posts 46 - 60 of 66
Regina_Phalange
Boston, Massachussetts
Posts: 11

Just help people

It is undeniable that the actions of both Jeremy Strohmeyer and David Cash were despicable on the night of Sherrice Iverson’s murder. Broski expressed that David Cash took 22 minutes to leave Jeremy Strohmeyer alone with Sherrice Iverson, to reflect on the situation and think about if what was happening was even real. I disagree with this point of view, because I believe that David Cash’s actions that night were not to reflect, but to disassociate himself completely with the situation. Where I do agree with Broski is that Cash completely disregarded the life of Sherrice Iverson, and failed to view the impact of his actions, and if he did know the impact, he just did not care.

In that situation, David cash had the moral obligation to intervene as soon as he saw that the seven year old girl was defenseless against the much older Jeremy Strohmeyer. If he did not want to intervene, at the very least he should have reported jeremy when he found out about the murder. In this situation, intervening would not have been that difficult, and reporting Strohmeyer to the police was perfectly easy as well. I believe that Cash assisted in the murder by leaving the bathroom in the first place and not doing anything to stop this. Because of that he should be convicted. In other situations, intervening is more difficult, such as when someone is held at gunpoint, and in those situations not intervening is more understandable, and contacting the authorities would be more reasonable. I think that people should do what is in their power when they see injustice happening.

The article “The Trick to acting Heroically” talks about how people tend to be heroic, do not think about it, they just act. It explains that a reason for this could be that they feel rewarded by helping others, like when people deem them kind and trustworthy. It is possible that in this situation, Cash did not care about seeming heroic because of the fact that he did not care about Sherrice Iverson’s life, whether it is because of her race or otherwise. I believe that race is clearly a factor here, because both Strohmeyer and Cash were white. I don't think Cash even thought he would get in trouble, because this country always values white lives over black lives, and always gives white people the benefit of the doubt. Also, bystanders often overanalyze the impact that helping will have on themself, or what they will lose by helping, rather than what the other person will gain.

Also, as SlothsPoopOnceAWeek explained, “The Bystander Effect in the CellPhone Age” demonstrates the fact that today, people rely on everyone else to act, rather than actually taking initiative themselves. This is shown through a fire, when people do not act, but take videos. In Cash’s case, he did not want to be the one to report his friend, meaning he thought that someone else would eventually, but he did not want to. His nonchalant attitude showed such incredible selfishness and disregard for human life. It is easy to be a bystander and wait for someone else to act, but if that person will greatly benefit from your help, then you should do what you can.

Hector_Zeroni
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

In response to Dolphin42

Originally posted by Dolphin42 on September 27, 2020 20:18

On a trip to Los Vegas, David Cash had taken on the role of a bystander while his friend Jeremy Strohmeyer sexually assaulted and murdered seven-year-old Sherrice Iverson. At the age of eighteen, David Cash should know how to decipher what is the right thing to do even if it involves his friend. There were many opportunities for David Cash to take action but he didn’t. Maybe it’s because he didn’t believe at that time that his best friend would do such horrible things or maybe he didn’t want to get involved in the situation. But the fact that he knew what Jeremy was going to do to Sherrice and didn’t do anything to stop him automatically makes him responsible for the death of Sherrice Iverson. Even when Jeremy told David afterward that he had in fact killed Sherrice, David did not report this to anyone and continued to play at the casinos with Jeremy. The lack of empathy was shown in the interview with David Cash when he felt no remorse for his failure to take action. David only thought of himself and how it would affect Jeremy if he were to report him. He didn’t consider the feeling of Sherrice Iverson’s family when they discovered that their daughter had been raped and murdered while it could have been avoided.

If a person were to witness another wrong, they are obligated to intervene by stopping the person or by reporting it to the authorities. In this case, David Cash is obligated to stop his friend from committing the act or to report it to another responsible adult and let them handle it. In addition, there should have been security guards or other adults at the casino who witnessed the eighteen-year-old boy following a little girl into the bathroom but no one stepped in or questioned his actions. In the article “The Bystander Effect In The Cellphone Age” by Judy Harris, the author described an event where there was a fire but the bystanders were taking pictures of the incident instead of warning the residents in the building about the fire. Especially in the age of cell phones and social media, people have less empathy toward other people if the situation doesn’t involve them. Of course, if the fire became too dangerous for them to step in and help, it is understandable. But if the fire was not widespread, then they are obligated to intervene.

