posts 1 - 15 of 66
freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 154

Readings (select 2 of the 4):

Brian McGrory, “Nightmare on the 36 Bus” Boston Globe, January 25, 2000.

Judy Harris, “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age,” WBUR Cognoscenti, June 5, 2015

Erez Yoeli and David Rand, “The Trick to Acting Heroically,” New York Times, August 28, 2015

Deborah Stone, The Samaritan’s Dilemma: Should the Government Help Your Neighbor (New York: Nation Books, 2008), pp. 128-132.



Background:


For any of you who missed class today, we watched a clip from 60 Minutes called “The Bad Samaritan” (from 0:00-5:39).


Eighteen-year-old David Cash chose to walk away as his friend, fellow eighteen-year-old Jeremy Strohmeyer, assaulted and murdered Sherrice Iverson, age 7, in the women’s restroom of a Nevada casino at 3 in the morning on Sunday, May 25, 1997. He told the Los Angeles Times when his friend was arrested that he was “not going to lose sleep over someone else’s problems.”


Clearly what Jeremy Strohmeyer did was reprehensible. But what David Cash did was to be a bystander, not to be a rescuer or a resister in any way. One can only speculate what might have happened had Cash more actively intervened. But according to Nevada law at the time, he was under no legal obligation to do otherwise.


It’s remarkable to listen to David Cash’s words when interviewed on a Los Angeles radio station after his friend Jeremy Strohmeyer was arrested and convicted. Cash remarked, “It’s a very tragic event, okay? But the simple fact remains: I do not know this little girl. I do not know starving children in Panama. I do not know people that die of disease in Egypt. The only person I knew in this event was Jeremy Strohmeyer, and I know as his best friend that he had potential…I’m not going to lose sleep over somebody else’s problem.”


Your task for this post:


As awful as the Sherrice Iverson murder was, I’d like to hear your views on the situation. What do you think should have governed Cash’s actions? What obligations does a person who witnesses another wrong have? Are there different rules depending on the nature of the “wrong”?


Can you identify what “rules”—legal or otherwise—ought to govern the decision to act or merely to witness. Do we have an obligation to act—sometimes, rarely, occasionally, always? Explain.


Choose at least 2 of the readings listed above (all are uploaded to Google classroom and attached to the post), read them and integrate what you learn from them into your response. Be certain to cite the authors or titles as you reference them so we all recognize the references.


Write your post on the discussions.learntoquestion.com site. Be sure to respond to the views of at least two other classmates (if you post first, go back and do a second posting responding to two comments posted after yours).


How to post on the discussion board:


1.You should log in using the button at the top right of the page at discussions.learntoquestion.com with the username you chose earlier this week as well as your password you chose when you registered on the site. Remember both are case-sensitive! If you have not done so already, make sure you bookmark the site as well, as we will use it frequently throughout the year. If you registered properly then this should work. (If it does not work, please e-mail me asap.)


2.Go into your specific class section. If you are not sure which section you are in, here’s a reminder:

Section 01 Abigail Ortiz: Day 1 R3

Section 02 Ayanna Pressley: Day 1 R7

Section 03 Tunney Lee ’49: Day 1 R6

Section 04 Ernani de Araujo ’99: Day 1 R1


3.Once you are in your section, you’ll see a thread titled “The Dilemma of the Bad Samaritan” (due Monday, September 28). Click on the post’s title. This will take you into the page where you can post. Read the prompt message (the first one, which will essentially repeat the assignment described above) and any other posts that precede yours (you are encouraged to comment on those and certainly should acknowledge any overlap between what those prior posters may have said and what you are writing). When you are ready, at the bottom of the comments already made, there is a button on the lower right saying “New Reply.” Click on that. You’ll get a page with blank spaces. This page will time out eventually, so see step #4 for some important advice.


4.VERY IMPORTANT ADVICE: draft your post on Word (or Google docs or some other text doc that is not going to ‘time out’) and save it before you paste it onto the discussion board. You work hard on these and you never know what can go wrong, particularly in the early months of using the discussion board. People find that from time to time, the discussion board “times out” in the middle of posting, resulting in the loss of whatever you are writing. So take my advice (and that of your predecessors, all of whom lost a post at one time or another) when the server or their computer crashed; draft in another program and PASTE into the board.


5.Give your comment/post a title, then put your cursor on the big box in the message part of the page and paste your response.


6.To respond to other people—and sometimes this is required as part of the assignment, you can do so by mentioning their username and reference their comments within your text OR you can do a separate post in response to theirs. You can even quote from their post (and that’s helpful as long as it’s not too long!) by clicking on their post, going to “reply” and then including the portion of their post that you wish to reference.


7.When you have finished writing your post (and you’re satisfied with it), click at the lower left “Create post.”


8.You should then be taken back to the page of posts. Check that yours has appeared. If it has, bravo! If it hasn’t, try the aforementioned steps again and see if it works. (If not, let me know asap via e-mail)


9.Check back regularly to see if anyone has replied to your post. You should absolutely try to comment on other people’s posts and they will in turn comment on yours! (This counts as part of your class participation and your homework grade!) Feel free to quote from others’ replies, identifying the username of the person who wrote the original post you are quoting. Remember: this is a conversation, not a monologue.



