Friday, August 31, 2018

The Blackstone Formulation, due process of law, and utilitarianism



Here’s an important Timcast video today, “We must give everything to protect the falsely accused”
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Tim Pool discusses Blackstone’s Formulation  of this idea.  He takes up the #MeToo expansion and asks if it better that 1 innocent person go to prison to keep 10 guilty people in jail and therefore (according to utilitarianism) prevent more victims.

Authoritarian leaders tend to prefer to punish the innocent to ensnare more of the guilty, and often use extrajudicial operations. Pool points out Ezra Klein’s position (Klein helped found Vox media) that sexual harassment doesn’t have easy solutions.

My own feeling is that there indeed some moral ambiguity when a person’s gratuitous activities increase the likelihood of his being targeted and causing others connected to him to be targeted.  I’ve talked about this on my “Notes” blog for my book (such as here) .  So I could raise the idea "Payback's a bitch" (quote from the soap "Days of our Lives") and even ask Timcast if he thinks retrial defendants (like on Dateline) should take Alford pleas. 

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