Monday, September 18, 2006



Upon reading this article about the world's most famous bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman, I thought about this issue:

Is bounty hunting an ethical practice? Is the kidnapping of human beings an appropriate activity or policy?

Although I think one can always use a "greater good" or utilitarian argument, that specific ethical argument can only be used with the predetermined conclusion of guilt. What if the individual is innocent, but escaping injustice? Without that knowledge of actual quilt, it is difficult to justify and activity of kidnapping another human being for society's greater good.

Recognizing that however, there are a whole slew of department of justice practices that are problematic and even the notion of "innocent until proven guilty" is actually rather specious and sophistic.


What's wrong with a private citizen bringing someone else to justice? Flight from justice seems to be a forfeiture of protection of the law. Now, this only applies if the law is just.
Question, how do Libertarians fare on juries? I was called for duty a couple of years ago, and imagined myself saying to the judge, "I can agree to give this case an impartial hearing if I can be shown that only relevant case law and common law will be brought to bear against the defendant. I cannot agree to a finding based upon arbitrary legislated law." Thoughts?
What right does someone have in "bringing" someone else to justice? Can't the only way to justify this is the assumption of guilt? What if they are not guilty? You are otherwise infringing upon their rights and assisting in an unjust prosecution.

The more radical, the less one would value and arbitrary decision by peers that are unaware of the law.
So... the only one who can act as a "bounty hunter" is the individual who was wronged, and then they assume upon themselves the cost of trying them, and restitution to the accused if they are not guilty...
But can an individual who was wronged hire an agent?

How would this work in a stateless society?
How appropriate do you think it is for an individual to assume the role of exacting justice by killing someone else (or even harming them), because they felt they were wronged?

What's the difference if you hire someone else to do it?

Don't you have to assume guilt to be able even violate the rights of the othe individual in kidnapping, injuring, or killing them?

In a stateless society, they recommend private policing units (security guards) who will work it out amongst themselves, since they have an incentive to work out an agreement in a less destructive and cheaper fashion.
Do bouty hunters kill people or just try to catch them? Does it matter?

Let's back up a bit.
Someone commits a crime. Absent a state police force, the victim has great incentive for revenge. However the risks and costs of outright violence make arbitration a more favorable option. So the victim serves the perpetrator notice of a desire for restitution, arbitration, or violence, in that order. The perpetrator has the choice to face the music or flee. If he runs, the victim may give chase, taking all risks upon himself, or he may chose to employ an agent, who may have better "risk management" skills and chasing comprative advantages.
When the perpetrator is located, he is outside the protection of his rights, (I'm making a leap here) and the agent may take necessary action. The desire of the victim is first for restitution, so the incentive is to bring the perpetrator back, where he may appeal again to the arbitration process, which may look upon him less fovorably than it may have if he had not fled, but will still offer a better option than directly appeasing the victim's demands.

Do criminals forfeit their rights when they commit a crime, or do they forfeit protection of those rights, but retain the rights innately?
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