239bid0073
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9

Always Stand Up

On the night of May 25, 1997 Sherrice Iverson was sexually assaulted and murdered by Jeremy Strohmeyer, while his best friend David Cash stood there looking on. In this situation David Cash is just as guilty for the murder as Jeremy is, and the fact that he has not been charged with any crime is a loss for humanity. Many things should have crossed Cash’s mind to make the proper decision in this scenario. He should have thought about the little girl, his best friend and himself. First and foremost he should have thought about what was going to happen to Sherrice, and to her family in the aftermath. And if this wasn’t enough to push him to jump into action. Then he should have thought about what it means to be a friend and call them out when they are doing wrong. As a friend you have to have tough love sometimes because you want the best for that person. And finally if that didn’t encourage him to stand up to this wrong, he should have thought about himself and what he was going to have to live with for the rest of his life. The pain and the replayed images in his head of what he could have done should have been what brought him into action. But as said in the “Trick to Acting Heroically”, heroes don’t think before they act. People have good instincts and just spring into action without thinking about anything but the person or thing they are trying to save (The New York Times). If we want to make change in this world, and see a change in people's actions then there needs to be no exception to when and when it is not okay to be a bystander. Being a bystander is never okay and the more we do it the worse this world is going to be. But because of the technology that exists in today’s world it can be hard to take that first step and call out the problem. According to WBUR in a way our new instincts of documenting everything hinder us from taking that first step to save someone or change a problem. We are more consumed in telling the masses than solving what is right in front of us. This is very scary and concerning, and could lead to the loss of so many lives and the integrity of humanity. Speak up to every little wrong. It may seem small, or like it is not going to amount to anything, but you never know. And the more you do it the easier it will become when you have to spring into action in big cases.
freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 154

Thanks for kicking us off.

Thanks 239bid0073 for posting first... Lots to think about here.

Just FYI--and to everyone: Break your post into paragraphs! It's far easier to read! Thanks.

Originally posted by 239bid0073 on September 24, 2020 10:01

On the night of May 25, 1997 Sherrice Iverson was sexually assaulted and murdered by Jeremy Strohmeyer, while his best friend David Cash stood there looking on. In this situation David Cash is just as guilty for the murder as Jeremy is, and the fact that he has not been charged with any crime is a loss for humanity. Many things should have crossed Cash’s mind to make the proper decision in this scenario. He should have thought about the little girl, his best friend and himself. First and foremost he should have thought about what was going to happen to Sherrice, and to her family in the aftermath. And if this wasn’t enough to push him to jump into action. Then he should have thought about what it means to be a friend and call them out when they are doing wrong. As a friend you have to have tough love sometimes because you want the best for that person. And finally if that didn’t encourage him to stand up to this wrong, he should have thought about himself and what he was going to have to live with for the rest of his life. The pain and the replayed images in his head of what he could have done should have been what brought him into action. But as said in the “Trick to Acting Heroically”, heroes don’t think before they act. People have good instincts and just spring into action without thinking about anything but the person or thing they are trying to save (The New York Times). If we want to make change in this world, and see a change in people's actions then there needs to be no exception to when and when it is not okay to be a bystander. Being a bystander is never okay and the more we do it the worse this world is going to be. But because of the technology that exists in today’s world it can be hard to take that first step and call out the problem. According to WBUR in a way our new instincts of documenting everything hinder us from taking that first step to save someone or change a problem. We are more consumed in telling the masses than solving what is right in front of us. This is very scary and concerning, and could lead to the loss of so many lives and the integrity of humanity. Speak up to every little wrong. It may seem small, or like it is not going to amount to anything, but you never know. And the more you do it the easier it will become when you have to spring into action in big cases.

Post your response here.

butterfly123
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Why didn't David Cash help?

The Dilemma of the Bad Samaritan is a very interesting dilemma especially in the case of David Cash. To start I will say that I 100% agree with 239b8d0073 that ‘the fact that he has not been charged is a loss for humanity’. David Cash was definitely partially responsible for the death of Sherrice and has no excuse for his action. He saw his friend about to rape and murder a seven year old girl, and walked away. That is inexcusable. As ‘The Trick to Acting Heroically’ points out, and as 239b8d0073 also mentioned, deciding to act heroically does not normally require thought. It is a split second decision that people make to help someone in need.


So, the question that must be asked is why didn’t David Cash help Sherrice, a child in need? The reasons that someone decides to be a bystander can vary. Maybe one fears for their own safety or wellbeing, or freezes up in high pressure situations instead of acting like some people do. However after David Cash left the bathroom, 22 minutes passed before Jeremy came out. That’s 22 minutes where even if for some reason he had failed his duty as a human being and a member of society to stop Jeremy before he hurt Sherrice, he could’ve called for help, gone back into the bathroom, told somebody else, and possibly saved her life.


