posts 16 - 30 of 42
Heyo8
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 7

What Would You Do?

Disgust and disappointment were my first reactions and obviously my strongest. I understand Cash’s loyalty to Jeremy Strohmeyer but his refusal to take action and remain a bystander is inexcusable. His loyalty and affection for his friend should not be his reasoning for letting his friend continue. Instead he should have stepped in. I believe that was the only option because someone’s health and safety is at risk and he had the power to do something, anything. A person has their right to remain out of someone’s business but I believe that when someone’s safety either emotional and especially physical safety is at risk. Of course, this is my opinion and everyone has their own right to decide on what they would do.


When it comes to witnessing something like this I would think that it would bother someone to see someone be hurt right in front of their eyes, physically and emotionally. Whether you decide to physically step in yourself or call the police, when an incident like Sherice Iverson’s happens, doing something about it will not only help the victim in the situation but your conscious after. Take, for example, the “Nightmare on the 36 bus” situation. The bus driver and other passengers witnessed a young boy be punched in the face and verbally abused by a man, who clearly made him uncomfortable and yet did nothing about it. Later, both the bus driver and a fellow passenger named David Auclair, are quoted saying that they wish they had done something and still regret their decision. Obviously, helping the boy would save a lot of gore and regret but there is still the choice to be a bystander that needs to be taken into account.


I understand that people do value their safety over the needs of others. Self-Preservation is a very important concept that gets taken into account in these situations. When people spend time milling over whether or not they should help and risk their well-being, it sometimes is too late. In an article titled, “ The Trick to Acting Heroically”, Erez Yoeli and David Rand explain that most people who perform heroic acts do so instinctively. They don’t think of the costs and instead just react. People who do these acts must perceive the benefits to outweigh the potential costs. @Cabbage’s point where they said,” Not everyone is going to be a hero and put their life on the line to help someone else which is fine, but being a bystander to a terrible crime shouldn’t be normalized.” is completely correct. Self-Preservation is important and not every problem should be your problem but at the end of the day when someone’s health and safety is at risk, something should be done about it.


In the case of Jeremy Strohmeyer, I believe that the self-preservation won over in Cash’s mind and his loyalty to his friend stopped him from doing what many perceived as the right thing to do. Though I may not agree with his lack of “heroics'' because they costed a girl’s life, his actions define him. He has every right to let his friend be, he was under no obligation to step in or report it. I think @SwedishFish sums it all up when they said, "A little girl was taken advantage of, stripped away of their innocence, and eventually killed. Out of pure human decency, Cash should’ve done something. It is appalling to me that someone would just simply stare at the perpetrator, see the monstrous look in their eyes, and walk away, allowing the death of a 7 year old girl." Morality should have played a bigger role here and it is extremely unfortunate to see that someone could have stopped it but didn't.

UnrecognizableUsername
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 6

Moral Obligation

The obvious answer is that we have an obligation in any case to step in. There is no situation where a human should act like David Cash, nor like Auelair. Both situations could have been stopped if just one person stood up to the task. I understand there are times where stepping up as a hero can be dangerous, but in the case of David Cash and Auelair, how would you feel if you were Sherrice Iverson, or the young boy on the bus, knew someone could step in to save them but didn’t. If you sat there in both of these situations, stayed silent and didn’t act, you might as well be convicted of the crime as well. Silence is never the option. If you morally know something is wrong, you are morally obligated to speak up. In the case of David, he allowed a murder to maintain a friendship, and on top of that saying he didn’t know the girl so why should it be his problem. In the case of Auelair, he also did not know the boy, unlike David, he knew something was wrong. He attempted to stop it, but talked himself out of it and sat back down. I personally think David Cash should have also been convicted, despite their being no law at the time. Any human being who reads this story would most likely have the same response I have. In the case of Auelair, he had the right idea to step in but talked himself out of it, unlike the rest of the passengers on the bus who sat there in complete silence and watched. Of course the dangers and problems of a situation all vary, but you should be morally obligated to step in when you can.



