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  1. #1
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    BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING: Incentives to Inform?

    I listened to the press conference that public officials (Governor of Massachusetts, Mayor of Boston, FBI Special Agent in Charge, etc.) had yesterday afternoon. Although the FBI and others have not given a lot of details about their investigation, the plea for tips from the public about potential suspects reminded me of the Ted Kaczynski/Unabomber case. Ted Kaczynski - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Kaczynski would not have been caught but for the fact that his brother connected writings of his brother with writings of the Unabomber. During his initial negotiations with the FBI, the brother sought to remain anonymous and to work a deal that his brother would not receive the death penalty. The brother's cooperation was leaked to the press and the Attorney General ultimately sought the death penalty, although Kaczynski avoided it by later making a plea deal. If you believed that a close family member (e.g., sibling, spouse, child, parent) were involved in something like the Boston Marathon bombing, what incentives would cause you to contact the authorities? Although Massachusetts does not have a death penalty, I believe that the bombing would be covered by the federal death penalty. As a citizen, how would you feel about the authorities' agreeing not to seek the death penalty if a family member turned in the bomber?

    Although being the upstanding citizen that I am, I would like to think that I would turn in a family member who committed such a heinous crime. But, it also would be hard to be the missing link that led to a close family member's being executed. Also, there is the stigma/unwanted publicity that would come merely from being related to such a notorious criminal. I once worked with someone whose nephew murdered two people, ended up on death row and ultimately was executed. The person I knew seriously considered moving and/or changing his last name (the same as that of the nephew) because of the publicity involving his nephew. Not only did the person feel that he had suffered professionally because of the relationship, but his children were taunted at school and there were several other unpleasant interactions that family members had.

    Although large financial rewards often are offered for leads with respect to crimes, I do not think that money would be an incentive. Ted Kaczynski's brother David did receive the $1million reward that the Government offered in the Unabmomber case, but he immediately turned it over to his brother's victims. Unabomber's Kin Collect Reward Of $1 Million for Turning Him In - NYTimes.com
    I try to be perfectly civil, until someone really pisses me off.

  2. #2
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    Assuming I was quite confident they were involved, the only incentive I would need would be taking the death penalty off the table.

  3. #3
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    This one didn't remind me so much of Kaczynski as it did the Centennial Park Bombing at Atlanta 1996 Olympics- similar target (fans at sports venue), a crude bomb (pipe full of explosives and nails). People jumped to conclusions and blamed the security guard on the scene, but later they let him go. No one claimed credit for the bombing. Wasn't till the bomber set off another one at Birmingham, Alabama women's clinic (killing a guard) that they linked the two bombings. Turned out to be a pro-life guy who didn't mind taking life. He's in the Federal Pen.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne Barry View Post
    Assuming I was quite confident they were involved, the only incentive I would need would be taking the death penalty off the table.
    What Dwayne said.

  5. #5
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    For crime like the bombing, I don't think I would need any incentive at all. The guilt of knowing who did it would eat me up.

    For a big crime that didn't physically harm anyonw (Madoff type of stuff) I don't know if I would turn them in.

    Caveat, I'm an only child who never saw much of my extended family so I really never experienced the typr of tight family bonds that would make these decisions difficult.

  6. #6
    tlg
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    I can't fathom negotiating to turn over anyone for such a heinous act. If I truly thought they were involved I'd give them up in an instant.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS View Post
    ...would be hard to be the missing link that led to a close family member's being executed.
    Harder to have a guilty conscience, isn't it?

    Let alone being judged complicit.

    I don't see the choice, money or not.
    Mandated wage laws date back to 1349.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne Barry View Post
    Assuming I was quite confident they were involved, the only incentive I would need would be taking the death penalty off the table.
    The death penalty generally seems meaningless. The people who commit these heinous crimes aren't afraid to die, and all the death penalty does is temporarily satisfy some antiquated biblical need for revenge.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SauronHimself View Post
    The death penalty generally seems meaningless. The people who commit these heinous crimes aren't afraid to die, and all the death penalty does is temporarily satisfy some antiquated biblical need for revenge.
    Unless you're a Richard Jewell.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SauronHimself View Post
    The death penalty generally seems meaningless. The people who commit these heinous crimes aren't afraid to die, and all the death penalty does is temporarily satisfy some antiquated biblical need for revenge.
    Is that true? The Unibomber, Eric Rudolph...and talking a good game about not being afraid to die isn't the same as not being afraid to die. Furthermore, the reason I wouldn't want them to be executed isn't about them being afraid to die or not.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadHabit View Post
    Harder to have a guilty conscience, isn't it?