One of the most confusing parts of this situation is David Cash’s thoughts after. In ‘Nightmare on the 36 Bus,’ Auclair was distraught after he had failed to act and save a little boy from an abusive man. However, in the interviews Cash has done, it is relatively clear that he wasn’t guilty or regretful about his actions. It is important to recognize that in our lives almost all of us have been a bystander at some point. However most people are filled with regret, and use those experiences to remind themselves to do better next time. As people it is our duty to help others the same way you would want others to help you, so by not intervening David Cash not only failed Sherrice but he failed humanity by deciding to walk away.

soleilmagic
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Don't Stay Quiet

As Jeremy Strohmeyer sexually assaulted and murdered 7 year old Sherrice Iverson, his best friend, David Cash, was aware of what was happening and made no attempt to stop Jeremy but instead just walked out of the bathroom and left Jeremy alone with the 7 year old. Already the fact that David made no verbal attempt to cease Jeremy’s sickening behavior should be reason enough to give him some form of punishment, but 22 minutes later when Jeremy left the bathroom and Sherrice never did, Jeremy confessed to his best friend that he murdered that little girl, and then again David did not report the murder he continued his evening and went out to more casinos with his friend, now murderer, his excuse was “not wanting to believe his friend did that” even after he clearly confessed to him. David could be labeled a bystander in this case, which is often a position as bad as the pursuer, he left Sherrice Iverson alone with Jeremy in that bathroom when he could have stopped his friend, or went and got help, he could have saved that little girl, but he didn’t.

In the short reading by Judy Harris, “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age,” WBUR Cognoscenti, June 5, 2015, Harris tells the story of a fire occurring on the 3rd story of a triple decker in Jamaica Plain, Boston, a heroic man ran towards the house and alerted all the tenants thankfully having everyone get out before people were injured, as he ran there he noticed there were no emergency vehicles there yet but he saw a bystander filming the fire and trying to get a good angle. That bystander felt it was more important to film the fire than go try and save a life and warm people of the fire. That man filming the fire is nowhere as accountable as David Cash and what he watched and walked away from but they are similar in a way.

David Cash should be held responsible in a way for Sherrice Iverson’s sexual assault and murder because he knowing allowed it to happen and didn’t bother to report it. In the reading by Erez Yoeli and David Rand, “The Trick to Acting Heroically,” New York Times, August 28, 2015, the authors describe many situations where “heros” acted fast and intuitively during a situation that needed their help, I think David Cash should read this passage in order to understand what he should have done the morning he allowed for a 7 year old girl to be raped and murdered. The man recording the fire should have called emergency services or tried to warn the tenants, Cash should have stopped his friend, all witnesses have an obligation when witnessing any situation but some are more severe than others.

soleilmagic
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by butterfly123 on September 24, 2020 13:51

The Dilemma of the Bad Samaritan is a very interesting dilemma especially in the case of David Cash. To start I will say that I 100% agree with 239b8d0073 that ‘the fact that he has not been charged is a loss for humanity’. David Cash was definitely partially responsible for the death of Sherrice and has no excuse for his action. He saw his friend about to rape and murder a seven year old girl, and walked away. That is inexcusable. As ‘The Trick to Acting Heroically’ points out, and as 239b8d0073 also mentioned, deciding to act heroically does not normally require thought. It is a split second decision that people make to help someone in need.


So, the question that must be asked is why didn’t David Cash help Sherrice, a child in need? The reasons that someone decides to be a bystander can vary. Maybe one fears for their own safety or wellbeing, or freezes up in high pressure situations instead of acting like some people do. However after David Cash left the bathroom, 22 minutes passed before Jeremy came out. That’s 22 minutes where even if for some reason he had failed his duty as a human being and a member of society to stop Jeremy before he hurt Sherrice, he could’ve called for help, gone back into the bathroom, told somebody else, and possibly saved her life.


One of the most confusing parts of this situation is David Cash’s thoughts after. In ‘Nightmare on the 36 Bus,’ Auclair was distraught after he had failed to act and save a little boy from an abusive man. However, in the interviews Cash has done, it is relatively clear that he wasn’t guilty or regretful about his actions. It is important to recognize that in our lives almost all of us have been a bystander at some point. However most people are filled with regret, and use those experiences to remind themselves to do better next time. As people it is our duty to help others the same way you would want others to help you, so by not intervening David Cash not only failed Sherrice but he failed humanity by deciding to walk away.

I personally would also like to know why didn't David Cash help Sherrice, why did he knowingly walk away, and even after being informed by his friend that he just murdered that girl why was Cash so okay with it that he continued his evening with his friend, his excuses in the video do not seem valid and I feel as if there is more to the story that he isn't confessing for a reason.

