| 18191 - Reply from Abram , 16 y.o. (usa) - 2018-06-12 |
| Bonjour Laura!
The robber was making threats on the jeweler's life; Was the jeweler to wait till he was killed? It was probably not the jeweler's intention to kill the burglar, incapacitation would have been sufficient to protect himself and his goods. But if the jeweler had intended to kill, then he is at fault because thievery does not carry the death penalty nor is it justifiable to take a life only to defend possessions. However, the burglar did wield a knife and it is easy to imagine how the jeweler may have feared for his life and taken measures to neutralize the threat.
Is that what they teach you in France, that it is wrong for an individual to take initiative and do what is right? Must it be a government institution decides what is right, acts as the sole instrument of justice? What the founders of the United States held was that the true legitimacy of the law comes from God, not from the government. And government institutions are (1) made up of people and (2) not above ordinary citizens in interpreting God's law. They laid upon ordinary individuals great responsibility in keeping order and preventing tyranny by affording the right to keep and bear arms and reemphasizing their God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Christianity has influenced many man-made legal systems around the world, and in almost all of them violent actions that would otherwise be considered crimes are justified in the context of self defense when (1) the threat to life is imminent and (2) the fear of harm is reasonable. In this situation, the defender may take violent actions proportional to the level of threat to defend himself or other people. I am confident that this is the rule in France as well.
It is, however, up to the court to decide whether or not the danger was imminent and whether or not his response was proportional to the threat. There is also a doctrine called imperfect self defense which applies when the latter criterion is not met, i.e. the person had an irrational fear for their life. In this situation the person will still be charged with a crime, but the sentence will be less severe.
What do you think? And thanks for your input!