There isn’t a rule for when a person should step in, but in my opinion, they should take action if they have the ability to help others without putting themselves in danger. This also applies differently depending on the age of the witness and the same standard should not be applied to a little kid as an adult. In the article “The Trick to Acting Heroically” by Erez Yoeli and David Rand, it talks about a heroic instinct that derives from simple actions of kindness that require very little cost and have very beneficial results. David Cash was an adult when the situation occurred and he has the ability to tell his friend to stop and/or to tell another adult to step in with little to no cost. He should have stepped in and told Jeremy to stop if he wanted the best for his friend, then the death of Sherrice should have been avoided and his friend wouldn’t have to go to prison.

I think I’m just going to play Devil’s advocate here since I don’t simply want to state that I agree with what you have written (which I do). What I am about to say isn’t something I necessarily stand by but something that I did think about while writing my reactions to the video on David Cash.

You have stated that there is an obligation to help someone if that person, in question, was in any sort of danger. Legally speaking, there is no obligation to do so, and you’ve made that clear by saying, “There isn’t a rule for when a person should step in,” but what about moral obligations? That is a lot more tricky as everyone is different. While your moral compass may suggest that you should help someone who is in danger, this may not be the case for David Cash. Should he be at fault for not bearing the same moral compass that you possess that allows you to act when evil acts are being committed? This is 2020 and we live in the city of Boston. The world we live in right now is different from the world David Cash lived in back in 1997. What about the moral compass that may have existed back in 1997? Should he be at fault for not bearing the same moral compass that others in 1997 in Nevada carried? Well, think about this. You mentioned that he held no empathy when it came to the interview that he had. He showed this by having no remorse over the death of Sherrice Iverson. Could it be possible that he may very well be a sociopath or something similar to that? I’m not saying that he is, and I hold no power over diagnosing him as such, but is it possible that he may not be as mentally capable of making rational decisions? Is it possible that his inability to empathize may be uncontrollable? Should he be at fault for something he had no control over? What about this. The video mentions how David Cash’s father brought the boys over to that casino. These teenage boys were inside a casino at 3AM in the morning without any adult supervision. Cash’s father, by bringing these two over to the casino, is legally responsible for these two as they were only 18, and anyone under the age of 21 in a casino in Nevada needs to be supervised extensively by the adult, over the age of 21, that brought them there. However, Cash’s father did not do this. He simply neglected the boys and let them do whatever they wanted. The very fact the father neglected them could be a reason for the way Cash is today. Perhaps he grew up in a world where his parental figures didn’t care all that much about what he did, and they didn’t do enough for Cash to develop a moral compass allowing him to realize he needs to do something when someone is in danger. Given how his father neglected him while at the casino, he probably thought it would simply be okay to just neglect Sherrice Iverson in her time of need.

._____________.
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 4

The trouble with Johnny Cash

I personally don’t think there shouldn't be any obligations on a witness to report something, in a legal sense. I just think there could be other aspects that could affect whether someone reports a crime, such as threats of violence and if they are found innocent, you now have some responsibility you have to uphold, which could all affect your decision to report a crime. However, from a moral perspective of course you should report a crime however again that can’t be applicable to everyone, like how I wouldn’t report a crime of vandalism on my best friend.


However murder is a bit different, because you know, it’s murder. However again I personally wouldn’t be able to fathom my best friend being both a pedofile and a murderer. I would’ve assumed he was pulling some super edgy humor. But again I do believe it’s not a stretch to make Cash have some responsibility in Sherrice’s death (even if I think labeling him an accomplice is a bit too far).


So in the case of Johnny Cash I do think given the situation he wasn’t obligated to tell on his friend but I 100% believe he should’ve stopped him in the bathroom. It really just shows lowkey how spineless he is to see a 7 year old getting strangled and just be like “this is fine” cause there isn’t a scenario where he should’ve left that bathroom without his friend.

Hector_Zeroni
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

In response to Regina_Phalange

Originally posted by Regina_Phalange on September 27, 2020 21:43

It is undeniable that the actions of both Jeremy Strohmeyer and David Cash were despicable on the night of Sherrice Iverson’s murder. Broski expressed that David Cash took 22 minutes to leave Jeremy Strohmeyer alone with Sherrice Iverson, to reflect on the situation and think about if what was happening was even real. I disagree with this point of view, because I believe that David Cash’s actions that night were not to reflect, but to disassociate himself completely with the situation. Where I do agree with Broski is that Cash completely disregarded the life of Sherrice Iverson, and failed to view the impact of his actions, and if he did know the impact, he just did not care.

In that situation, David cash had the moral obligation to intervene as soon as he saw that the seven year old girl was defenseless against the much older Jeremy Strohmeyer. If he did not want to intervene, at the very least he should have reported jeremy when he found out about the murder. In this situation, intervening would not have been that difficult, and reporting Strohmeyer to the police was perfectly easy as well. I believe that Cash assisted in the murder by leaving the bathroom in the first place and not doing anything to stop this. Because of that he should be convicted. In other situations, intervening is more difficult, such as when someone is held at gunpoint, and in those situations not intervening is more understandable, and contacting the authorities would be more reasonable. I think that people should do what is in their power when they see injustice happening.