fignewton11
Boston, MA
Posts: 8

An Obligation to Do Good

Often when one reflects on tragedies of the past, like many of the genocides we’ll be learning about this year, they question how people alive then could have let something so terrible happen. David Cash is the perfect example of how someone could turn a blind eye to a preventable tragedy and feel no remorse for it. His failure to intervene is baffling, and even disagrees with Deborah Stone’s idea that if “people think they are the only person available to help someone else, they are very likely to respond.” As David Cash left the women’s restroom, leaving Sherrice Iverson alone with Jeremy Strohmeyer, he could not have possibly thought anyone else could have come to the aid of this defenseless child. Even upon Jeremy Strohmeyer’s confession, he still failed to act or report anything. David Cash failed to act in any way, and showed time and again when interviewed that he didn’t feel bad for his actions. Though his intoxication could have clouded his judgment, he should have known he had the moral obligation to report what he had seen from his friend. No “stare” or “body language” is going to prevent a clearly disturbed person from following through on their actions. If Cash didn’t feel comfortable directly intervening when he saw Jeremy restraining Sherrice, he should have at the very least reported it to someone. Whether his inaction came from apathy, fear, or covering for a friend, it was inexcusable. The respect for another’s life, particularly an innocent child’s, should have governed his actions, and led him to take some sort of action on what he had seen Jeremy doing to Sherrice. His conscience and knowledge that he had the power to prevent harm to a young child should have governed his actions when he left that bedroom, and he should have done all he could to protect Sherrice. As human beings, we have an obligation to protect others, particularly those who are more vulnerable than us. This is true in every instance where one has the choice to be a bystander or an upstander. We always have an obligation to confront injustice and take action. Finding harmony as a human race requires us to do good and care deeply for others. As @SwedishFish said, silence is compliance. I agree that Cash should be just as guilty for enabling his friend to commit such a heinous crime.

Witnesses have an obligation to report or take action on any wrong no matter how small. However, as these wrongs get worse, taking action becomes more critical. As @gibby said in their post, we at the very least have a moral obligation to step in when we see wrongdoing or injustice occurring, if not lawful. I believe laws need to be enforced to legally require people to act when they are a witness to a crime. Knowing someone could have saved another’s life or prevented any harm is justification enough to legally require someone to speak up when they see something. Speaking up, and stepping up, for that matter, may come instinctively to some, as said by Erez Yoeli and David Rand in “The Trick to Acting Heroically”. For others, like David Cash, their instinct may be to worry about themselves first and worry about others later, if at all. Putting laws in place that prevent and punish this inaction is the most effective way to fight against this instinct. Requiring people to be upstanders to crimes and potentially saving lives is worth going against instinct. Being a bystander is critical to preventing injustice, and has the ability to save the lives of innocent people.

therapeuticsoup
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 4

Guilty When Proven? Or Just Guilty.

Cash, in this moment of witnessing his friend molest and sexually harass a child, was a bystander. Obviously he wasn’t the one physically hurting Sharise, but by standing there, staring, and doing absolutely nothing to change the situation, was the worst possible thing he could do. No, of course a person doesn’t have an obligation to step into a problem with another person committing a wrongdoing, but if Cash maybe had some human decency to take over the situation, an innocent girl wouldn’t have died and maybe he could have seeked help for his “friend” (who clearly seemed to need it). The guilt that a person has with them the rest of their lives after literally neglecting a murder happening in front of their eyes (unless they’re a goddamn robot) probably feels worse than the person who actually committed the crime. I think that penalizing somebody for a crime they watched but didn’t commit is such a hard thing to implicate into the law. So many circumstances, like the location, the amount of people, and the severity of the situation, make each case different despite the fact that in all of them there were bystanders who did nothing to step in. I think that everyone has an obligation to act, and even if you don’t, you have the guilt of not acting to hover above you your whole life. In the article, Nightmare on the 36 Bus, a middle aged man punches a kid in the face a few times while everyone else on the bus sits in silence, completely aware of what’s going on. The recount is made by a person sitting on the bus. They explain how in the moment they felt like doing something, but ended out not doing anything because of the atmosphere the others created. They thought it wasn’t as big a deal, but their subconscious knew it was wrong. That night they couldn’t sleep, and now they wonder where this little boy is today. If he’s doing alright. I think that everyone has an obligation to act, and even if you don’t, you have the guilt of not acting to hover above you your whole life. In another article titled The Bystander Effect in the Cell Phone Age, the same thing is demonstrated, but in a little different of an aspect. A house fire starts on a street in JP, and a local walks by, filming, getting good shots, clearly not caring about the people who live in the house that is going up in flames. Posting it online, it sets the tone for how this situation should be handled, making it not seem too serious and setting the example not to really care about the people inside. The way that one person sets the tone can determine the outcome of a situation, good or bad. And if you don’t want to step in and do what you know is right, then you’ll just have to have that guilt loom over you for a long long time.
therapeuticsoup
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 4

Reply

Blueslothbear: I completely agree that there should be actions taken to enforce social rules. Having a 'worldwide culture of up-standers' as you stated it, sounds awesome. I just have to ask you, how are you going to enforce these laws and create a movement? Would it just be by doing little things everyday to push other to up-stand?

