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  • Seth Barrett Tillman: The Tale of the Swedish Prosecutor, the Citizen, and the Human Being

    Posted by Jonathan on May 29th, 2018 (All posts by )

    See: The Case Against Deporting Immigrants Convicted of Crimes

    Then see:

    The prosecutor made a recommendation against deportation.
    The prosecutor reasoned that the defendant was unlikely to be rehabilitated by confinement, and therefore, the defendant was likely to commit the same crime again. The prosecutor’s position was that whether the defendant goes on to rape a Swede (or a non-Swede in Sweden) or someone in the defendant’s own home country should not be considered because the health, safety, and lives of all potential future victims should be valued equally. And equality is a value upon which we all do or should agree.
    Did the prosecutor act rightly or wrongly?


    16 Responses to “Seth Barrett Tillman: The Tale of the Swedish Prosecutor, the Citizen, and the Human Being

    1. David Foster Says:

      This reminds me of something I read about a few years ago. A man living in America who was from from an impoverished village (in India, I think it was) insisted that all the money he could possibly spare should be sent to relieve desperate poverty in that village. He refused to ever take his wife out for dinner or a vacation, or allow her to spend money for anything but bare essentials.

      Similar reasoning, right?….obviously, paying for one boy’s necessary operation, or paying for a crippled man to avoid literal starvation, is more important in global-utilitarianism terms than a nice dinner or vacation.

    2. Andrew X Says:

      It very simple –

      The Swedish prosecutor sees it as his/her/its duty to make certain that the rights and desires, of all people on planet earth, but especially non-Swedes, non-Europeans, non-whites because…. well, just because…, are looked after (regardless of belief, culture, or inherent return of respect).

      The defendant sees his duty as to make certain that the rights and desires of his particular community alone are looked after.

      The Swedish prosecutor sees the latter’s opinion to be perfectly reasonable, defensible, and to be defended in actuality from any real or potential victims who might object to this point of view, especially non-wh…. etc etc.

      The defendant sees this as laughable and utterly inexplicable, but if you want to turn over your paycheck to me to spend at my will, and turn your daughter over to me for my sexual pleasure… hey, who am I to stand up and object?

      And millions expect their civilizations to survive, also….. just because….

      They won’t.

    3. Grurray Says:

      Here in America, the 14th amendment Equal Protection Clause is the issue, and it specifically states that it applies to citizens:

      “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

      The framers of the amendment were clearly talking about slaves born in one state receiving equal protection in other states. Extending the same protections to non-citizens born outside the United States is where Libertarianism hits the wall. Somin has some reasonable, if unproven, arguments about immigration, but this is one is just too whacko.

    4. Anonymous Says:

      If he unlikely to be rehabilitated and can be reasonably expected to rape or commit some similarly horrific crime of violence again, he should be executed or imprisoned for the remaining entirety of his natural life. So, deportation would not be an issue.

      The prosecutor is incorrect to assume the responsibility for ensuring equal protection of those not citizens of the jurisdiction which empowers him to his office unless that jurisdiction specifically requires him to do so. I believe the framers got it correct, with amendment.

      The environments where people learn their values do not have the same views on acceptable conduct. Because of this they will not produce citizens with socialization that makes them likely to adapt to individual freedom and responsibility with the same moral restraints we rely upon to govern acceptable behavior.

      Universal human rights are theoretical in most places. Many societies assume different rights than we do and produce different outcomes. They must bare the consequences of such existing values until they change them. So in many of these societies the probability of being a victim of violence, such as rape, is greater (or lesser) and the consequences less (or more). In real terms the potential victims do not have an equal protection of the law or likelihood of being a victim.

      This is but one case of the incongruities that result from a lax judicial system, lax border security and granting full legal rights to non citizens, especially illegal aliens.

      Apparently the prosecutor is comfortable with a judicial system that returns likely rapists to open society to take up their violence. I’m not, but we are doing the same. At least the prosecutor wasn’t pretending the scum was going to be rehabilitated (as we do).


    5. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      If the defendant is unlikely to be rehabilitated, and will re-offend wherever he is, then Death6 is right. Remove him from the gene pool. Literally. IF you conceive your duty to be protecting all of humanity, then the defendant deserves to be removed from humanity. If you happen to believe that there should be no consequences for any act, however heinous, then you are a Leftist and there is no hope for you. Oh, yeah; the prosecutor is Swedish and therefore a Leftist. QED.

      If you view the purpose of the law and government to be the protection of those under its authority; then if the government fails to either remove that person from the gene pool or to return him to his own homeland where his future victims can be his own people and where he will be subject to the justice he was raised with, the local government has failed miserably. Failure of any government to protect its own people, especially to favor another people, means that government is no longer legitimate and may be overturned by the people by any means available without restriction. The Social and Political Contract is gone. And it means that in the absence of a rule of law, foreign lawbreakers will neither deserve nor receive any mercy.

