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The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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Is the government evil ? | 172 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Is the government evil ?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 25 2013 @ 07:07 PM EDT
I take it that you didn't know that the first court to reject that defence, did
so purely for _political_ reasons, not legal reasons.

That defence "I was only following orders" should have sufficed,
because the orders not only adhered to the law of the land, but the highest
court of the land had already affirmed that those laws were in accord with the
constitution that governed the country.

Prior to that court, which was convened purely so the victors could further
damage the losers, "I was following orders" was a viable, legal
defence. One that would exonerate the individual, if charged with a crime.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Is the government evil ?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 25 2013 @ 07:33 PM EDT
But how far down do you go? Linux is being used in some defense systems.
Should all the contributors to Linux be held responsible for how it is used?
Most of the Linux contributors can't even say they were following orders.

In reality most of the people involved in anything any large organization does
neither know nor care about the end results. It's one of the reasons I can't
stand working for large organizations, and I believe a much greater part of the
problem.

If everyone involved in the assembly of components used in the drones had to
balance the potential good vs evil the end result of their work, it would just
be too much for virtually everyone.

The problem is we trust our government to do the right thing. After all, we are
Americans. Then we elected too many people that have abused that trust. Now
the cracks are beginning to show and fewer and fewer people trust the government
in any way.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

That is incorrect.
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 01 2013 @ 12:38 PM EDT
Yes, courts do rule that "just following orders" is perfectly
acceptable as a defense.

It's called "Sovereign Immunity", and so long as the department
handbook says it's ok, there is no liability for the actions.

Example? The Rodney King 5, who were ruled "not guilty" in their trial
because the Los Angeles deputy handbook really did say, "If the suspect
will not stay down, hit them until they do stay down."

They were, in fact, Only Following Orders.

Because of the riots, the Rodney King 5 were a second time tried for the same
crime, and this time given slaps on the wrist to placate the mob.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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