The article “The Trick to acting Heroically” talks about how people tend to be heroic, do not think about it, they just act. It explains that a reason for this could be that they feel rewarded by helping others, like when people deem them kind and trustworthy. It is possible that in this situation, Cash did not care about seeming heroic because of the fact that he did not care about Sherrice Iverson’s life, whether it is because of her race or otherwise. I believe that race is clearly a factor here, because both Strohmeyer and Cash were white. I don't think Cash even thought he would get in trouble, because this country always values white lives over black lives, and always gives white people the benefit of the doubt. Also, bystanders often overanalyze the impact that helping will have on themself, or what they will lose by helping, rather than what the other person will gain.

Also, as SlothsPoopOnceAWeek explained, “The Bystander Effect in the CellPhone Age” demonstrates the fact that today, people rely on everyone else to act, rather than actually taking initiative themselves. This is shown through a fire, when people do not act, but take videos. In Cash’s case, he did not want to be the one to report his friend, meaning he thought that someone else would eventually, but he did not want to. His nonchalant attitude showed such incredible selfishness and disregard for human life. It is easy to be a bystander and wait for someone else to act, but if that person will greatly benefit from your help, then you should do what you can.

I find it interesting how you bring up race as being a possible reason as to why Cash simply refused to do what he had the power to do to help Sherrice Iverson. It was something I didn’t pay much attention to at first as I didn’t see much evidence to suggest that race played a role. Perhaps it’s possible that Strohmeyer may have chosen Iverson because of her skin color. Maybe the fact that he played a game with her prior to doing what he did may have also been racially motivated in some way.

Dolphin42
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

Originally posted by Hector_Zeroni on September 27, 2020 21:46

Originally posted by Dolphin42 on September 27, 2020 20:18

On a trip to Los Vegas, David Cash had taken on the role of a bystander while his friend Jeremy Strohmeyer sexually assaulted and murdered seven-year-old Sherrice Iverson. At the age of eighteen, David Cash should know how to decipher what is the right thing to do even if it involves his friend. There were many opportunities for David Cash to take action but he didn’t. Maybe it’s because he didn’t believe at that time that his best friend would do such horrible things or maybe he didn’t want to get involved in the situation. But the fact that he knew what Jeremy was going to do to Sherrice and didn’t do anything to stop him automatically makes him responsible for the death of Sherrice Iverson. Even when Jeremy told David afterward that he had in fact killed Sherrice, David did not report this to anyone and continued to play at the casinos with Jeremy. The lack of empathy was shown in the interview with David Cash when he felt no remorse for his failure to take action. David only thought of himself and how it would affect Jeremy if he were to report him. He didn’t consider the feeling of Sherrice Iverson’s family when they discovered that their daughter had been raped and murdered while it could have been avoided.

If a person were to witness another wrong, they are obligated to intervene by stopping the person or by reporting it to the authorities. In this case, David Cash is obligated to stop his friend from committing the act or to report it to another responsible adult and let them handle it. In addition, there should have been security guards or other adults at the casino who witnessed the eighteen-year-old boy following a little girl into the bathroom but no one stepped in or questioned his actions. In the article “The Bystander Effect In The Cellphone Age” by Judy Harris, the author described an event where there was a fire but the bystanders were taking pictures of the incident instead of warning the residents in the building about the fire. Especially in the age of cell phones and social media, people have less empathy toward other people if the situation doesn’t involve them. Of course, if the fire became too dangerous for them to step in and help, it is understandable. But if the fire was not widespread, then they are obligated to intervene.

There isn’t a rule for when a person should step in, but in my opinion, they should take action if they have the ability to help others without putting themselves in danger. This also applies differently depending on the age of the witness and the same standard should not be applied to a little kid as an adult. In the article “The Trick to Acting Heroically” by Erez Yoeli and David Rand, it talks about a heroic instinct that derives from simple actions of kindness that require very little cost and have very beneficial results. David Cash was an adult when the situation occurred and he has the ability to tell his friend to stop and/or to tell another adult to step in with little to no cost. He should have stepped in and told Jeremy to stop if he wanted the best for his friend, then the death of Sherrice should have been avoided and his friend wouldn’t have to go to prison.

I think I’m just going to play Devil’s advocate here since I don’t simply want to state that I agree with what you have written (which I do). What I am about to say isn’t something I necessarily stand by but something that I did think about while writing my reactions the video on David Cash.

