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What would you do?

If a loved one committed a serious crime would you turn them in to the authorities?

  • 1. Absolutely. A serious crime is serious.

    Votes: 15 71.4%
  • 2. No way. I am loyal no matter what.

    Votes: 2 9.5%
  • 3. Depends on who committed the crime. I will explain in the comments below.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4. Other. I will explain in the comments below.

    Votes: 4 19.0%

  • Total voters
    21
  • This poll will close: .

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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What would you do if you discovered your child or DH or best friend had committed a serious crime.

Would you turn them in to the police?

Or would you keep quiet about it because you loved them?

Let's say the crime was murder.
Let's say the crime was rape.
Let's say the crime was a hit and run accident where the person didn't die.

Would the crime (all of them serious) change your answer?

Would it matter if the person who did it was your child vs your darling husband vs your best friend?
 

dk168

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I would persuade the person who committed the crime to do the right thing, to report him/herself to the authorities first.

If that fails, then I would inform him/her that I would report to the authorities myself, and go ahead and do it without hesitation.

I would do the same regardless whether the person involved is a loved one such as a member of my immediate family or a dear friend.

DK :))
 

kipari

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I would persuade the person who committed the crime to do the right thing, to report him/herself to the authorities first.

If that fails, then I would inform him/her that I would report to the authorities myself, and go ahead and do it without hesitation.

I would do the same regardless whether the person involved is a loved one such as a member of my immediate family or a dear friend.

DK :))

This is what I'd do as well.


Additionally I'd like to point out that in the two first cases the crime is such that it has to be reported period.

The last, where one could argue it was an accident made me immediately think that any argument to cover anything up is equally detrimental to the victim as it is the person who committed the crime:

-either the person is an unempathetic sociopath and needs to be reported

-or the person acted in a complete blackout due to shock at that moment and needs support and help to do the right thing.
 

Jambalaya

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I'm pretty sure I'd report them all. If my friend or DH did any of those things, no way would I feel the same way about them. If it was a child, I'd still turn them in, but would probably visit them in jail.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Yes agree completely and would try to convince them to do the right thing. But, what if it was your child @kipari @dk168 and they refused to turn themselves in? Would you be able to do it?
Or would you try getting them help (psychiatric) without turning them in sending them to jail...
 

missy

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I'm pretty sure I'd report them all. If my friend or DH did any of those things, no way would I feel the same way about them. If it was a child, I'd still turn them in, but would probably visit them in jail.

Yes, it would be hard to stop loving your child no matter what heinous crime they committed though not being in that situation I guess it is impossible to say for sure how one would feel.
 

Made in London

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I would report rape or any other sexual assult. Murder....it would depend on the circumstances & if I felt my loved one was guilty of the crime or acted in self defense. We know our loved ones inside out & I think I could tell if something terrible had happened. I would ask for all the details & then decide when I have all the information whether I'd report them or support them.
 
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Jambalaya

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But....I think if you knew that they had taken someone's life, and you didn't report it, doesn't that make you an accessory? I think the justice system would take the view that it was due process that needs to decide if it was self-defense or what, and if you knew but didn't report it, you could end up in prison, too!

I think it would be extremely hard to turn your own child in, though. I would strongly encourage them to do it themselves and assure them that I'd be there for them every step of the way. And I'd tell them that if the murder was a genuine accident, the trial would find it so, and they would receive either a light sentence or a non-custodial one, and then they could go about their life in peace, knowing it had been dealt with and any debt to society paid after taking the punishment, and it couldn't ever come back to bite them. (Not judicially, anyway.)
 

dk168

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Yes agree completely and would try to convince them to do the right thing. But, what if it was your child @kipari @dk168 and they refused to turn themselves in? Would you be able to do it?
Or would you try getting them help (psychiatric) without turning them in sending them to jail...

I am childless by choice, therefore, that is not going to happen to me personally.

However, when my fur child as in the dog, chased a lamb and tried to kill it during one camping trip (the lamb was in the wrong field), I did not hesitate to report the incident and took full responsibility for him being out of control, and arranged for him to receive further training to address the issue of chasing animals when he was out and about shortly after the incident.

So, yes, I believe I would report my own child to the authorities if he/she refuses to do so after I have made clear to him/her that I would do it if he/she refuses to turn him/herself in.