Junior: I love your idea about how people must do what they can in assisting a situation when their life isn't in danger. It's difficult because not everyone is bold enough or sure of themselves to do such acts, even small ones. What would you recommend for those people who need an extra boost in standing up for what's right?

Fireheart
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 6

The Moral of the Story

I would like to start off by first saying that I don’t expect all people (or any person for that matter) to be perfect, self-less, heroic, human beings. I understand that we all have our flaws and imperfections. I also understand that there are some things in our lives that we just have no control over. Having said all that, there is absolutely no excuse for the role that David Cash played in the assault and murder of seven year-old Sherrice Iverson.

At the time the murder took place, David and his “best friend” Jeremy Strohmeyer were around eighteen years old. Eighteen. At the age of eighteen, a person can legally vote, enlist in the military, and buy a house in most, if not all, states of the US. There just must be something special about that certain number to allow people to make such important, life-altering decisions at, what seems to some, a young age. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that, by that age, we know the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. Things may not always be so clear-cut as that since the lines do tend to blur at times. There were no blurred lines, however, in what David Cash did, and most notably, didn’t do. His actions were those of an inhuman, immoral person who should have faced some sort of punishment for that. A lot of people brought up how David’s loyalty to Jeremy may have played a factor in his inaction. David himself spoke about how he’d known Jeremy for so long and that they took AP English together or something. I find this absolutely laughable. What kind of person are you that you can’t stand up for what is right in a situation that is so completely wrong? What kind of person are you that you can’t think for yourself and think of others? I understand that Jeremy was his best friend, but if I had a best friend, and I noticed that they were doing something that was not okay, I’d bring it up to them because I always expect more from them and want them to be a better person. David Cash made a choice that day and it was the wrong one, no matter how adamant and defensive he was about it.

In one New York Times article called The Trick to Acting Heroically, they speak about how people who are considered heroes react in times of distress. David chose to walk away from a situation because he felt like it wasn’t his problem and that he wanted no part in it. And I believe that. As the article says, it is “beneficial to develop a reflex to help”. David isn’t a hero in this situation most likely because he never had what it took to be one. To be the kind of person to turn away from a child so obviously in distress, he must have walked away in other, less significant situations. I can’t help but to assume this; our actions say a lot about who we are as people, and David’s lack thereof was resounding in its silence.

It wasn’t just the fact that David chose to walk away from Sherrice. It’s the fact that he didn’t tell anyone else about it or at least try to find Sherrice’s parents. There was no threat from Jeremy. How could he be scared of a man who is so much of a coward that he has to go after a child? He went in that bathroom, saw what happened, and basically turned right back around. 2 minutes. That is how long he took to consider and really think about the consequences of what could happen if he didn’t step in. This brings to mind an article from The Boston Globe entitled Nightmare on the 36 Bus, in which a train car full of people witness the assault of a young boy and don’t step in. Just as with that boy, I wonder what Sherrice was thinking, being restrained by Jeremy while David just watched and decided her fate. Decided that she wasn’t important enough to intervene. 22 minutes. That is how long David pretended to be oblivious to what was happening in that women’s restroom, probably playing games as though he hadn’t seen the beginning of it and left. Unlike with that boy, who fortunately wasn’t too badly harmed, we don’t have to wonder where Sherrice Iverson is now. We know. Her mother knows. And most importantly, David Cash knows, and I hope it’s something that he never forgets.

When we were in school, our teachers always taught us and emphasized this: if you see something, say something. And David Cash should have said something when he saw what Jeremy was doing to Sherrice. He should have said something after Jeremy came out of that bathroom 22 minutes later and admitted to killing Sherrice. He should have said something to his father after driving who-knows-how-many hours back home. But he didn’t. Not until it was too late. And some people, most notably Jeremy Strohmeyer himself, are saying that David’s recount of the murder are not true and that he had lied about everything. But still, what does that say about David as a person? That he would even play these kinds of games when the murder and sexual assault of a seven year-old girl is involved. I think it says a lot about how little compassion he has for other human beings. And a lot about how little life means to him, when it isn’t his.