PineappleMan30
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 5

The Bystander - David Cash

Originally posted by soleilmagic on September 24, 2020 13:59

As Jeremy Strohmeyer sexually assaulted and murdered 7 year old Sherrice Iverson, his best friend, David Cash, was aware of what was happening and made no attempt to stop Jeremy but instead just walked out of the bathroom and left Jeremy alone with the 7 year old. Already the fact that David made no verbal attempt to cease Jeremy’s sickening behavior should be reason enough to give him some form of punishment, but 22 minutes later when Jeremy left the bathroom and Sherrice never did, Jeremy confessed to his best friend that he murdered that little girl, and then again David did not report the murder he continued his evening and went out to more casinos with his friend, now murderer, his excuse was “not wanting to believe his friend did that” even after he clearly confessed to him. David could be labeled a bystander in this case, which is often a position as bad as the pursuer, he left Sherrice Iverson alone with Jeremy in that bathroom when he could have stopped his friend, or went and got help, he could have saved that little girl, but he didn’t.

In the short reading by Judy Harris, “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age,” WBUR Cognoscenti, June 5, 2015, Harris tells the story of a fire occurring on the 3rd story of a triple decker in Jamaica Plain, Boston, a heroic man ran towards the house and alerted all the tenants thankfully having everyone get out before people were injured, as he ran there he noticed there were no emergency vehicles there yet but he saw a bystander filming the fire and trying to get a good angle. That bystander felt it was more important to film the fire than go try and save a life and warm people of the fire. That man filming the fire is nowhere as accountable as David Cash and what he watched and walked away from but they are similar in a way.

David Cash should be held responsible in a way for Sherrice Iverson’s sexual assault and murder because he knowing allowed it to happen and didn’t bother to report it. In the reading by Erez Yoeli and David Rand, “The Trick to Acting Heroically,” New York Times, August 28, 2015, the authors describe many situations where “heros” acted fast and intuitively during a situation that needed their help, I think David Cash should read this passage in order to understand what he should have done the morning he allowed for a 7 year old girl to be raped and murdered. The man recording the fire should have called emergency services or tried to warn the tenants, Cash should have stopped his friend, all witnesses have an obligation when witnessing any situation but some are more severe than others.

I agree with everything you said, and I would like to bring in another point as well. David Cash said in his interview that when he met back up with his best friend Jeremy Strohmeyer after the fact, he heard him say that he killed Sherrice Iverson. Strohmeyer literally confessed to Cash, yet he did nothing, because he only thought of what would happen to his friend. In the interview, Cash said another reason he didn’t say anything was because he just “couldn’t imagine him ever doing that, it didn’t feel real”.

In the The Bystander Effect In The Cell Phone Age (WBUR), the husband of the woman describing the events ran up to the apartment and alerted the people inside that their lives were at stake. The man recording, his words were “Wow, look, a fire!!” as if it was a scene from a movie. His instinct was to record the fire instead of actually doing something about it. Cash was just like the man recording, if not even worse since he actually left the scene and didn’t say anything about the crime.

Still using the same articles as you, the article The Trick to Acting Heroically (NYT), a college student helps a woman in her sixties get out of her car when it was locked and the ground was flooding. That was her instinct. Earlier in the article I noticed how it said “We found ALMOST no examples of heroes whose first impulse was for self-preservation but who overcame that impulse with a conscious, rational decision to help.” It’s already clear that Cash didn’t have any good or heroic instincts, but what’s worse is that he didn’t even think to help AFTER hearing what had happened or seeing what he had seen.

butterfly123
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by PineappleMan30 on September 24, 2020 14:56

Originally posted by soleilmagic on September 24, 2020 13:59

As Jeremy Strohmeyer sexually assaulted and murdered 7 year old Sherrice Iverson, his best friend, David Cash, was aware of what was happening and made no attempt to stop Jeremy but instead just walked out of the bathroom and left Jeremy alone with the 7 year old. Already the fact that David made no verbal attempt to cease Jeremy’s sickening behavior should be reason enough to give him some form of punishment, but 22 minutes later when Jeremy left the bathroom and Sherrice never did, Jeremy confessed to his best friend that he murdered that little girl, and then again David did not report the murder he continued his evening and went out to more casinos with his friend, now murderer, his excuse was “not wanting to believe his friend did that” even after he clearly confessed to him. David could be labeled a bystander in this case, which is often a position as bad as the pursuer, he left Sherrice Iverson alone with Jeremy in that bathroom when he could have stopped his friend, or went and got help, he could have saved that little girl, but he didn’t.

In the short reading by Judy Harris, “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age,” WBUR Cognoscenti, June 5, 2015, Harris tells the story of a fire occurring on the 3rd story of a triple decker in Jamaica Plain, Boston, a heroic man ran towards the house and alerted all the tenants thankfully having everyone get out before people were injured, as he ran there he noticed there were no emergency vehicles there yet but he saw a bystander filming the fire and trying to get a good angle. That bystander felt it was more important to film the fire than go try and save a life and warm people of the fire. That man filming the fire is nowhere as accountable as David Cash and what he watched and walked away from but they are similar in a way.

