[LMB] Criminals OT:

Eric Oppen ravenclaweric at gmail.com
Sat Aug 10 10:51:56 BST 2019

Masked superheroes might come into conflict with the law in jurisdictions
with "mask laws."  In such jurisdictions, people over a certain age are
forbidden to wear masks in public save at Halloween and/or Mardi Gras.
These laws were generally passed in the 1920s to counter the Ku Klux Klan.
I don't know how stringently they're enforced these days.

On Sat, Aug 10, 2019 at 2:50 AM Damien Sullivan <phoenix at mindstalk.net>

> On Sat, Aug 10, 2019 at 02:23:00AM +0100, Marc Wilson wrote:
> > >>  > There are burglars who specialise in targeting criminals.
> > >>
> > >> Since this is a literary list he might mention Robin Hood
> > >> and Simon Templar, and, up to a point, Raffles and Modesty
> > >> Blaise. Any other suggestions?
> Not a burglar, but Vlad Taltos had a phase where he would show money
> around and look vulnerable, then defeat (if not kill) and loot the
> people who tried to take it from him.
> > As a matter of law, surely *any* vigilante is a criminal, in that they
> > have no lawful basis for taking action, unless they limit themselves to
> > citizen's arrest.
> Most superheroes witness a crime (with a victim) in progress and
> intervene to render aid and arrest the perps.  Vs. real world vigilante
> groups which tend to kill or punitively beat people they consider
> guilty, in environments with weak law enforcement.  Superhero focus is
> intervention and arrest, not punishment.
> Hmm, it's surprisingly hard to find people talking about this aspect of
> superhero legality.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen%27s_arrest#United_States
> cites California: you can citizen arrest for a public offense in your
> presence, or a felony not in your presence.
> Also, "a private person is justified in using non-deadly force upon
> another if they reasonably believe that: (1) such other person is
> committing a felony, or a misdemeanor amounting to a breach of the
> peace; and (2) the force used is necessary to prevent further commission
> of the offense and to apprehend the offender. The force must be
> reasonable under the circumstances to restrain the individual arrested."
> So actually it seems fairly legal.  You're out on patrol, you witness a
> robbery or assault, you swoop in to stop it and arrest the assailant.
> Even detective work to track down an escapee and arrest them later is
> nominally illegal, though hacking and breaking and entering may not be!
> Of course, having made an arrest, you should probably deliver them to
> the police, not tape a note to their clothes and swing off.  In
> Superman's case he can actually easily deliver them, not call the police
> and wait.
> More problematic is that a masked individual refusing to give their real
> name may not be able to give a statement; in the US the Sixth Amendment
> gives a right to confront your accuser.  I suppose Spider-Man sometimes
> leaves film negatives of the crime.
> NY even gives a right to use deadly force to arrest someone fleeing
> after committing not just murder but robbery or rape.
> http://lawandthemultiverse.com/2011/03/07/superheroes-and-citizens-arrest/
> Of course, if you mess up and arrest the wrong person, then *you've*
> committed false arrest.  The police have legal protection via
> "reasonable suspicion", private citizens don't.
> Another approach would be to witness crimes, taking photos and such, or
> following them home, and defending yourself if assaulted by the criminal.
> -xx- Damien X-)
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