The moral of the story here is that we should always do what we can do (safely!) to ensure that, when something bad happens, it’s taken care of. People shouldn’t go out risking their lives; I don’t expect that of anyone. But you could at least do the bare minimum and report things and follow up to male sure that it won’t happen again. It’s sad to think that we live in a world where some people are able to ignore others’ pain so heartlessly. But small contributions really can have big impacts, especially if they’re implemented by lots of people.We should all drive to be better people and ensure that we make this place a little better each day with our actions.

UnKnown
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 6

Doing the Right Thing

As a witness to a crime, you definitely have an obligation to report and attempt to stop the crime from being committed. You never know if your actions to stop a crime can save a life or not. What David Cash did was unacceptable and like what plaidplatypus said, he should have been charged and arrested. Because of his decision to walk away and not report it or do anything about it, it resulted in the death of Sherrice Iverson. Even if his side of the story is true and that he didn’t want to sexually assault or murder Sherrice Iverson, by doing nothing he allowed Sherrice Iverson to die and it seemed like he was fine with it when interviewed by a Los Angeles radio station saying, “I do not know this little girl...I’m not going to lose sleep over somebody else’s problem. Like what softballgirl18 said, David Cash shouldn’t have allowed the crime to happen just because he was Jeremy’s best friend and that he did not want to lose his friendship with him. Even if he had good intentions, giving Jeremy the look and tapping him was not enough. In “The Trick To Acting Heroically” by The New York Times, it says that, “...heroes don’t just do good — they do good instinctively.” David Cash had more than enough time to think about what had happened and act on it but chose not too. As a witness you shouldn’t have an obligation to risk your life to save another one but I believe you do have an obligation to report it and try to get help. It’s up to you if you want to be a hero or not but there shouldn’t be a choice to be a bystander and not do anything at all.

graphicmango
Posts: 11

Bad Morals, Not a Bystander

While Sherrice Iverson’s murder was an act of inhumanity at the hands of Jeremy Strohmeyer, I believe that David Cash’s inaction led indirectly to her death and that, had he interfered, sought help, and reported his friend’s crime, perhaps she would have survived. Cash claimed his inaction was because of his close bond and history with Strohmeyer, but it is clear that he is lacking in the morality that we expect of other people.

We are held to an expectation to help others, especially those less capable than us, it is the basis of a functioning community. In the case of such a horrifying act as murder, it is even more imperative and expected for someone to help the victim. Cash was obligated to help Sherrice, who was a small girl unable to defend herself, and there are no excuses to say otherwise.

A possible rationalisation is the “bystander effect”, which prevents someone from reporting a crime because there are other witnesses present, with every witness believing that someone else will do the right thing. Judy Harris describes a modern instance of this in an article documenting a house fire in Jamaica Plain, where numerous residents gathered to watch and photograph the fire rather than call for help. I feel that this does not apply to Cash’s lack of action, however, as he was the sole witness and had no reason to expect others to come to Sherrice’s rescue.

Deborah Stone’s explanation of our inherent altruism even further disproves any innocent reason for Cash’s inaction. An excerpt from her novel The Samaritan’s Novel: Should the Government Help Your Neighbor? explains that bystanders and witnesses responded to those in dire need of help with only a moment of deliberation, later reflecting that, despite the potential danger to themselves, they felt obligated to do so. If Cash had a morals of that of a person with typical moral codes he would have acted, regardless of how threatened he felt by Strohmeyer.

