[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Hallam-Baker demands more repudiations or he'll write!

On Wed, 25 Sep 1996, jim bell wrote:

> At 11:50 PM 9/24/96 -0400, Brian Davis wrote:
> >...
> >Amen to that.  Add that at least one lawyer (and former prosecutor) on 
> >the list is confident that successful prosecutions will ensue is AP ever 
> >gets off the ground. 
> I don't doubt that there will be harassment.  (you can't deny that charges 
> would be brought even if it is tacitly agreed that no crime has been 
> committed; "the harassment-value" of such a prosecution would be desired 
> even if there is ultimately an acquittal.)  AP will resemble, more than 
> anything, gambling.  While gambling is illegal in some areas, it is quite 
> legal in others and there is no reason to believe that locales can't be 
> found in which an AP system could operate legally.

By "successful prosecutions" I mean convictions.  You can call a cow a 
duck, but it's still a cow. 

> Make American laws apply everywhere?  That'll be hard to justify, unless you 

You obviously are unfamiliar with the established concept of 
extraterritorial jurisdiction.

> want to unleash a world where an all people can be subject simultaneously to 
> the laws of EVERY country, should they choose to enforce them!  Would you 
> like to be arrested in Red China for something you said years earlier in 
> America about their leadership? 
>  And are you ignoring the fact that the intentional isolation of one 
Are you ignoring the principle of "willful blindness"?

> participant from the knowledge of the actions and even the identity of the 
> others makes opportunities for prosecution on "conspiracy" charges mighty 
> slim.  And since AP can operate across traditional jurisdictional

I'm curious as to your qualifications to make the "mighty slim" judgment ...

> boundaries, you're going to have to explain how you can prosecute Person A 
> in Country B for giving a donation to an organization in Country C, to be 
> paid to a person D in country E for correctly predicting the death of person 
> F in country G, particularly when none of the identities of these people or 
> countries can be easily known given a well-crafted cryptographic and 
> message-routing system.  

Be glad too.  How much can you afford?

>   Further, as you probably know as well as any, in order (at least, 
> supposedly!) to get a conviction you need to prove "mens rea," or "guilty 
> mind," and I suggest that none of the more passive participants in the AP 
> system have that.  (The ones who DON'T pick up a gun, knife, bomb, poison, 
> etc.)  Sure, they are aware that somewhere, sometime, somebody _may_ commit 
> a crime in order to collect a lottery, but they don't know who, what, when, 
> where, or how this will occur, if at all. (either before or after the fact!) 
>   In fact, since it is possible for a target to collect the reward himself 
> (to be directed toward his designee, obviously) by committing suicide and 
> "predicting" it, it isn't certain to the other participants that there has 
> even been any sort of crime committed!

Moo moo.* 

> Based on the mens rea requirement, I propose that there is plenty of room 
> for most of the participants to reasonably claim that they are guilty of no 
> crime.  They have carefully shielded themselves and others from any guilty 
> knowledge, and presumably they are entitled to protect themselves in this 
> way.  Morally, you could argue that these people are countenancing something 
> nasty, in the same sense that somebody could equally well argue that if you 
> buy a cheap shirt in Walmart you're partly responsible for sweatshop labor 
> in El Salvador.  True, I suppose, but moral guilt does not always translate 
> into legal guilt.

Moo moo.*
> > And yes, I've read Jim Bell's manifesto.  The fact 
> >that no lawyer has dissected it from a legal standpoint has been used by 
> >Mr. Bell as support for the propostion that it is legal.
> I suggest that there is a greater likelihood that the "powers that be" will 
> just abandon all pretense of legality, and attempt to strike at the 
> participants if they can find them without benefit of any sort of trial. 
> This is a more plausible conclusion, because it cuts through all of the 
> legal difficulties which would hinder prosecution.  In effect, a low-level 
> undeclared war.  

I disagree that that will be the response, but you should be willing to 
allow one group of people to fight fire with fire.


> Jim Bell
> [email protected]

* Calling a cow a duck doesn't make it one.