      As a reasonable alternative, if there is another society who a) hates yours, and b) does not believe that you should punish a foreign defendant for attacking your people; does it not make sense to make sure that the defendant turns up in that other society’s home so that the dilemma is their problem to solve?

      I am reminded of a country who is quite insistent that our borders should be wide open to all, and that simultaneously we should fortify our borders with them to prevent any of those who are invading our country from invading theirs.

    6. Pouncer Says:

      “And equality is a value upon which we all do or should agree. ”

      I disagree.

      Is stereotyping, asserting that all ‘those people’ are ‘like that’ a value and virtue – or a stupid racist attitude? Is stereotyping even one’s own group ‘we all agree that … ‘ a virtue or a lazy failure to develop a case?

      No one nor no group is well served by the assumption that all the members of the group are identical interchangeable indistinguishable equal instances of the Platonic ideal of ‘us’, ‘them’ or ‘humankind’.

    7. Roy Lofquist Says:

      This is an agency problem.

      The prosecutor is paid by the Swedish people to protect them and their society. His actions constitute as severe ethical breach. The same is true of our own politicians. America first is what they are paid to do.

    8. Brian Says:

      That’s why I’m not a Libertarian. Because I’m not crazy.

      Also, it is extremely unfortunate that the media is so completely composed of lefties. In a presidential debate in 2020, the Dem candidate needs to be asked “Do you believe deporting rapists is a violation of their rights?” But of course what will happen is they’ll be asked “Do you agree that Donald Trump is worse than Hitler for ripping infants out of their mother’s arms at the border as they flee from horribly violent gangs in their home countries, that are impoverished due to decades of US interference?”

    9. Anonymous Says:

      I expect to hear that exact question asked. You hit the nail on the head.


    10. ns Says:

      The Swedish prosecutor recognizes that one’s beliefs sometimes requires sacrifices to be made. It is just that he is a coward and sacrifices others for his own moral posturing. Is he willing to put up the defendant in his own home? Most likely the prosecutor is isolated from the consequences of his decision, some other poor schmuck will have to suffer.
      As for Prof. Somin – sophistry and scare mongering. “Deportation of immigrants convicted of crimes might not be a major moral problem if it was limited to those who commit very serious offenses, such as rape or murder. But undocumented immigrants are often prioritized for deportation even for very minor offenses, such as traffic violations. Even legal immigrants with green cards can be deported for some very minor crimes, including possession of small amounts of almost any illegal drug (save for marijuana).”

      Undocumented immigrants are deported for the crime of immigrating illegally, not because they jaywalked (or, the sophistry, ‘because they picked the wrong parents’). Allowing them to stay not only violates the rights of citizens, but also the rights of legal immigrants. Legal immigrants – with green cards – if they are going through the process of naturalization, then I too would not want them deported for misdemeanors. If not applying to be citizens, well, criminal activity is a violation of the rules under which they are allowed in, so why not cancel their green card and send them back? Will that condemn them to oppression and poverty? But that is their choice, I and my countrymen are not responsible for their choice (or for the fact that their homeland is a s**thole, or not).

    11. Anonymous Says:

      Sweden is part of the EU. That may be part of why, the prosecutor has to take into account more circumstances, than might otherwise seem reasonable.

      Extensive use of the ‘straw man’ argument, means you don’t have one. ;)

    12. David Foster Says:

      Ns…to use Taleb’s terminology, the prosecutor likely doesn’t have much ‘skin in the game.’ He is probably at an economic level where he is less-exposed to risks of random crime, and (assuming he is male) even less exposed to the specific risk of rape.

    13. Grurray Says:

      That’s why I’m not a Libertarian. Because I’m not crazy.

      I’ll grant you that there doesn’t seem to be any self-awareness with the George Mason Libertarians. Somin is arguing that government immigration laws are instances of overreach by the state. At the same time he works for a state institution named after someone who owned slaves that charges students $30,000 to $50,000 per year.

    14. tyouth Says:

      Just tangentially, how is in not subversive of Mexico to provide a conduit (to allow illegal immigrants ONLY IF they are proceeding to the U.S. southern border) for illegal aliens? They should be taken to task. Any imagined or real Russian interference in the late presidential election pales in comparison.

    15. Grurray Says:

      A few weeks ago Seth tweeted out a version of this speech

      It was some English crime show from about 15 or 20 years ago, and this fellow was apparently supposed to be the villain or something in that particular episode. Ironically, he now sounds like the most sensible of the bunch.

    16. ns Says:

      David Foster – Yes, that is most likely the case.

      I was hoping Anonymous of May 30 at 1:24 PM would clarify his remarks. “Sweden is part of the EU.” What, then, in EU law overrides the local prosecution? A vague assertion is not enough. The scenario presented specifies that the prosecutor made the decision on the basis of likely deportation.

      And what straw men are used ‘extensively’? Nony is acting like a drive-by troll.

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