You have stated that there is an obligation to help someone if that person, in question, was in any sort of danger. Legally speaking, there is no obligation to do so, and you’ve made that clear by saying, “There isn’t a rule for when a person should step in,” but what about moral obligations? That is a lot more tricky as everyone is different. While your moral compass may suggest that you should help someone who is in danger, this may not be the case for David Cash. Should he be at fault for not bearing the same moral compass that you possess that allows you to act when evil acts are being committed? This is 2020 and we live in the city of Boston. The world we live in right now is different from the world David Cash lived in back in 1997. What about the moral compass that may have existed back in 1997? Should he be at fault for not bearing the same moral compass that others in 1997 in Nevada carried? Well, think about this. You mentioned that he held no empathy when it came to the interview that he had. He showed this by having no remorse over the death of Sherrice Iverson. Could it be possible that he may very well be a sociopath or something similar to that? I’m not saying that he is, and I hold no power over diagnosing him as such, but is it possible that he may not be as mentally capable of making rational decisions? Is it possible that his inability to empathize may be uncontrollable? Should he be at fault for something he had no control over? What about this. The video mentions how David Cash’s father brought the boys over to that casino. These teenage boys were inside a casino at 3AM in the morning without any adult supervision. Cash’s father, by bringing these two over to the casino, is legally responsible for these two as they were only 18, and anyone under the age of 21 in a casino in Nevada needs to be supervised extensively by the adult, over the age of 21, that brought them there. However, Cash’s father did not do this. He simply neglected the boys and let them do whatever they wanted. The very fact the father neglected them could be a reason for the way Cash is today. Perhaps he grew up in a world where his parental figures didn’t care all that much about what he did, and they didn’t do enough for Cash to develop a moral compass allowing him to realize he needs to do something when someone is in danger. Given how his father neglected him while at the casino, he probably thought it would simply be okay to just neglect Sherrice Iverson in her time of need.

Hello, I think that your questions are very interesting and it poses the question of is it okay to apply our own moral compass onto others' actions and judge them based on the little information that was given to us. We have no way of knowing the environment in which Jeremy Strohmeyer and David Cash grew up in and if their actions were a result their parent's negligence, people around them, or that they were sociopaths. Based on the reaction of the students from the university that David Cash attended, one could assume that the moral compass back in 1997 is similar to the one in 2020. But of course, everyone sees things differently based on their experiences so their moral compass also differ. We could say that David Cash's father is also responsible for the death of Sherrice Iverson for his negligence of David Cash and Jeremy Strohmeyer, at the same time, we could also say that Sherrice Iverson's father is responsible for his negligence of his daughter (not that I'm trying to excuse the actions of David and Jeremy). I don't think bringing a seven-year-old girl to a casino is a good idea and how did her father not realize that two boys had followed his daughter in to the restroom? Sherrice Iverson should be under her father's supervision at all times especially in a place in the casino where there is a lot of drunken adults. The society today is very quick to judge others based on others' actions and the same thing that happened in 1997 can still happen in 2020. Except now that there is legal consequences for witnessing a crime and not reporting it. Again, is it okay for us to place our moral compass on others without knowing the full story? Why is the society so quick to judge others despite not knowing the people involved personally?

Wyverary
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

Bad Samaritans

In the case of the murder of Sherrice Iverson, David Cash is clearly a “bad samaritan”. Not only was he unwilling to prevent the murder of a young girl, but after his friend confessed, he didn’t turn him in. According to David, it was not his responsibility to help Sherrice, because he did not know her personally. Nearly everyone who heard about the incident, however, disagreed. In fact, even though Cash could not be charged because he had not broken any Nevada laws at the time, the legislature soon passed a law in Iverson’s honor requiring that anyone who witnessed a physical assault report it to the police.

I, too, believe that Cash was obliged to not only report Sherrice’s murder, but to stop Jeremy’s assault on her while it was still in progress. I think that the only time it is acceptable for someone to not intervene in such situations is if to do so would put them in serious danger, although people should be willing to risk their safety for others. However, David was not at all in danger; even if he was too scared to physically confront his friend, he could have notified one of the nearby security guards who could have easily stopped the assault. As a member of society, anyone who witnessed such an assault must consider themselves bound to, at bare minimum, alert authorites, regardless of what the law is.

Fortunately, people such as David Cash are far from the rule; in fact, that is what makes cases such as his so infamous. Almost every day, as Deborah Stone writes in The Samaritan’s Dilemma, there is a new local headline about a woman saving a child from drowning, or a man stopping an assault by an armed mugger. Only rarely do cases such as Sherrice Iverson’s murder surface, as there are relatively few times that people would choose not to act in such situations. Moreover, most of these situations are a result of the bystander effect (explored in “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age”). Bystanders choose not to act only because they are sure someone else will, allowing doubt to overcome their sense of duty to fellow humans. Their instincts are muddled and confused, rather than self-absorbed.