David Cash should be charged as an accessory to murder. His negligence led to Sherrice’s untimely death and he should be prosecuted as such. The apparent lack of empathy he had for her after Cash’s arrest and conviction further leads me to believe that he did not genuinely intend to help her out of his own morality, if he intended to help her at all.

graphicmango
Posts: 11

Reply to UnKnown

I absolutely agree with your point that David Cash's comment on Sherrice Iverson's death was callous and best and incriminating at worst, making it out to seem that he did not care about the fact that he indirectly caused her death. Even further proving his inhumanity is the twenty minutes he had to reflect on what he had witnessed and to report his friend's crime. He should have been charged and arrested for his inaction, and the petitions for his expulsion from UC Berkley were completely valid in the face of his comments.

yeahhokay
Dorchester , MA, US
Posts: 6

Importance of intervening

This whole situation is very disturbing and disheartening to hear. No matter what relationship you may have with someone it never is an excuse to not call them out when they committed wrong. At a certain age someone knows right from wrong and David Cash knew exactly what was going on he knew it was awful but he did nothing because it was his friend which is inexcusable. Even though he was unaware, he has to be held accountable for his actions and nothing can justify what he has done. If he was really is friend or a in the slightest decent human being he would’ve done something to stop the murder and of a 7- year old girl. Cash heard exactly what he said in the stall and he didn’t take any action to stop it, as a human being, how can you just know and just be aware of something like that going on and do absolutely nothing, it’s disgusting. Cash should be charged with the same charges he is completely involved and let it go on for so long without doing anything or notifying anyone. There are no different rules pertaining to the nature of “wrong” there is no excuse for what happened to Sherrice or Cash’s actions.


We will always have an obligation to act whether you alert someone of what's going on or you yourself get involved in the situation. As a person you put yourself in a situation like in the article Nightmare on the 36 Bus, the little 8 year old boy who got punched in the face on the 36 going to Forest hills you have to imagine how heartbroken and helpless he must have felt to have nobody even say a word after bleeding out of his nose on the bus from getting punched by a man that he was noticeably scared of and decades older. No matter who that man is to that little boy it doesn’t matter it’s sickening the fact they just sat and watched on the bus not even wondering what's going to happen once they get off of the bus not even around anybody else if he was already violent to begin with. How did nobody care in the slightest bit? Being only concerned isn’t enough. Or mentioned in The Bystander Effect In The Cell Phone Age imagine yourself in the burning building in JP that everyone decided to just record without actually trying to protect anyone lifes. Imagine someone lost their life because you had to get a cool video for snap chat your held accountable you could’ve done anything to help. If it feels wrong, it looks wrong, most of the time your instinct is probably right, its human nature.


Response 1: Swedish Fish

I agree with you on that Silence is definitely compliance and that Cash should be convicted just as much of murder or at least face jail time as he is just as guilty as Stromeyer. It is important to notify someone if they are able to help.


Response 2: slothman

I completely agree with you on the fact that Cash could’ve completely saved Sherrice’s life and it is so awful and that it would mentally destroy any person mentally to know you could’ve prevented and stopped it from escalating rather than sitting and watching it happen.

The Imposter
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Morality

One obvious first thought to come to any reasonable person’s head here is to question the morality of the situation. Where were David’s morals when confronted with what should seemingly be for any one of us (hopefully) an absolute red flag situation, morally? Doesn’t it make sense to think his morals should have governed him in this type of situation? Perhaps at first, this may seem rational, but is it really? Typically, in a situation where one’s morals are clearly put to the test, such as this one, you’d expect them to make the “morally better” choice, something that seems almost like an objective truth: that this is a really bad situation. However, the only unfortunate truth here is that it’s anything but objective. Morality can tend to be something quite subjective, actually, and, at times, maybe even superficial. Famed philosopher, Aristotle, speaks to morality abundantly, and he actually touches on the notion that morality is likely habitual in the sense that nobody is naturally born with a predisposed list of what is good and bad, or what is moral and immoral. He goes on to say, “we become just by the practice of just actions, self-controlled by exercising self-control, and courageous by performing acts of courage”. Now, you may be asking, “But Mr. Imposter, what does this have to do with anything?” and the answer is quite simple, my young padawans. The process of moral development begins by choosing to do good actions and continuing to do them, thus the practice of these actions become habitual, and since habits are part of one’s character, these good (or bad) actions become one with your character, ergo making you a good or bad person.


