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Witnessing a crime

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Jack Roberts Posted: Tue, Jul 3 2012 2:55 PM

What is the an cap perspective from a legal point of view on witnessing a crime. Say for example I saw a live cctv footage of a crime. If i was found out that I saw it, would I be liable in any way? What about if there was a crime being committed such as rape or murder? If I kept such material in the form of videos on a storage device and I was found to have them.

The reason I asked is because I was using the non aggression principle as an argument for ending prohibition. Then someone said that a person who views child porn is not violating the non aggression principle so that should be legal as well. I said:

I think it would be a bit more complicated than that. There is no such thing as child porn there is only child rape. So technically a video of child rape would be witnessing of a crime. The host would be liable for hosting such content and if the person was found to have the offending images on his computers he would be liable himself. You could not "prove" that someone looked at it very easily, ok i guess you could via ip address etc, but they could just as easily close the browser and clear their history, with the host not being compromised by "police" they would not know of it. Point being that it would be a crime and it is irrelevant that the person does not directly violate the non aggression principle, as that is not a requirement for a crime to be committed. They are still responsible for a crime, although less severely as the person committing the act. This is not the same as a victimless crime such as smoking cannabis or doing cocaine. Because there is a victim. Ok now we can get back on to topic. Not sure how we had half a thread about unrelated topic.

But I do think my answer was a contradiction.

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You are not obligated to do anything in libertopia. The only active prohibition is "thou shalt not aggress against others or their rightful property". Witnesses do not have to help or report. Anyway, I suggest you check this thread out, and read Nielsio's ideas on reputation. I think he has a video in his channel specifically about it, but he talks about it in the podcast in that thread.

Basically, if you are a witness and you don't help, even by reporting the crime, this sets red flags to the rest of the community that you are not a person who can be trusted. Kicking your own dog might not be a crime, but it sure as hell is going to be a warning to the community that you are not a safe person to be around.

Before we tackle the problem of child porn, let's talk about hit men. If you hire a hit man, you have not committed the murder yourself. But you would still be complicit in the crime. In this case, your actions would definitely be criminal. But how does this apply to child porn? The person acquiring the video might not have contracted for the crime to be committed. He is only buying it after the fact.

Well, there are two ways to look at this. The first is, the man's behavior is not criminal. He paid for a service regarding a crime that did take place, but he was not complicit in the crime itself. In this view, acquiring child porn and contracting a hit man are not analogous situations. However, this is where reputation comes into play. Sure, maybe the man with the child porn did not do anything criminal, but his behavior is a HUGE red flag to the rest of the community. This man supports crimes, even if they are after the fact. He is a danger to the community. It's very likely that in a case such as this, this man would end up an outlaw.

The second way is, the man's behavior is criminal. He was a complicit party. What happens next is just a matter of law.

Either way, I doubt people like this would be tolerated very much in libertopia.

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Bogart replied on Tue, Jul 3 2012 5:23 PM

Witnessing a crime is not a crime.  So the person can not be held against their will.  In a truely free society only the perpetrators of crimes are the criminals and the rest of the public is innocent.  That being said there are societal mores against witholding this information from the investigators and the victims.  The action may subject the witness to bad press and even in the case listed above of child rape to be ostrasized by the community and depending on the state of arbitration the witness may be liable for monetary penalties.

Keep in mind that in the bizarro world of Government Monopoly Law Making, Enforcement and Dispute Resolution that ostracism is not a big deal.  But in a free society it is a huge issue especially when there are modern communications available.  In a free society if people refuse to give you power or food or water you could be in a very bad position and would not survive.

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