Wyverary
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

Reply

Originally posted by Regina_Phalange on September 27, 2020 21:43

It is undeniable that the actions of both Jeremy Strohmeyer and David Cash were despicable on the night of Sherrice Iverson’s murder. Broski expressed that David Cash took 22 minutes to leave Jeremy Strohmeyer alone with Sherrice Iverson, to reflect on the situation and think about if what was happening was even real. I disagree with this point of view, because I believe that David Cash’s actions that night were not to reflect, but to disassociate himself completely with the situation. Where I do agree with Broski is that Cash completely disregarded the life of Sherrice Iverson, and failed to view the impact of his actions, and if he did know the impact, he just did not care.

In that situation, David cash had the moral obligation to intervene as soon as he saw that the seven year old girl was defenseless against the much older Jeremy Strohmeyer. If he did not want to intervene, at the very least he should have reported jeremy when he found out about the murder. In this situation, intervening would not have been that difficult, and reporting Strohmeyer to the police was perfectly easy as well. I believe that Cash assisted in the murder by leaving the bathroom in the first place and not doing anything to stop this. Because of that he should be convicted. In other situations, intervening is more difficult, such as when someone is held at gunpoint, and in those situations not intervening is more understandable, and contacting the authorities would be more reasonable. I think that people should do what is in their power when they see injustice happening.

The article “The Trick to acting Heroically” talks about how people tend to be heroic, do not think about it, they just act. It explains that a reason for this could be that they feel rewarded by helping others, like when people deem them kind and trustworthy. It is possible that in this situation, Cash did not care about seeming heroic because of the fact that he did not care about Sherrice Iverson’s life, whether it is because of her race or otherwise. I believe that race is clearly a factor here, because both Strohmeyer and Cash were white. I don't think Cash even thought he would get in trouble, because this country always values white lives over black lives, and always gives white people the benefit of the doubt. Also, bystanders often overanalyze the impact that helping will have on themself, or what they will lose by helping, rather than what the other person will gain.

Also, as SlothsPoopOnceAWeek explained, “The Bystander Effect in the CellPhone Age” demonstrates the fact that today, people rely on everyone else to act, rather than actually taking initiative themselves. This is shown through a fire, when people do not act, but take videos. In Cash’s case, he did not want to be the one to report his friend, meaning he thought that someone else would eventually, but he did not want to. His nonchalant attitude showed such incredible selfishness and disregard for human life. It is easy to be a bystander and wait for someone else to act, but if that person will greatly benefit from your help, then you should do what you can.

I agree that David Cash was essentially an accessory to murder by not reporting his friend, and even witnessing part of Iverson's assault. And that even if he did not feel comfortable physically intervening, he could have easily notified security guards at zero risk to himself. I particularly liked your phrase " I think that people should do what is in their power when they see injustice happening." Even if it is not in someone's power to "be a hero" and single handedly take down a criminal, they can always contact authorities or ask for help, or just do anything to help those experiencing violence or injustice.

Wyverary
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

Reply

Originally posted by ThankYouFive on September 27, 2020 17:25

As stated in “The Trick to Acting Heroically,” most people who decide to help others, in situations that are often life or death, will make those decisions instinctually, with little thought or consideration. Despite this fact, people who help others are always heroes, because they are willing to make a potential sacrifice in order to do the right thing. The opposite is true as well. When David Cash was watching Jeremy Strohmeyer assault Sherrice Iverson, it is most likely that he made a split decision on how to react, despite having more than enough time to intervene and potentially save Sherrice Iverson’s life. Unfortunately, he made the wrong decision, and decided to do nothing. For this reason, David Cash is no better than Jeremy Strohmeyer. In situations like this one, every person has a moral obligation to step in and do the right thing, yet so many people choose to be like the man photographing the fire as described in “The Bystander Effect in the Cell Phone Age,” to do nothing as a great tragedy is occurring.

I believe that there should be laws put in place that punish bystanders as well as the criminal, because if the bystanders had chosen to act, then the crime may have never been committed in the first place. Despite the risk, despite even the threat of death, we must all be willing to stand up for others in the face of danger. I agree with Razzledazzle8 that people “need to be an upstander instead of a bystander no matter how large or how little the crime is.” I believe that most people who are bystanders are scared that they will be hurt, or that they think it is not worth it to try and stand up for victims. It is always worth it to save another person, no matter the cost.

