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Would You Run? 
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Post Would You Run?
Hypothetical situation: You are arrested for committing a serious crime (whether you are guilty or not should be immaterial). Your lawyer explains to you that you are very likely get at least 20 years in prison. Because you are otherwise an upstanding member of society with no criminal history, you are not considered a flight risk, so security around you is minimal--no ankle bracelet, no one watching your house. So, you can try to escape.

My question: Do you? Why or why not?
If yes, where do you go?

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Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:40 am
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Post Re: Would You Run?
Running can't make it any worse if I'm guilty. the real question is how and where.
Planes - too much security and ID risk
So I'd hop on a train to the coast and then onto a boat going East
Sort of Jack Bauer if you will

Then again, if I hide out in my back yard i have little chance of being discovered as nobody comes round :-(
Rob


Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:57 am
Post Re: Would You Run?
Interesting question. I guess my answer would depend on other situations. Particularly if I had a family with dependants. If I do indeed care about their well-being then I'll decide depending on what's best for them.

At this point the next question is whether I take my family on the run or leave them behind.

If the mortgage is paid and my family has a fixed abode and secure stream of revenue then they aren't going anywhere. I'd probably run to a country without extradition if I was sure that my family would get into no difficulties with the authorities whatsoever. They could even visit when the finances allow. At worst I could speak to them over the phone. However, if they could get into any trouble whatsoever I would totally do my time.

In contrast, if my leaving them behind (either by going to prison or by going on the run) would leave them in financial difficulties then I'd carry them along and try to start a new life.

If I'm alone then I'd probably run too. Off course, it isn't easy to say without information. You've told us to ignore whether we're guilty or not but I'm not sure I can do that. Guilt plays a large part in my decision. I'm much more likely to run if I know I'm innocent and bound to be convicted.


Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:55 pm
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Post Re: Would You Run?
ed_metal_head wrote:
Interesting question. I guess my answer would depend on other situations. Particularly if I had a family with dependants. If I do indeed care about their well-being then I'll decide depending on what's best for them.

At this point the next question is whether I take my family on the run or leave them behind.

If the mortgage is paid and my family has a fixed abode and secure stream of revenue then they aren't going anywhere. I'd probably run to a country without extradition if I was sure that my family would get into no difficulties with the authorities whatsoever. They could even visit when the finances allow. At worst I could speak to them over the phone. However, if they could get into any trouble whatsoever I would totally do my time.


Ah so there's a possible explanation for why people don't run, though I'm not sure that I can think of a way in which the family would get in trouble as a result of a person's fleeing. Of course, they could still fear that this would happen even if it actually wouldn't.

Quote:
If I'm alone then I'd probably run too. Off course, it isn't easy to say without information. You've told us to ignore whether we're guilty or not but I'm not sure I can do that. Guilt plays a large part in my decision. I'm much more likely to run if I know I'm innocent and bound to be convicted.


That's also a possible explanation for the decision to not run: a person feels guilty and penitent, thus they submit themselves to serve their sentence. I'm sure this is a valid explanation for a subset of the population of prisoners who did not attempt to flee, but I don't think it can account for too many--I just don't get the sense that all that many criminals really have sorrow for what they did (remorse over getting caught, sure!). I'd like to think that I too would be penitent if I really did commit the crime, but then I can't imagine committing such a crime and you probably can't either. We could always entertain the notion of a legal gray area: say a man provokes a fight with you and you strike him. He falls backward and hits his head, and as a result, dies. You're charged with murder and get 25 years in prison. You were not the 'wrong man' in The Fugitive sense, but you also weren't intentionally trying to kill him. You may feel some regret over the fact that he died but likely not guilt like you would if you would've sought to kill him.

I also am inclined to believe the logic that being single ought to increase the chances of running--no worries about your family. You can always find someone to be with in the country that you flee to.

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Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:01 pm
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Post Re: Would You Run?
I think I have too much faith in law enforcement to eventually catch up to me (extradition and all that...I can't think of too many countries that I couldn't be extradited from that I would care to spend the rest of my life in) so I would probably "face the music". With budgetary constraints the way they are, and me being an otherwise upstanding citizen, my potential 20 year sentence would probably be at worst 8 years in reality. Still a long time to be sure, but better than spending 30 or more years in bumb-fuckia.


Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:15 pm
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Post Re: Would You Run?
johnny larue wrote:
I think I have too much faith in law enforcement to eventually catch up to me (extradition and all that...I can't think of too many countries that I couldn't be extradited from that I would care to spend the rest of my life in) so I would probably "face the music". With budgetary constraints the way they are, and me being an otherwise upstanding citizen, my potential 20 year sentence would probably be at worst 8 years in reality. Still a long time to be sure, but better than spending 30 or more years in bumb-fuckia.


You are indeed basically right about many of the countries without extradition laws:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraditio ... ion_treaty

I should've specified something about a mandatory minimum of 20 years--would that change your decision? Absent the mandatory minimum it'd definitely be reasonable to suspect that the larger sentence would end up being reduced, as that's pretty common. I also figured that the more likely one was to think that law enforcement would capture them, the more likely they would be to simply serve the sentence.