DK :))
 

YadaYadaYada

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The ONLY crime I would consider not turning someone in for would be a crime against one of my children where the child was completely innocent and the person got away with it.

A good example of a possible scenario is when you hear of adults that molest children for years upon years and nothing happens to them for whatever reason. If that happened and they “mysteriously disappeared” I wouldn’t feel badly or ask any questions about it. Or if someone kidnapped them and killed them (this is hard to write!) and got away with it, justice would be served one way or the other.

As hard as it would be, if one of the kids committed a crime I would turn them in. That may be easier said not being in the situation, but I truly think I would.
 

Jambalaya

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^DK, would you still have reported your dog if there was a good chance that the authorities would have had put him down? That happens sometimes where I live, after a dog has attacked sheep.
 

doberman

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Hit and run, yes I'd report it. There's no excuse for that.

Murder? Well that depends. I can think of various instances where murder is a reasonable solution. I'd have to know more.

Rape? Again, it depends on the circumstances. My nephew had a girl accuse him of rape in college. She came back to his apt, he said they had consensual sex, and she stayed the night and left in the morning. Eventually she changed her story as more facts came out. My nephew is nearly 40 now and has never had another incident like this, he's not a rapist. But I think of how easily his life could have been ruined by this girl.
 

Jambalaya

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^^ You know, even if I had my doubts about turning them in, I think the idea of being an accessory and going to prison myself (eek!) would break through the membrane of doubt! I guess that's why we have accessory-after-the-fact laws.
 

elle_chris

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^^ You know, even if I had my doubts about turning them in, I think the idea of being an accessory and going to prison myself (eek!) would break through the membrane of doubt! I guess that's why we have accessory-after-the-fact laws.

I was curious about the accessory thing so of course had to google it.
Everything I've read said just knowing about a crime doesn't make you an accessory. But I guess that varies state to state and google isn't the deciding factor in anything.

Either way.. I still don't know. I'd like to say "yes, I' d turn them in" since it's the right thing to do, but I just can't. I mean so much depends on what the crime is, and why it happened.

Hope I'm never in that situation.
 

Jambalaya

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I guess the law varies and there's probably leeway on this, but it certainly puts you in a precarious position, I think, if you concealed that you knew who'd murdered someone and you didn't say so. Also, if you know, and you don't report, aren't you obstructing the course of justice? Imagine if there's a huge police investigation and lots of resources devoted to it, and you knew your DH or child was the perp but you didn't say.

Morally, I think not reporting a murder makes you complicit, because a) you're not doing anything to help the grieving family get answers that they badly need, and b) your relative could do it again to someone else!!!
 

missy

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If the murder was (IMO) justified as in @YadaYadaYada ’s example yeah I would not turn the person in and I would be relieved the evil person was gone. Sorry, but yes, that’s how I’d feel.

@Jambalaya yes it does make one complicit and an accessory after the fact. I’m good with that in the above example.

@elle_chris I agree. Until one is in that specific circumstance we don’t know what we would do.
 

missy

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Hit and run, yes I'd report it. There's no excuse for that.

Murder? Well that depends. I can think of various instances where murder is a reasonable solution. I'd have to know more.

Rape? Again, it depends on the circumstances. My nephew had a girl accuse him of rape in college. She came back to his apt, he said they had consensual sex, and she stayed the night and left in the morning. Eventually she changed her story as more facts came out. My nephew is nearly 40 now and has never had another incident like this, he's not a rapist. But I think of how easily his life could have been ruined by this girl.

Sorry that happened to your nephew and glad she came clean finally. A false accusation like that could ruin someone’s life. :(
 

YadaYadaYada

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Hmm, well if not reporting a murder for a crime against one of my children makes me complicit, I’m good with that.

If I ended up serving the rest of my life in prison to spare someone else’s child from being sexually abused or murdered from some sick child abuser, I could live with myself.
 

Jambalaya

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^^Yada, I didn't quite understand what you were trying to say. If someone committed a crime against one of your children and they got away with it, surely you'd want the person caught?

The ONLY crime I would consider not turning someone in for would be a crime against one of my children where the child was completely innocent and the person got away with it.