I found it interesting when Orangerug29 said that “David Cash doesn’t have this moral compass, which should have been the factor governing him to help Sherrice.” This made me think about how we need to start teaching people from a very young age about being an upstander, as it is clear that David Cash was never taught this lesson, or he saw it as unimportant. By teaching kids about this responsibility, we would be helping to prevent future tragedies from occurring, as more people would stand up for others. We can’t shelter children from the bad parts of the world, because this will only create more ignorance and lack of empathy.

I loved your point about how just because people often do heroic things instinctively, their actions are no less heroic and they are no less deserving of the title "hero". And I agree that morally David Cash is not better than Jeremy Strohmeyer, because Cash showed zero empathy for another human being experiencing physical assault. Additionally, I think laws should be passed requiring bystanders to act whenever possible, as people should always do as much as they can to help others who are suffering or in great need of assistance.

PatrickStar36
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 4

David Cash the Bad Samaritan


David Cash’s decision to not intervene was wrong and he should receive a punishment similar in severity to his best friend, David Strohmeyer. The morals of David Cash should govern his actions but he only cared about himself. In The Trick to Acting Heroically, people have an instinct to help others. David doesn’t have this instinct and did not care what happened to other people. If he had any morals, he would consider the consequences of not intervening. Sherrice’s life could have saved and his friend might not be in prison.

A person should be obligated to intervene to the best of their ability if they will not be harmed. We should intervene in most cases but sometimes you can't, or it may be better to just let things happen, or you are unsure what to do. If a gang of thugs are trying to mug someone, you wouldn't be able to help since you will be outnumbered. There could be a scenario where multiple people are witnessing a crime and you are not the first person to see it happen. In The Bystander Effect In The Cell Phone Age, some people have the instinct to pull out their phones to record. A call might be made to law enforcement by someone else already however you can’t be certain. It wouldn’t hurt to call for help in this case. If someone is stealing something inexpensive, the better decision to make would be to just ignore it. Do you really want to start a fight over a candy bar?

dailychristmascountdown
Posts: 7

Bystanders and the Disruption of Society

Society is functional only if we help each other. If everybody lived only for themselves, then people would starve, there would be constant fighting, very few would be happy. This is something we all learn when we are very young. Whether or not it is a human instinct to help your neighbor, it is constantly taught and is an observable necessity, especially to someone eighteen years old. David Cash does not have an excuse for ignoring his responsibility to help defenseless Sherrice Iverson. Despite him admitting that he has been called a “textbook sociopath” (video from class), Cash’s mental state did not hinder him from understanding that his friend Jeremy’s actions would harm another, therefore he was still tied to his civil obligation to help Sherrice. There is a difference between those who are incapable of helping others and those who simply do not want to.

The New York Times’ “The Trick to Acting Heroically” describes how many “good samaritans” feel an instinct to help others in danger rather than having assessed the situation and decided to help. “Accidents and Crime Scenes” in Everyday Altruism describes a contradicting motivation when Crispin McKay, who had saved a woman who was shot after he heard a radio call about the situation, explained his hesitation to go help her and only went after he thought about his moral obligations, realizing how he would want his family to be helped. His account displays a more logical outlook on the bystander issue, rather than just having followed a “gut instinct,” and assists the argument that David Cash, who may have no such thing as “gut instinct” still has the obligation to help others.

People pay taxes in order to keep society running. Some may view it as a moral requirement to help everybody in the country and some might just pay them to avoid being sent to prison. Through either motivation, taxes are collected. Bystanders who help others are also necessary to keep society running. This can be viewed as a moral instinct or an action that has to be done to avoid chaos in society. The issue with Cash’s case was that inaction had no legal consequence, and Cash was also seemingly incapable of having moral obligations. In effect, Sherrice Iverson was raped and murdered. This social disruption could have been avoided had there been a heavy consequence for passivity.

Just as all Americans always have an obligation to pay taxes, ignoring those whose income makes them exempt, everybody always has an obligation to stand up for others, excluding some like the handicapped if the situation is physical. People have to help others otherwise our society will fall apart. In this way it does not matter what you perceive as “wrong,” but merely what is beneficial versus what is detrimental. “The Trick to Acting Heroically” explains how good deeds lead to trustworthiness and is mutually beneficial. No one wants to live in a world where the attitude is “everyone for themselves.” Even if it is somewhat selfish, helping others often ensures that help will come back around. This is the attitude that should be encouraged.


I agree with 239bid0073 in that many, many things should have outweighed Cash’s decision of inaction: how it would affect Sherrice, her family, and his future. I did not address these specific considerations because I just assumed that Cash did think about them and merely did not care. I completely agree with you that he is equally guilty for her murder for not standing up. Killers are punished for having no morals and acting in accordance, but people like Cash also need to be punished for having no morals and allowing a killer to persist.