But wait! Your type of good is different from my type of good. And my type of bad is different from someone else’s type of bad. That, my good friends, is why this question is too hard to answer with a simple response as needed by a discussion board. It is barely possible to pinpoint what is wrong versus right on an individual-by-individual basis, let alone the nature of a certain type of wrongness. This is often why the rule of law is met with criticism. In the NYT reading, “The Trick to Acting Heroically”, the instinctive nature of humans to carry out good deeds in acts of altruism is briefly mentioned, however, now through the lens of Aristotle, is it because they felt it was a good deed morally? And this is true human instinct? Or is it because of that habitual practice of what society tells you is and is not moral? You’d think the former, but as evidently shown by David Cash, there is clearly no true, human instinct or nature involved in this type of decision making. Now, I cannot speak to David Cash before the brutal murder of Sherrice Iverson, but it is clear to all of us that this was an honest display of complete disregard for human life on behalf of both of them. To us, something morally reprehensible, something disgusting, something we all know we’d stop if we were given the chance. To us, this makes him an absolutely immoral person by any and all means, but we saw the video. There is not a hint of apologeticness in his eyes, not an ounce of regret in his body. Morally, he thinks he is in the right, and while absolutely infuriating, the unfortunate truth is that, no matter how much you can tell someone like David Cash that this is WRONG, that simply would not be enough to deviate someone like him from his standard of morality. So, sadly, there’s nothing that can be done to change people like that, regardless of the severity of the consequences he could face. Thus, it is really difficult to try and determine what David Cash's obligations as a bystander are to him personally. Surely we, as morally good people (we'd like to think) certainly have this obligation, but does Cash? Given how his morality has shaped itself up to and after this incident?

mellifluously
Allston, MA, US
Posts: 13

Avoiding Standing in The Sidelines

The first thing I want to say is: rest in peace, Sherrice. You didn’t deserve what happened to you.


I personally do not believe that David Cash experienced a bystander effect. If he did, the question turns into: who did he believe would come in and help her? The bystander effect, which started in March 13th, 1964, due to the murder of Kitty Genovese, who sadly lost her life in front of her apartment, crying screams for help. People who heard believed that someone else would call for help. David claimed himself: the bathroom was empty and the people in the casino were most likely too distracted gambling to even notice. So, again, who did he believe would come in and help her? It should have been him. David should have intervened. The idea that a law should determine whether or not you help someone is baffling. Fortunately enough, Nevada removed it. Unfortunately enough, it wasn’t removed fast enough to prevent Sherrice from living. But that brings up another “what if” scenario: would have David been more inclined to intervene, or would nothing have changed? People who witness others doing what is morally wrong have the obligation to do something about it. Campaigns are made because of the bystander effect, such as the typical “see something, say something.” There are no specific obligations. Do what you think is right, but do the bare minimum of speaking out. You don’t have to be the hero, but you can get someone else to help in order to right a wrong. There are no rules. You have to do what you have to do to ensure the safety of someone else, regardless of who is procuring whatever abuse or wrong, or what they’re doing. David should have intervened, regardless of the fact that Jeremy was his friend or “had potential.”


Like I said, there are no rules that govern what we do: whether we intervene or whether we are the bystander. I found interesting Judy Harris’ paper, “The Bystander Effect In The Cellphone Age;” the idea that the bystander effect has increased due to more people being connected to the internet through their phones is certainly new. I do agree with it. It gives a new definition to the bystander effect that aptly represents the zeitgeist of our era: we retreat into our phones and the internet, sometimes in moments of panic or distress, to try to avoid what truly goes on in the world that surrounds us. Harris captured it perfectly with her example of people taking pictures and videos of a house burning down. The bystander effect defines what we end up not doing when something wrong occurs. However, we do have to act. We can’t just stay idly by. Sound familiar? I hope so. Anytime something occurs, it is better to act than to not act. Not everyone can be a hero, but not all situations involve a hero that jumps into the action. Sometimes, you can be a backseat hero and be the one who calls 911, instead of the one who actually jumps in. Most people will feel a heightened sense of altruism and adrenaline, making them more prone to jump into rescuing someone. Most people won’t. And that’s still ok. But just simply standing on the sidelines, doing nothing—that’s what should be avoided. Erez Yoeli et al. also wrote about “The Trick to Acting Heroically,” in which they mention the idea that if risk Is low and there are benefits, people are more likely to “be a hero.” And that’s true. But again, not everyone is, and it is ok to participate from the sidelines. Not to watch.

The Imposter
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

But :(

Originally posted by graphicmango on September 28, 2020 00:58

I absolutely agree with your point that David Cash's comment on Sherrice Iverson's death was callous and best and incriminating at worst, making it out to seem that he did not care about the fact that he indirectly caused her death. Even further proving his inhumanity is the twenty minutes he had to reflect on what he had witnessed and to report his friend's crime. He should have been charged and arrested for his inaction, and the petitions for his expulsion from UC Berkley were completely valid in the face of his comments.

