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finn2510
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 15

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?




I agree with you completely. I understand that they are best friends and that Cash trusted Jeremy, but in a situation like this, that relationship should be out the window and Cash should be thinking of saving Sherrice's life. Though they are best friends, their friendship should not have blinded David, he should have seen his actions and noticed that something was not right with Jeremy. Though separated by stalls, surely something more could be done than "a look." I also feel that maybe peer pressure could have played a part in this. How would his friends at home feel if he reported Jeremy? How would Jeremy feel if he reported him?

TraderJoe's
Posts: 16

Originally posted by finn2510 on September 28, 2020 07:47

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.

Post your response here.

I agree with your statement "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," which I think poses the question "at what point or to what extent is it justifiable to be a bystander in a situation." When it comes to the case of George Floyd and many were seen circling around him documenting the situation, was it justifiable then to be a bystander as the risk factor of also getting beaten was too high? What point should you put yourself in danger to save another?

TraderJoe's
Posts: 16

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 liked that you brought up race as another factor in Cash's negligence to the situation. I was thinking the same thing! I think something to explore in this case was Cash's implicit racial bias. Young white girls are often seen as innocent and pure while young black girls are seen as "ghetto" or loud. His implicit bias could've weighed in on his decision on whether or not to help Sherrice. It could've been easier to not care for her life with these racial stereotypes in his subconscious and trust his white friend instead.

rhiannon04
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

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.

Thanks for this perspective because I hadn't really thought of it before! Our generation tends to records thing rather than actually living in the moment. Whether that's recording videos at concerts or being on your phone around friends, being on our phones has definitely become the priority for most. This exposes something much darker. When we see something bad happening to someone our first reaction is to record rather than to actual help out. I think for the most part people step in when necessary, but it isn't at all a reach to say that so many things could've been prevented if people actually stepped in rather than trying to be the person who gets the recording of an event.

rhiannon04
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

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 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." This is an extremely important point especially in 2020 with the Black Lives Matter Movement and more specifically the Breonna Taylor case. With Breonna Taylor, the officer wasn't charged with the murder of Taylor, a young black woman, rather he was charged for firing into the walls of another home. It just goes to show how our justice system prioritizes property over a black life and black lives rarely get justice just like with Sherrie Iverson and David Cash.

rhiannon04
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

"Minding your own business," isn't an excuse

Sherrice Iverson should be alive today. On May 27, 1995, David Cash should've stopped his friend Jeremy Strohmeyer from assaulting and killing a 7 year old girl. The nature of being a bystander is inherently bad, but when someone confesses to assaulting and murdering a child directly to you and you had knowledge of those crimes before they occurred, and you did absolutely nothing to stop it, you are just as sick as the person who directly committed the crimes.” The Samaritan's Dilemma,” By Deborah StoneI highlights how it is human nature to step in when witnessing something bad. More specifically, it highlights a story of two tow workers witnessing someone attack a woman. They stepped in without even thinking of the consequences. They saw something bad happening and they decided to step in. That is what David Cash should've done. The Samaritan's Dilemma makes it very clear how the majority of people instantly rush to help those in need so hearing David cash's story is just chilling. It's terrifying that someone could be aware of such cruel things going on and then decide to turn a blind eye because they don’t believe it’s their business. A similar situation occurred on an MBTA bus on January 25, 2000. A man and a boy boarded a bus along with about 6 other passengers. After originally sitting away from each other, the man grabs the boy and starts beating him. A man on the bus thinks to help, but inevitably doesn’t because he believed it to be a private matter between a father and son and he thought he had no business getting involved. It’s just scary how people would rather mind their own business when witnessing someone being attacked than “impose” and get involved in someone’s business. It is my opinion that it is everybody’s obligation to step in when witnessing someone in need. If involving yourself will put yourself in harm’s way, it is your obligation to get someone else who could help. To turn a blind eye to someone suffering in front of your very own eyes is cruel and unjust

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