David Cash should be held responsible in a way for Sherrice Iverson’s sexual assault and murder because he knowing allowed it to happen and didn’t bother to report it. In the reading by Erez Yoeli and David Rand, “The Trick to Acting Heroically,” New York Times, August 28, 2015, the authors describe many situations where “heros” acted fast and intuitively during a situation that needed their help, I think David Cash should read this passage in order to understand what he should have done the morning he allowed for a 7 year old girl to be raped and murdered. The man recording the fire should have called emergency services or tried to warn the tenants, Cash should have stopped his friend, all witnesses have an obligation when witnessing any situation but some are more severe than others.

I agree with everything you said, and I would like to bring in another point as well. David Cash said in his interview that when he met back up with his best friend Jeremy Strohmeyer after the fact, he heard him say that he killed Sherrice Iverson. Strohmeyer literally confessed to Cash, yet he did nothing, because he only thought of what would happen to his friend. In the interview, Cash said another reason he didn’t say anything was because he just “couldn’t imagine him ever doing that, it didn’t feel real”.

In the The Bystander Effect In The Cell Phone Age (WBUR), the husband of the woman describing the events ran up to the apartment and alerted the people inside that their lives were at stake. The man recording, his words were “Wow, look, a fire!!” as if it was a scene from a movie. His instinct was to record the fire instead of actually doing something about it. Cash was just like the man recording, if not even worse since he actually left the scene and didn’t say anything about the crime.

Still using the same articles as you, the article The Trick to Acting Heroically (NYT), a college student helps a woman in her sixties get out of her car when it was locked and the ground was flooding. That was her instinct. Earlier in the article I noticed how it said “We found ALMOST no examples of heroes whose first impulse was for self-preservation but who overcame that impulse with a conscious, rational decision to help.” It’s already clear that Cash didn’t have any good or heroic instincts, but what’s worse is that he didn’t even think to help AFTER hearing what had happened or seeing what he had seen.

I think the point you made about David Cash doing nothing even after Jeremy confessed to him is a really important one. As you said, ‘It’s already clear that Cash didn’t have any good or heroic instincts,’ but he had multiple opportunities both after he left the bathroom and after Jeremy confessed to him to do the right thing, and he still remained silent. You also brought up the interview where Cash said he couldn’t imagine his friend doing that. While Cash used this as his excuse for not acting, and many people do experience these feelings after hearing negative things about friends and loved ones, Cash had seen what was about to happen in the bathroom stall, had 22 minutes to process what was happening, and then heard Jeremy confess directly to him and had hours more to process the situation. Personally I think that while yes, David Cash might have still been shocked that his friend would do this, he had plenty of time to process and decide to do the right thing, and it is inexcusable that he didn't.

razzledazzle8
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 15

Don't Be That Bystander

One day in 1997, two best friends, David Cash and Jeremy Strohmeyer went to a casino in Las Vegas looking to play some games and maybe win some money. Later that night, 7 year old Sherrice Iverson, was dead, killed by Jeremy Strohmeyer. David Cash watched as his best friend began to rape and strangle this little girl and chose to leave Jeremy to what he was doing because he said he didn’t want to be a part of it. After Jeremy finished brutally killing Sherrice, he proceeded to tell David what he had done to Sherrice and still David did nothing.


The question is what should have David thought in this situation? Many things should’ve steered Cash in the direction of stopping his friend. Like 239bid0073 said, “he should have thought about the little girl, his best friend, and himself.” First he should've thought about Sherrice’s safety and what his best friend was really capable of doing to her. Then if he didn’t think about that he should have thought about how his best friend could go to jail for this if he was caught. Lastly if he wanted to stop him for selfish reasons he could’ve thought about himself and he could be a hero. Like it was said in New York Times’, “The Trick to Acting Heroically”, people may act as being the hero to be treated differently and get the benefits of being the hero. But David didn’t think to do any of these things, he didn’t think at all.


Witnesses of something wrong being committed have certain obligations to be fulfilled. They need to be an upstander instead of a bystander no matter how large or how little the crime is. People need to just act instead of overthinking situations. For example, “The Nightmare on the 36 Bus” by Brian McGrory, has a witness that regrets not just following his instincts and intervening on the abuse of a little boy. Often people think it’s not their place to intervene but you never know what is going on and should get involved as a precaution, so later you don’t regret it. Us as humans always have this obligation to be an upstander because without that this world would be filled with so much hate and fear; fear of not knowing whether another human will help you or not if you were in trouble.


Also in this new age of technology like in the article, “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age” said, now our first thought is to document the crisis or emergency on our phone instead of helping fellow humans from being in trouble. We shouldn’t have to worry whether or not someone is going to pull out their phones instead of help you from danger. The same article from WBUR talks about a term called the bystander effect which means that “when the presence of others discourages an individual from intervening in an emergency situation.”