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Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:01 pm
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Post Re: Would You Run?
Yeah...I'd probably still have to face the music even at 20 years. I don't think I'm resourceful enough to be able to get out of the country with the cash I'd need to be able to make it on the lam.


Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:10 pm
Post Re: Would You Run?
So, what did you do, Firefly? Do tell... ;)


Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:02 am
Post Re: Would You Run?
MunichMan wrote:
So, what did you do, Firefly? Do tell... ;)


I think we have our answer

firefly wrote:
I should've specified something about a mandatory minimum of 20 years--would that change your decision? Absent the mandatory minimum it'd definitely be reasonable to suspect that the larger sentence would end up being reduced, as that's pretty common. I also figured that the more likely one was to think that law enforcement would capture them, the more likely they would be to simply serve the sentence.

Posted from my I-Phone


Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:00 am
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Post Re: Would You Run?
MunichMan wrote:
So, what did you do, Firefly? Do tell... ;)


Haha. I am guilty of Behavioral Game Theory while not in a class :cry:

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Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:14 am
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Post Re: Would You Run?
I think there's somewhat of a flaw in the question. Isn't it likely that the folks who wouldn't run and would elect to serve out the sentence out of some personal, moral, or societal obligation are the same folks who wouldn't commit crimes in the first place? It seems to me that the huge majority of people facing a 20 year sentence aren't "otherwise an upstanding member of society with no criminal history".

But debating such a thing takes the fun out of the question.

I'd run. What do you have to lose at that point? You're going to prison for 20 years either way, your life is pretty much thrown away. You might as well give it a go.


Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:53 am
Post Re: Would You Run?
Guilty or not, if my lawyer says the evidence is such that I am more than likely going to jail, I am running. I would make my way to France and join the French Foreign Legion (which accepts foreign nationals to serve). You can serve under an assumed name, and after three years, you can get French citizenship. Now I have a French passport, and France does not extradite its citizens.


Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:27 pm
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Post Re: Would You Run?
It's a sad reflection on the quality of the "justice" system when Firefly implies innocent people could have to make such decisions on a regular basis. Morally, I would prefer to stand my ground if I am innocent. Practically, I would ask the prosecution to wait while I sell my home to realise the cash to successfully relocate to another part of the country or world. Then I would locate a forger who could tell me how to create a false identity with social security number, driver's license, and so on. I would inspect the schools in the target areas to find something suitable for the kids. I might also buy a gun and start killing the prosecutor in the DA's office, the judge and any material witnesses — that always seems to work in the movies.


Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:31 pm
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Post Re: Would You Run?
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
Guilty or not, if my lawyer says the evidence is such that I am more than likely going to jail, I am running. I would make my way to France and join the French Foreign Legion (which accepts foreign nationals to serve). You can serve under an assumed name, and after three years, you can get French citizenship. Now I have a French passport, and France does not extradite its citizens.



I'm with you, what's the address :-)
Now there's one problem,
Getting to France
Rob


Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:14 am
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Post Re: Would You Run?
dmar91 wrote:
It's a sad reflection on the quality of the "justice" system when Firefly implies innocent people could have to make such decisions on a regular basis. Morally, I would prefer to stand my ground if I am innocent. Practically, I would ask the prosecution to wait while I sell my home to realise the cash to successfully relocate to another part of the country or world. Then I would locate a forger who could tell me how to create a false identity with social security number, driver's license, and so on. I would inspect the schools in the target areas to find something suitable for the kids. I might also buy a gun and start killing the prosecutor in the DA's office, the judge and any material witnesses — that always seems to work in the movies.


I didn't intend to imply that (and I don't see any place where I did imply it. I have no clue what the percentage of wrongfully accused and convicted persons are. It's an exercise in trying to understand the variables that people take into account when considering whether or not they should attempt to flee instead of face jail time.

So far, I believe that age has been negatively correlated with likelihood of running--that is, the older you are, the less likely you are to run. On one hand, I would think the opposite--if you're 40, and facing 20 years in jail, that means that you're basically a senior citizen when you get out, so your most healthy and productive years are certainly behind you. But then the older you are, the more likely you are to have a spouse and children with whom you want to maintain contact (and likely can not realistically have join you), and the more you want to be able to continue to see them, even if it's only in prison visits. So that makes someone less likely to run.

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Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:05 am
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Post Re: Would You Run?
I would run. Nearing the age of 50 my life would be very much closer to the end if I had to serve the whole 20. If I then get caught anyway it only adds on more time to the same punishment of being imprisoned. If the punishment were more severe for running (daily beatings, permanent leg shackles, having a foot cut off, etc.) then I might not, but if the risk is only more time then I have little to lose at this stage in life. Other than to say I'd get far away from where people that recognize me live, not sure where I'd go.


Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:51 pm
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