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Missing Blackstone February 15, 2014

Posted by geoff in News.

I miss some of our old values. Lately I’ve been thinking about William Blackstone’s prescription from the 1760’s:

“It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”

It’s a useful metric to keep in your head when you see these sorts of stories:

And of course there’s the infamous anal probe story, the cash confiscation stories, a zillion more no-knock raid tragedies, etc.

I think some of our law enforcement personnel may have inverted the Blackstone prescription.


1. Lipstick - February 16, 2014

Boys want to play with their toys. “Oh, look at all this cool SWAT gear the government gave us! Let’s invent some reason to use it!”

2. skinbad - February 19, 2014

In Utah, there was a recent case where a guy killed an officer who stopped him. He took off and shot another officer. They spiked his tires and he got out and was still shooting (he was stopped on an interstate freeway). Several officers killed him–seven total shots fired by police. There’s craziness out there, but there are also police who “get it.”

3. geoff - February 19, 2014

It seems like it tends to be big cities which have the worst behavior – most of Balko’s stories come from places like New York, Chicago, and LA. Though smaller municipalities certainly have their share of “department funding via drug seizure laws” incidents.

4. lauraw - February 20, 2014


That was pretty fucked up. Now, it’s too far away to see what is actually transpiring. But it looks like the initial protocol was confused or clumsy somehow.

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