As being a part of the human race, people need help others no matter what. David Cash didn’t do this and he is definitely not the only bystander to do so. People need to break out of the bystander effect and stop overthinking what to do in a crisis and just stand up. We all have the obligation to stand up against what is wrong and not be that bystander.


orangerug29
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 3

The Unwritten Rule of Instinctually Helping Others

Part of being a good samaritan comes along with the responsibility of acting heroically when necessary. Sherrice Iverson needed David Cash to be a hero, and he was the furthest thing from that. The seven year old girl, who had barely begun her life, was cruelly raped and murdered at the hands of Jeremy Strohmeyer and (witness) David Cash. Cash had an obligation to react properly while he witnessed a situation he claims he knew was evil and wrong. There is no excuse for Cash to walk away that night and allow a seven year old girl get raped and murdered. To this day, Cash’s reaction defines who he is. Ultimately, he was given two decisions: he could have either made the right one of intervening and providing aid, or the wrong one, which would result in a little girl's death. Plain and simple, David Cash made the wrong decision that night, and there are no different rules depending on the “wrong”- he witnessed a rape and murder and didn’t tell anyone.

In the article “The Trick to Acting Heroically”, good samaritans who have risked their lives in order to save someone else describe their reaction as an “instinct”. Not only do these amazing people show much politeness and care to others, but they also hold onto a moral compass which directs them on how to react during certain situations. David Cash doesn’t have this moral compass, which should have been the factor governing him to help Sherrice. His immoral decision classified him, not only as a bad samaritan, but also as a criminal.

On occasion, witnesses to crime scenes may overthink the situation they’re put in, stifling their proper reaction. Although this may happen to some, it is most definitely not an excuse when it comes to helping another in need. It is an unwritten rule that all good samaritans have an obligation to act if they witness something wrong. An example of people improperly reacting to a crime occurred on the 36 bus in Boston. According to the article, “Nightmare on the 36 Bus”, a little boy was being physically assaulted by an inebriated man, and nobody helped. Witnesses of this crime believed the man was actually the boy's father, and they couldn’t think as to why a little boy would be by himself this late. People overthinking the situation resulted in the man freely punching the boy- those watching didn’t want to interfere on a “family problem”. “Nightmare on the 36 Bus” teaches a lesson, for people to trust their instinct.

If you ever see something and your gut feeling is that it is wrong, you have the obligation to react and provide assistance. That is what a good samaritan would do, and this must be a norm in society. With this universal rule, people like David Cash will not get away with witnessing and walking away from a murder, his reaction makes him just as guilty as Jermey Strohmeyer.

orangerug29
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 3

Originally posted by razzledazzle8 on September 24, 2020 16:51

One day in 1997, two best friends, David Cash and Jeremy Strohmeyer went to a casino in Las Vegas looking to play some games and maybe win some money. Later that night, 7 year old Sherrice Iverson, was dead, killed by Jeremy Strohmeyer. David Cash watched as his best friend began to rape and strangle this little girl and chose to leave Jeremy to what he was doing because he said he didn’t want to be a part of it. After Jeremy finished brutally killing Sherrice, he proceeded to tell David what he had done to Sherrice and still David did nothing.


The question is what should have David thought in this situation? Many things should’ve steered Cash in the direction of stopping his friend. Like 239bid0073 said, “he should have thought about the little girl, his best friend, and himself.” First he should've thought about Sherrice’s safety and what his best friend was really capable of doing to her. Then if he didn’t think about that he should have thought about how his best friend could go to jail for this if he was caught. Lastly if he wanted to stop him for selfish reasons he could’ve thought about himself and he could be a hero. Like it was said in New York Times’, “The Trick to Acting Heroically”, people may act as being the hero to be treated differently and get the benefits of being the hero. But David didn’t think to do any of these things, he didn’t think at all.


Witnesses of something wrong being committed have certain obligations to be fulfilled. They need to be an upstander instead of a bystander no matter how large or how little the crime is. People need to just act instead of overthinking situations. For example, “The Nightmare on the 36 Bus” by Brian McGrory, has a witness that regrets not just following his instincts and intervening on the abuse of a little boy. Often people think it’s not their place to intervene but you never know what is going on and should get involved as a precaution, so later you don’t regret it. Us as humans always have this obligation to be an upstander because without that this world would be filled with so much hate and fear; fear of not knowing whether another human will help you or not if you were in trouble.


Also in this new age of technology like in the article, “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age” said, now our first thought is to document the crisis or emergency on our phone instead of helping fellow humans from being in trouble. We shouldn’t have to worry whether or not someone is going to pull out their phones instead of help you from danger. The same article from WBUR talks about a term called the bystander effect which means that “when the presence of others discourages an individual from intervening in an emergency situation.”


As being a part of the human race, people need help others no matter what. David Cash didn’t do this and he is definitely not the only bystander to do so. People need to break out of the bystander effect and stop overthinking what to do in a crisis and just stand up. We all have the obligation to stand up against what is wrong and not be that bystander.


