, with special reference to his indoor rally in Nevada 13 Sept. 2020.

    The elements of negligent homicide - to be proved - are 1) awareness of risk, 2) an act or the omission of an act, 3) evidence of causation, the link to all or any death(s) in the US from Covid-19 (Including all to date and also those assumed to result from the Nevada rally).

    Elements for second degree murder. 1) Reckless disregard and awareness of risk, 2) death resulting from acts a reasonable person would know would result in death, 3) intention.

    In neither case is the the actual killing an element.

    -------------------------------

    Obviously we're not a grand jury, but the matter itself is serious. All are invited to do their own research on what constitutes these charges, what their respective elements are - they vary by state, being state crimes - and to comment.
    1. Indict for negligent homicide. (7 votes)
        yes
        71%
        no
        29%
    2. Indict for second degree murder. (7 votes)
        yes
        57%
        no
        43%
    3. Indict all others who aided and abetted as accessories. (7 votes)
        yes
        71%
        no
        29%
  • coolazice
    26
    I'm happy to be educated on US law, but... the idea that you can try someone for second degree murder or negligent homicide because of exposure to a pandemic with a maximum 10% death rate seems pretty specious to me. Surely the law exists to convict people who behaved in such a way that death was the likely outcome for a given person, not a random percentage of the public? Otherwise couldn't we try every politician for not doing enough about influenza? At what percentage do we draw the legal line?

    There may be other laws, guidelines or standards that Trump broke in doing this. He certainly behaved reprehensibly and immorally. I'm just skeptical that it amounts to the category of second degree murder.
  • tim wood
    6.1k
    Educate yourself. The charges are serious. Each charge has a set of elements. Trump's actions conform to the elements. And do you think his having an indoor rally in Nevada is not a case of reckless and willful disregard for human life?
  • coolazice
    26
    The relevant element though is 'awareness of risk': how much risk? No human action is without risk, so essentially we are assessing which degree of risk warrants a criminal charge. This is why I raised the point about influenza.
  • tim wood
    6.1k
    The relevant element though is 'awareness of risk': how much risk? No human action is without risk, so essentially we are assessing which degree of risk warrants a criminal charge. This is why I raised the point about influenza.coolazice

    Google the laws. What you find will be at least somewhat informative and suggestive. Try this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIxNXVQMvgA&list=UUrWmonkmTk5NbvmVnc7f70w&index=5
  • Michael
    9.5k
    I answered "no" to all.

    And do you think his having an indoor rally in Nevada is not a case of reckless and willful disregard for human life?tim wood

    https://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/NRS-200.html#NRS200Sec070

    Except under the circumstances provided in NRS 484B.550 and 484B.653, involuntary manslaughter is the killing of a human being, without any intent to do so, in the commission of an unlawful act, or a lawful act which probably might produce such a consequence in an unlawful manner.

    I don't see how holding a rally that other people choose to attend would amount to involuntary manslaughter in the case that someone becomes infected and dies.

    Perhaps if someone attends the rally and knows themselves to be infected then that person could be found guilty, but I doubt that the actual organizer (let alone Trump himself, who probably isn't personally responsible for organizing the rally) could be found guilty.

    Although even in that case it would need to be proven that the victim was infected by that particular other attendee, which I'm petty sure would be impossible to prove. They could be found guilty of some form of negligence, but not negligent homicide.
  • coolazice
    26


    Do me a favour. You made a claim, I countered your claim with a specific question about risk and what is deemed to be sufficient risk to establish a crime. You've so far evaded this question twice with snotty 'do the research' responses. This is a philosophy forum. If you want to debate your position, then debate it.
  • tim wood
    6.1k
    I gave you a video to watch - that's my main source. the rest was my own look-up on the net. And it's not a matter for philosophical debate. There's prima facie evidence for Trump's having committed the crimes in question. It is, then, a question of fact. Btw, what claim did I make? @Michael's contribution is also interesting.
  • coolazice
    26
    I watched the video, and aside from being boring it also did not address the question of risk, nor the relative risk of this outbreak compared to other viruses. Law is a question of interpretation as well as fact. So I'll ask you again, directly: how much risk is sufficient to warrant a claim of negligent homicide or second degree murder? Is it a 10% fatality rate? A 1% fatality rate? 0.0001%? That is the crux of the matter.
  • tim wood
    6.1k
    That's all subject to state law. Murder, and I'm pretty sure manslaughter, are not federal crimes. @Michael above referenced Nevada law and apparently there, you have to be the killer - as I read it - which is not the case in other states.

    I believe the standards generally do not assess risk itself, but negligent behavior, duty to act, and reckless disregard. As such, risk is exactly not the crux of the matter. And these issues are why I suggested doing the research yourself. As to debating risk, as I think about it, there is no one number that applies. There are, I think, issues of acceptance of risk, but I do not think that acceptance of risk is generally exculpatory, though it be in some cases. That is, if you're a proprietor or impresario or owner in some enterprise, you cannot be relieved of liability, either civil or criminal, just on someone else's stated assumption of risk. It's just not that simple.

    You listened to/watched the video and have no opinion about or interest in what the speaker had to say about the charges? I thought he made substantive points.
  • jgill
    1k
    And it's not a matter for philosophical debatetim wood

    Then it should appear in a different forum.
  • The Opposite
    785
    The Lounge isn't supposed to be purely philosophical. You can start a thread solely about kittens here, according to the description.
  • tim wood
    6.1k
    Since when are matters of fact subject to philosophical debate? Shall we debate philosophically whether or not the president of the US is Donald Trump, whether the earth is round or flat, whether the sky is blue, or that water boils at 212 degrees?
  • jgill
    1k
    ↪jgill
    The Lounge isn't supposed to be purely philosophical. You can start a thread solely about kittens here, according to the description.
    Professor Death

    I think I made that post when the thread was on the main page. More appropriate here.
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