I also agree very much with alberic25 that the article about people being bystanders and recording a fire on their phones rather than helping is significantly less unethical than Cash’s decision to completely ignore Sherrice’s rape and murder. Cash did much more, he actively continued to go around to casinos and school with a murderer. His actions are what make the world significantly more scary.

TraderJoe's
Posts: 12

Practicing Empathy to dictate your actions

In my eyes, I see David Cash as an accomplice to the crime. The way I lead my life and judge the morality of my actions is through empathy and whether or not I practice empathy in certain situations. To the same token, I think empathy for Sherrice Iverson and the ability to look at the bigger picture should have governed Cash’s actions. As “crunchy snowball” best phrased it, “it is our civic duty as human beings to help people if we are able to when they are in trouble.” I will admit, there are definitely gray areas where it’s not as clear cut when to intervene, creating different rules depending on the nature of the wrong. However, if someone is defenseless and in need of immediate help, there should be no question on whether or not you help them.


In David Cash’s specific circumstance, he absolutely should’ve help Sherrice as she was 1) 7 YEARS OLD 2) Defenseless 3) Unable to escape. The way I interpret David Cash’s silence and negligence to the situation is that he found it easier to disassociate from the situation rather than to intervene. Putting myself in his shoes, I think he struggled with the moral dilemma of choosing between a 7 year old girl he never met and his best friend, and decided wholly not to choose whatsoever and leaving the situation. However, not choosing to help is only hurting the victim. This rule is apparent and applied to ““Nightmare on the 36 Bus,” where a young boy was being abused by an older intoxicated man, who may or may not be his father. The other people on the bus watched as the man punched the boy’s nose and no one said a thing. It is easier to disassociate than to intervene. Easier to say “its a family personal matter” and to let go of your responsibility to help someone. The rules to govern the decision to act lie in empathy. Would you have wanted to be the victim in that situation?


I was on the train once as a sixie when an elderly man started harassing me and telling me to go back to my country. Terrified, I just stood there taking in his words. If it weren't for these women who intervened and told the man to stop harassing me, he would've kept going. I'm grateful to them now knowing how it is difficult to intervene and doing so regardless.


After reading The Bystander Effect In The Cellphone Age by Judy Harris, I realized just how common it is for people to sit back and observe difficult situations rather than intervening, especially now. In the article, she describes a house on fire in JP and how instead of coming in to help the family, many idly stood by taking pictures and videos. Documenting events on social media on your phones as a raw and accurate portrayal of what happened is great. But to what point should you stop filming and actually do something? I want to bring up the George Floyd case as in the video there were at least ten people standing around filming, yet 2 or 3 that have actually said something. At that time, everyone held an obligation to act as he was defenseless the same way Cash held that obligation. It’s easier to neglect that responsibility to help someone in the moment when you can document it on your phone to help them later on social media.


Cash’s actions should have been governed by empathy and being able to see the bigger context as he was focused on keeping his best friend safe from prison. As members of the same society, we hold obligation to each other to always act when necessary, when another is in need of help. Being a bystander, the responsibility of helping is rightfully forced onto you. It’s in whether or not you recognize this obligation and help the victim or, like. David Cash, choose to look away.

Regina_Phalange
Boston, Massachussetts
Posts: 11

Originally posted by orangerug29 on September 24, 2020 18:08

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.

I completely agree that in this situation, David Cash had the moral obligation to help Sherrice Iverson. However, I think that other situations are much more difficult and complicated. “The trick to acting Heroically” explains that people who are heroic act without thinking, even if the situation is very dangerous, such as someone being held at gunpoint. I think it is unreasonable to expect people to run up and slap the gun away in that situation.
also, something I found interesting was your connection to “nightmare on the 36 bus”, because I did not read that article, but I was able to relate that to “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age”, where everyone was complacent in a fire because they thought others would help. Tragedy can definitely happen when people do not take initiative, but as I said before, I think it depends on the situation

Regina_Phalange
Boston, Massachussetts
Posts: 11

Originally posted by crunchysnowball on September 24, 2020 21:17

Personally, I see David Cash as guilty and nothing less than that. Many questions arise for me when analyzing the crime. David sees that his friend, Jeremy Strohmeyer, is following seven year old Sherrice Iverson into the women’s restroom. He sees Jeremy using both hands to grab the stomach and mouth of the young girl. He sees the blank and unusual look in his friend’s face. He hears Jeremy confess to his crime of murdering Sherrice and continues on with his night and his life as if nothing had happened. With these facts being true, why did David follow his friend into the women’s restroom? What was he doing in the adjacent stall? Why didn’t he report the crime when he had a confession in the palm of his hand?

