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Mr. Lofton
Mr. Lofton, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1291
Experience:  25 years experience
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What would be the moral permissibility of luring a ...

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What would be the moral permissibility of luring a hostage-taker into a position to be shot? This is a criminal ethics type question. I have a paper due - where I am a hostage negotiator for the police department in the middle of such a situation in which I am talking by telephone with a man who is holding his own family hostage. After many hours of unsuccessful attempts to get the man to surrender, I am asked by my supervisor to lure the man near a window at the rear of the house because a police sharpshooter has a clear shot to that position. The intention is to kill the hostage-taker. So I am to EVALUATE the moral permissibility of luring the hostage-taker into a position to be shot.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Mr. Lofton replied 9 years ago.

Doesn't this involve the "defense of another" defense to killing someone? Just like in "self defense" you are morally and legally justified in using the amount of force reasonably necessary to confront and prevent the danger. If you have a reasonable and justifable fear that the family is in imminent danger of being killed, then you have the right to kill the person who poses the threat. "Luring" him to the window simply gives you the opportunity to exercise the right. There is no moral law or code of ethics which says "luring" another person is per se wrong. The circumstances dictate the answer to such a question. If you daughter was kidnapped would it be morally wrong to "trick" the kidpnapper into telling you where she was?!?

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