I think a very good point both you and 239bid0073 made is that Cash “should have thought about the little girl, his best friend, and himself”. While looking further into David Cash’s thought process, the question of what happens in the future to all 3 subjects is raised. As mentioned in the article, “The Trick to Acting Heroically”, the game theory model known as “the envelope game” answers the question about what the future holds. The model displays the fact that instinctually stepping up and providing aid, even if the aid seems small, can turn out to have an enormous positive impact. If David Cash made the right decision that night, he would have been deemed a hero, his wrong decision cost him his identity of a good person. Cash should have thought about Sherrice and how she needed help; David’s aid would have had a momentous positive effect on an innocent girl's life, which is now gone.

orangerug29
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 3

Originally posted by soleilmagic on September 24, 2020 13:59

As Jeremy Strohmeyer sexually assaulted and murdered 7 year old Sherrice Iverson, his best friend, David Cash, was aware of what was happening and made no attempt to stop Jeremy but instead just walked out of the bathroom and left Jeremy alone with the 7 year old. Already the fact that David made no verbal attempt to cease Jeremy’s sickening behavior should be reason enough to give him some form of punishment, but 22 minutes later when Jeremy left the bathroom and Sherrice never did, Jeremy confessed to his best friend that he murdered that little girl, and then again David did not report the murder he continued his evening and went out to more casinos with his friend, now murderer, his excuse was “not wanting to believe his friend did that” even after he clearly confessed to him. David could be labeled a bystander in this case, which is often a position as bad as the pursuer, he left Sherrice Iverson alone with Jeremy in that bathroom when he could have stopped his friend, or went and got help, he could have saved that little girl, but he didn’t.

In the short reading by Judy Harris, “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age,” WBUR Cognoscenti, June 5, 2015, Harris tells the story of a fire occurring on the 3rd story of a triple decker in Jamaica Plain, Boston, a heroic man ran towards the house and alerted all the tenants thankfully having everyone get out before people were injured, as he ran there he noticed there were no emergency vehicles there yet but he saw a bystander filming the fire and trying to get a good angle. That bystander felt it was more important to film the fire than go try and save a life and warm people of the fire. That man filming the fire is nowhere as accountable as David Cash and what he watched and walked away from but they are similar in a way.

David Cash should be held responsible in a way for Sherrice Iverson’s sexual assault and murder because he knowing allowed it to happen and didn’t bother to report it. In the reading by Erez Yoeli and David Rand, “The Trick to Acting Heroically,” New York Times, August 28, 2015, the authors describe many situations where “heros” acted fast and intuitively during a situation that needed their help, I think David Cash should read this passage in order to understand what he should have done the morning he allowed for a 7 year old girl to be raped and murdered. The man recording the fire should have called emergency services or tried to warn the tenants, Cash should have stopped his friend, all witnesses have an obligation when witnessing any situation but some are more severe than others.

The point you mentioned about David making “no verbal attempt to cease Jeremy’s sickening behavior” is something very important to acknowledge. Cash was completely aware of what was happening to Sherrice. He should have felt confident enough to stand up to his best friend and demand he stop, yet David’s cowardliness cost an innocent girl's life. Another point that emphasizes David Cash’s guiltiness, is that he should have felt strongly enough about how horrible the act of rape and murder on a seven year old girl is. With Cash being aware of the crime taking place, he is automatically guilty. I completely agree with you, soleilmagic, David’s actions require punishment.

mcsd153
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

Ignorance is Bliss

In my mind, the “Dilemma of the Bad Samaritan” is simple, David Cash was wrong, and should face punishment for his colossal negligence. Sherrice Iverson could have returned back to her family that night, and most likely still be here today to tell the story of that unfortunate night. At no point was it too late to stop Strohmeyer or turn him into the police. I believe that Cash should have stopped his friend the moment he saw him walk into the women’s bathroom, following a young girl 10 years younger than him.

As mentioned in “ The Samaritan’s Dilemma: Should the Government Help Your Neighbor “ by Deborah Stone, in situations that many people witness at once, people can comfort themselves for not doing anything by assuming someone else will. For example, in the “ Nightmare on the 36 Bus” reported on by Brian McGrory, 10 or more people watched an 8 year old boy get beaten to the ground by a much older man. They stood there, feeling that it either wasn't their place, or that they didn't want to be the one to help, assuming someone would have a burst of courage and take the man down. While that logic is also flawed, it does not apply to this situation. David Cash was Sherrice’s only hope, her only chance of survival.

I believe that we have an obligation to act most of the time, unless it poses an immense threat to your safety. You should intervene if you can, or at least call an authority to help. I do think this has some contingencies though. If you know that you have the ability to prevent something from going extremely downhill, take action. However, not every single person can be held to the same standards. For example, if David Cash was not a 17 year old boy but instead a young child witnessing the assault, I would not hold them responsible for not standing up to Jeremy Strohmeyer, since their life could be at risk too. But Cash was not only Jeremy’s size and age, but his best friend.

I firmly believe that David Cash could have saved Sherrice’s life that night, and for that he should be condemned. This dilemma serves to teach us all a lesson; do everything you can, whether it be intervening yourself or calling 911 for help. While it may not always change the outcome of the situation, at least you know that you chose bravery over ignorance. Your actions have power, and that stands true for David Cash, the witnesses on the 36 bus that cold Wednesday night, or the neighbors of Kitty Genovese. They chose to stay silent, to turn a blind eye, resulting in innocent people’s agony.

mcsd153
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

Originally posted by butterfly123 on September 24, 2020 13:51

The Dilemma of the Bad Samaritan is a very interesting dilemma especially in the case of David Cash. To start I will say that I 100% agree with 239b8d0073 that ‘the fact that he has not been charged is a loss for humanity’. David Cash was definitely partially responsible for the death of Sherrice and has no excuse for his action. He saw his friend about to rape and murder a seven year old girl, and walked away. That is inexcusable. As ‘The Trick to Acting Heroically’ points out, and as 239b8d0073 also mentioned, deciding to act heroically does not normally require thought. It is a split second decision that people make to help someone in need.