From Missy's response, I'm guessing you're talking about a scenario where somebody did something dreadful to one of your children, and the perp then had a dreadful crime committed against them, and you knew who had done it?

That's an interesting dilemma. It would depend on how bad the crime against my child was. I guess if my child was raped or murdered, and the perp came to a sticky end, and I knew who did it, I probably wouldn't report it.

There was something similar on the true-crime show I Will Find You. In one of the worst murders of his career, detective Joe Kenda said that the perp got away with it....but a short time later he was thrown off a tall building (and died). Basically, the police said they had done everything they could but they just couldn't find whodunnit. :lol-2:

The murder he'd committed was so, so violent. I can't put any details here, but he killed a mother and both of her children after being let out of jail for another murder. (He'd convinced the parole board that he'd become a new and religious man.)
 

dk168

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^DK, would you still have reported your dog if there was a good chance that the authorities would have had put him down? That happens sometimes where I live, after a dog has attacked sheep.

He was my responsibility when he did something wrong. Therefore, I would put my hands up and face the consequences, whatever they might be.

DK :))
 

Jambalaya

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^^ Gulp. Good for you! I'm not sure I could, if there was a good chance that my dog could be put down. I'd probably take him for extra obedience classes, like you did for yours, but I'm far from sure I could do the right thing in this hypothetical situation.
 

MamaBee

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If my husband or children murdered or raped someone I would definitely report them if I knew they were guilty. If I wasn’t sure I would wait until I had the facts. If it was in self defense against a person that tried to murder, or rape them I would convince them to go to the police and tell the truth..Keeping it hidden just makes them look more guilty..The truth always come out.
 

elle_chris

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^^ Gulp. Good for you! I'm not sure I could, if there was a good chance that my dog could be put down. I'd probably take him for extra obedience classes, like you did for yours, but I'm far from sure I could do the right thing in this hypothetical situation.
I would try to make some kind of restitution to the owner, but I wouldn't give up my dog.
 

Roselina

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This is a highly hypothetical question. Most people will (hopefully) give a morally and ethically justifiable answer. However, I dare say, no one knows exactly how he or she would react if a scenario like this would indeed occur. Such situations are extremely stressful psychologically speaking and I doubt that everyone would react rationally.
 

YadaYadaYada

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No @Jambalaya what I meant was sometimes people do things and get away with them despite being guilty.

As an example, let’s say one of our kids is sexually abused and for whatever reason the person is acquitted despite obvious guilt. Then I would have no issue with taking the law into my own hands. Or if someone murdered one of my children and didn’t get any jail time, I would probably take care of them myself.

Hopefully that clears it up.

ETA: These scenarios assume the justice system failed, obviously we would go by the law first and hope justice is served.
 
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Jambalaya

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^^ Yes, I see. Thanks!

But I foresee a problem! If the crime isn't murder and your child is still alive, they need you to stay out of jail, no? Or if your child was murdered, and the perp got away with it, their siblings, if any, need you around, right?

I know this is all highly hypothetical. I just enjoy the moral puzzle.
 

YadaYadaYada

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^^ Yes, I see. Thanks!

But I foresee a problem! If the crime isn't murder and your child is still alive, they need you to stay out of jail, no? Or if your child was murdered, and the perp got away with it, their siblings, if any, need you around, right?

I know this is all highly hypothetical. I just enjoy the moral puzzle.

True, I just don’t know how logical a parent is in this situation. There would be a lot of factors at play so I can only speculate. I’m sure age of the kids would come into play and having a younger child who really needs his mother would probably be a powerful reason to keep a straight head.
 

yssie

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Hit and run, yes I'd report it. There's no excuse for that.

Murder? Well that depends. I can think of various instances where murder is a reasonable solution. I'd have to know more.

Rape? Again, it depends on the circumstances. My nephew had a girl accuse him of rape in college. She came back to his apt, he said they had consensual sex, and she stayed the night and left in the morning. Eventually she changed her story as more facts came out. My nephew is nearly 40 now and has never had another incident like this, he's not a rapist. But I think of how easily his life could have been ruined by this girl.

This is terrifying.
She could have ruined him. Had she accused him today - he WOULD have been ruined, no matter what truths might emerge later.

We have romanticized martyrdom. It's "cool" to be a victim now. Maybe one day life will cease to be a popularity contest.
 
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