Breakdown of civility among lawyers

We hear the reports of breakdowns of civility on the streets of New Orleans, but I am disheartened to see this occurring among members of the legal profession. Lawyers including Ted Frank, Glenn Reynolds and David Kopel are calling for the shooting of looters. I am appalled that members of the legal profession would call for unbridled, vigilante street justice. This is contrary to every fundamental principle we should stand for as lawyers. Fortunately, others offer more rational perspectives, such as Eugene Volokh, Orin Kerr and Eric Muller. As Volokh points out: “The shooting of looters by private citizens is a crime: the crime of murder.”

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  • Anonymous

    Now we see what the real goal of Overlawyered.com is

  • Anonymous

    If the hurricane struck Texas, it would be legal to shoot the looters. I advocate the effected state’s legislatutes immediately adopt similar statutes.

    § 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is
    justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or
    tangible, movable property:
    (1) if he would be justified in using force against the
    other under Section 9.41; and
    (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the
    deadly force is immediately necessary:
    (A) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of
    arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the
    nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
    (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing
    immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated
    robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the
    property; and
    (3) he reasonably believes that:
    (A) the land or property cannot be protected or
    recovered by any other means; or
    (B) the use of force other than deadly force to
    protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or
    another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

    Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974.
    Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, § 1.01, eff. Sept. 1,
    1994.

    § 9.43. PROTECTION OF THIRD PERSON’S PROPERTY. A person
    is justified in using force or deadly force against another to
    protect land or tangible, movable property of a third person if,
    under the circumstances as he reasonably believes them to be, the
    actor would be justified under Section 9.41 or 9.42 in using force
    or deadly force to protect his own land or property and:
    (1) the actor reasonably believes the unlawful
    interference constitutes attempted or consummated theft of or
    criminal mischief to the tangible, movable property; or
    (2) the actor reasonably believes that:
    (A) the third person has requested his protection
    of the land or property;
    (B) he has a legal duty to protect the third
    person’s land or property; or
    (C) the third person whose land or property he
    uses force or deadly force to protect is the actor’s spouse, parent,
    or child, resides with the actor, or is under the actor’s care.

    Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974.
    Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, § 1.01, eff. Sept. 1,
    1994.

  • Ted

    I defy Ambrogi to find a single thing I said that endorses the use of “unbridled, vigilante street justice.”

    My argument was simply that the early and judicious use of force by competent law enforcement, including shooting looters, would save lives in the long run, something that has been empirically true in the past, and I think the facts bear me out on that in this case, as hundreds are going to die because of the failure to establish order early. That’s a far cry from calling for what Kopel suggested.

  • Gosh, I feel left out… you forgot my blog, Seeking Justice, http://www.confoundingthewicked.blogspot.com. Shooting looters is entirely appropriate under martial law circumstances. If you have a problem with that, talk the Democrat governor of Louisiana who issued the orders!