David Cash had many opportunities to intervene and keep the situation from happening to begin with or at least lower the tragicness of it all. In the video when he says that he tapped Jeremy on the head and gave him a look and some body language. Yet how could all that be done with the barrier of a stall wall between them? He could have pushed his friend off of the young girl or at the bare minimum report the crime after it had happened. In my eyes, there was no reason not to. However, Cash remarks that he did not know this little girl. Therefore insinuating that it was not his problem to take care of. As someone who witnessed a “wrong”, I feel that he has an obligation to be the messenger at the bare minimum. Did he not feel guilty afterwards when he continued his night on the town? These excuses that he makes about it not being his problem or that he couldn’t believe that his friend had done something like that do not make up for the abundance of opportunities he had to stop this tragic event.

Similarly in The Bystander Effect In The Cellphone Age (WBUR), a true good Samaritan remembers trying to clear the house that was on fire, to save as many people as he could, while there were bystanders filming the whole thing. Had that man not run in to warn those people in the burning building, the bystanders filming would have the same ethical standing as David Cash. They both had the option to stop a bad thing from happening yet they chose to watch it all happen. The amount of time that someone has to react to a bad situation is small, it is instinct and as The Trick to Acting Heroically notes, “the heroes overwhelming described their actions as fast and intuitive, and virtually never as carefully reasoned.”

I feel that as humans we always have the obligation to act against wrongdoings if we have the power to do so. Even if we can deduce David’s non-immediate action to the crime when it was happening to fear or disbelief, how can we morally say that he is not responsible after he waits for his friend for 22 minutes after walking after walking out of the restroom, after the hours of fun he had riding roller coasters, after the hours long drive back from Nevada, or even after the days following the crime before Jeremy was taken into custody?




Thank you for laying out each of the wrongs that David Cash did. Now that I am reading each of those things, it brings up the possibility that he was greater involved than what he said. I just think that in this case, it would have been so easy to act, but the fact that he did not is so I unacceptable. I completely agree that there are some holes in the story that do not add up for me, which led me to believe he was more than a bystander

finn2510
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 11

Act, Then Think

To prevent yourself from being a bystander, you must put others first, then yourself. This is the message of Deborah Stone’s “The Samaritan’s Dilemma: Should the Government Help Your Neighbor?” Though the risk may be immense, when looking back on their actions, many heroes said they would rather do it again and suffer the risk than not do it and have people be in danger. All it takes is one person to significantly change the outcome of an event, no matter the amount of danger they are in.

David Cash watched on as his best friend Jeremy Strohmeyer assaulted 7 year old Sherrice Iverson, doing nothing to try and stop him except “giving him ‘a look.’” David left the bathroom and some 20 minutes later, Strohmeyer exited, committing to Jeremy that he had murdered the young girl. Rather than going to security or reporting the crime, the two teens went to a different casino. With the assistance of security footage, Jeremy was charged with life in prison without parole while Cash gets to walk free. When asked about the experience and why he didn’t turn Jeremy in, Cash answered, explaining how “it was really hard for me to fathom Jeremy as a ‘murderer.’” He also stated that he did not feel bad for Sherrice because there are people dying elsewhere who he does not feel bad for. Cash was a bystander in this case and absolutely could have prevented the rape and murder of Sherrice Iverson.

You’d think that the assault of a child as horrific as this would have elicited some sort of response, but this is sadly sometimes not the case. “Nightmare on the 36 Bus” by Brain McGrory details the events on an MBTA bus in the winter of 2000. Passengers watched in silent awe as the boy was beaten by the older drunk man. Daniel Auclair, a PHd and an eyewitness, even admitted to standing up, but then thought to themself “maybe I’m out of place. Maybe it’s just a family thing and I shouldn’t intervene” and sat back down again. No one did anything to help and eventually the boy got off of the bus alone and with a broken nose, tears streaming down his face. The key difference between Auclair and Cash being bystanders is that Auclair regretted not doing anything.

I believe that there should be a punishment for being a bystander in this case, however, it should depend on the risk factor. The lesser danger it is for them to step in, the more severe the punishment. For example, if Cash acted in this situation, he risks losing his friendship, but could save a life. However, the severity of the punishment does change based on the conditions of the event. For example, Deborah Stone writes about Kendall Eggleston’s sacrifice, which left him partially paralyzed. In a situation like this where there is so much risk in helping, no punishment should be ordered.

finn2510
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 11

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 agree with your point about how Cash should've acted. Even though he didn't want to report Jeremy because he was his best friend and couldn't see him murdering a young girl, he should have thought of the consequences of staying silent. I also found it slightly ironic how he was trying to help his friend by not reporting him, but this landed him in prison for life.

Also your part at the end about being a part of the human race. I feel that this is especially important in times like now, when our country is extremely divided. Cash should've acted to save Sherrice and felt sorry for her instead of feeling no remorse.

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