    Let alone being judged complicit.

    I don't see the choice, money or not.
    For me, I think that the fact that if someone does something like this, he or she probably is going to do it again unless he or she is caught, would tip the balance in favor of informing. I do not think that I would not feel guilt about a past crime committed by a relative if I had no indication in advance of the event.
    I try to be perfectly civil, until someone really pisses me off.

  12. #12
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    Only a scumbag gives up family like he did.

    He should have approached him first, told him what he knew, and then given him x amount of time to give himself up.
    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

    SuperAndy's Garage

  13. #13
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    Nobody seems to mind turning in a relative who has committed an act that cause lives.

    But what about the politicians who they have voted into office whose policy also cost lives? Nobody is turning them in?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy69 View Post
    Only a scumbag gives up family like he did.

    He should have approached him first, told him what he knew, and then given him x amount of time to give himself up.
    If we were talking about a rational person, I might agree with you. But, given Ted Kaczynski's mental state and his ability to commit more harm during the x period of time, I would not have given him a chance to commit more crimes.
    I try to be perfectly civil, until someone really pisses me off.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy69 View Post
    Only a scumbag gives up family like he did.

    He should have approached him first, told him what he knew, and then given him x amount of time to give himself up.
    Meh. The only people in my family that I could imagine doing something horrible are already scumbags that I wrote off years ago. Turning them in would be doing the world a favor.

    That's the big problem with your idea- Ted K was already off the deep end. His family had already given him plenty of chances and had ignored plenty of bad behavior. By the time they figured out "Oh crap, ted is behind this" I'm guessing that they were feeling pretty guilty about the fact that they had known for some time that something was wrong with Ted but kept trying to convince themselves that it was really all OK.
    Quote Originally Posted by JustTooBig View Post
    Your Logical-to-Dumbass ratio is way out of kilter, buddy

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    Nobody seems to mind turning in a relative who has committed an act that cause lives.

    But what about the politicians who they have voted into office whose policy also cost lives? Nobody is turning them in?
    To whom?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS View Post
    If we were talking about a rational person, I might agree with you. But, given Ted Kaczynski's mental state and his ability to commit more harm during the x period of time, I would not have given him a chance to commit more crimes.
    What MarkS said.

  18. #18
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy69 View Post
    Only a scumbag gives up family like he did.

    He should have approached him first, told him what he knew, and then given him x amount of time to give himself up.
    Because Ted would have seriously contemplated doing the moral thing in x amount of time?
    No way he would've fled deeper into hiding only to kill more innocent people.

  19. #19
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    We now have two letters with ricin being sent to Washington, one to a Senator and today news of one to Obama. It seems the world has gone nuts.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebit View Post
    We now have two letters with ricin being sent to Washington, one to a Senator and today news of one to Obama. It seems the world has gone nuts.
    Who knew that Maggie Thatcher and Jonathan Winters were the ones holding it all together?
    Quote Originally Posted by JustTooBig View Post
    Your Logical-to-Dumbass ratio is way out of kilter, buddy

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lotophage View Post
    Who knew that Maggie Thatcher and Jonathan Winters were the ones holding it all together?
    Pat Summerall may have played a role as well.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    Nobody seems to mind turning in a relative who has committed an act that cause lives.

    But what about the politicians who they have voted into office whose policy also cost lives? Nobody is turning them in?
    false comparisons will always be false.
    Not banned yet.

  23. #23
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    People have to accept the consequences of their actions.

    If a friend or family member commited a horrible crime, I'd turn them in, if only to stop them from doing more.

    What would I tell God, or victims? But so and so was my friend?

    Wouldn't I be a hypocrit to be angry that people covered up when my parents abused me (and my siblings) but then cover up for someone else?

    Random stranger crime makes the news. Domestic violence, family sexual abuse - not so much. Sadly, people turn (or turned) their backs every day while kids get beaten, raped by priests. Likewise domestic violence or elder abuse.

    Some psychopaths turn their anger on the world. But many just turn it on people close to them.

    I know this is a cheery little post. But the nature of 'evil' is an intense topic.
    Ride more, whine less - HTFU.

    "1/2 of you are wrong and the other .5 are incorrect!" (FlynG)

    "Taking crazy things seriously is a serious waste of time." (Murakami)

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  24. #24
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    BS. If a family member does that they are no longer family to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy69 View Post
    Only a scumbag gives up family like he did.

    He should have approached him first, told him what he knew, and then given him x amount of time to give himself up.
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOky View Post
    BS. If a family member does that they are no longer family to me.
    I think rice is the food most common in the world. Followed closely by, "I would never....." and wheat.

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