So, the question that must be asked is why didn’t David Cash help Sherrice, a child in need? The reasons that someone decides to be a bystander can vary. Maybe one fears for their own safety or wellbeing, or freezes up in high pressure situations instead of acting like some people do. However after David Cash left the bathroom, 22 minutes passed before Jeremy came out. That’s 22 minutes where even if for some reason he had failed his duty as a human being and a member of society to stop Jeremy before he hurt Sherrice, he could’ve called for help, gone back into the bathroom, told somebody else, and possibly saved her life.


One of the most confusing parts of this situation is David Cash’s thoughts after. In ‘Nightmare on the 36 Bus,’ Auclair was distraught after he had failed to act and save a little boy from an abusive man. However, in the interviews Cash has done, it is relatively clear that he wasn’t guilty or regretful about his actions. It is important to recognize that in our lives almost all of us have been a bystander at some point. However most people are filled with regret, and use those experiences to remind themselves to do better next time. As people it is our duty to help others the same way you would want others to help you, so by not intervening David Cash not only failed Sherrice but he failed humanity by deciding to walk away.

I agree, why did Cash feel no remorse? Especially since "That’s 22 minutes where even if for some reason he had failed his duty as a human being and a member of society to stop Jeremy before he hurt Sherrice, he could’ve called for help, gone back into the bathroom, told somebody else, and possibly saved her life." like butterfly123 said. It perplexes me how David Cash really was not able to recognize that he is just as guilty as Jeremy is, and should have been punished for that. How was he able to just remove himself from the situation like that with no second guessing?

razzledazzle8
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 15

Originally posted by soleilmagic on September 24, 2020 13:59

As Jeremy Strohmeyer sexually assaulted and murdered 7 year old Sherrice Iverson, his best friend, David Cash, was aware of what was happening and made no attempt to stop Jeremy but instead just walked out of the bathroom and left Jeremy alone with the 7 year old. Already the fact that David made no verbal attempt to cease Jeremy’s sickening behavior should be reason enough to give him some form of punishment, but 22 minutes later when Jeremy left the bathroom and Sherrice never did, Jeremy confessed to his best friend that he murdered that little girl, and then again David did not report the murder he continued his evening and went out to more casinos with his friend, now murderer, his excuse was “not wanting to believe his friend did that” even after he clearly confessed to him. David could be labeled a bystander in this case, which is often a position as bad as the pursuer, he left Sherrice Iverson alone with Jeremy in that bathroom when he could have stopped his friend, or went and got help, he could have saved that little girl, but he didn’t.

In the short reading by Judy Harris, “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age,” WBUR Cognoscenti, June 5, 2015, Harris tells the story of a fire occurring on the 3rd story of a triple decker in Jamaica Plain, Boston, a heroic man ran towards the house and alerted all the tenants thankfully having everyone get out before people were injured, as he ran there he noticed there were no emergency vehicles there yet but he saw a bystander filming the fire and trying to get a good angle. That bystander felt it was more important to film the fire than go try and save a life and warm people of the fire. That man filming the fire is nowhere as accountable as David Cash and what he watched and walked away from but they are similar in a way.

David Cash should be held responsible in a way for Sherrice Iverson’s sexual assault and murder because he knowing allowed it to happen and didn’t bother to report it. In the reading by Erez Yoeli and David Rand, “The Trick to Acting Heroically,” New York Times, August 28, 2015, the authors describe many situations where “heros” acted fast and intuitively during a situation that needed their help, I think David Cash should read this passage in order to understand what he should have done the morning he allowed for a 7 year old girl to be raped and murdered. The man recording the fire should have called emergency services or tried to warn the tenants, Cash should have stopped his friend, all witnesses have an obligation when witnessing any situation but some are more severe than others.

I first of all want to say that I agree with everything you said. I really want to emphasize on one of the points you made. That point would be how David didn't report Jeremy because “his excuse was ‘not wanting to believe his friend did that’’. This shows that David didn’t really think of anything involving serious consequences. He didn’t think about the 7 year old girl that his best friend just raped and murdered and how much that would hurt her family. The behavior of David Cash shouldn’t be labeled as a bystander but a criminal, like soleilmagic said. He could’ve saved Sherrice from dying and basically let Jeremy kill that poor little girl. This shows how much damage being a bystander could do.

I also thought it was really important how you tied David Cash into “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age” article. I agree how two situations can be completely different but still be similar. Bystanders are all the same in a way, just some are experiencing much more intense and horrific events like David Cash. But that comparison shows how every type of bystander needs to stand up for what is right.


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