While you're absolutely correct and I absolutely agree, it begs the conflict of how we should craft our laws and legislation. Should we tailor them to appease the pathos of the general population, which we assume is mostly morally on the same plane as us? Or should we keep it strict to say, the logos, and actual legality of what is right and wrong, and continue to let the David Cashs of the world fly under the radar of our legal system? Hmm

The Imposter
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

But is it crazy

Originally posted by dewdropdoll on September 25, 2020 14:01

I completely agree with you on the whole friendship thing and how just because your best friends with someone, it doesn't mean that you should ignore their bad qualities. Adding on to that, I think that just because you might not have seen an instance where that person does something bad or you believe that the person is nice, doesn't mean that they are excused for one bad action. Especially in this case where Jeremy literally killed a 7 year-old little girl, I think it's crazy how David didn't think to report Jeremy for the reason that he was his best friend, and he just didn't think Jeremy would be the type of person to murder someone, despite knowing that he did just kill someone. You also mentioned how David might've feared that Jeremy would hurt him if he had reported, which I understand but like you mentioned, there were many instances from the time Jeremy admitted his crime to the time they returned home, that he could've reported it to someone (like his dad). I don't think he has any excuse for why he didn't report it to an authority, and he should've been convicted as well.

I agree with everything said, but i feel like it's important to look at the small details like Jeremy's blank stare into David's eyes and David in turn just going about his day. You say it's crazy that he didn't report it, to which I agree 100%, but is it crazy to David? Why isn't it crazy to David? What do you think made him deviate from the social norm of what morals are and should be? I think what's more crazy is that he himself didn't even think it was crazy, he seemed almost proud of his decision. Disgusting, in my opinion, but still questions to consider! Or rather, questions I oft think about.

mellifluously
Allston, MA, US
Posts: 13

The Difference You Can Make on a Life

Originally posted by cabbage on September 26, 2020 23:29

With David Cash being the only witness for most of the information on this situation, we can’t be sure what is the truth and what are lies. When David followed Jeremy into the women’s restroom, saw him messing around with Sherrice and didn’t stop him, that was his first mistake. This wasn’t a “I saw someone littering and didn't say anything” type of problem, but David saw a little girl get killed and acted as if it didn’t happen, aware that he could’ve taken actions to prevent it. As @softballgirl18 mentioned, although they were friends, David as a friend should’ve held Jeremy accountable for his mistakes. Perhaps he didn’t have a “gut instinct to help” that was described by the New York Times “The trick to Acting Heroically” article, but he is still unpunished and free roaming as an adult who can reflect on his actions and take responsibility.


Not everyone is going to be a hero and put their life on the line to help someone else which is fine, but being a bystander to a terrible crime shouldn’t be normalized. The article “The Bystander Effect in The Cell Phone Age” describes how during a fire in JP many people instead of seeking help just pulled out their phone to record. If no one called 911 or if no one had chosen to help, these people would just have a useless video of a horrible accident on their phone. David Cash decided to not report anything and defended his actions later on which honestly amazes me because even Jeremy was able to confess for what he did. I agree with @plaidplatypus that the way he acted afterwards was frightening because he seemed confident that “tapping Jeremy on the head and giving him a look” was enough and he bore no responsibility to stop this crime.


I don’t think Cash has a valid reason to not feel responsible. It was mentioned in class that substances were probably used, but they made the decision to buy and take them. Many substances are illegal for a reason and they are also not an excuse for murder.


I definitely agree with this. Tapping someone on the head does not count as trying to stop one from doing something. Would you tap the head of someone who put you at gunpoint? Clearly not. David mentioning how because he doesn't know people in other places, he should not have to help, is absolutely erroneous of him. He needed to do something. And because of his inaction, a small girl was murdered. I do hope that this serves as an example for those who want to decide whether you should do something or not. Do you want to contribute to someone's (possibly) most terrible day of their life through your inaction? Or do you want to improve that person's day? And prevent anything bad from happening? At that point, David did nothing to stop that little girl from getting raped. Had he stopped her murder, she would still have to live with that abuse. He should have done something from the start. So Sherrice could still be alive and well today. So she could have grown up to have a good life.

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