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dgavin
Posts: 20

Readings:

“Who Can you Count on?” from 20/20 ABC News, August 29, 2003. www.learntoquestion.com/resources/database/archives/001332.html

Matthew Purdy, “Teenage Beer Party, a Punch, and A Choice that Cannot Be Reversed,” New York Times, September 1, 2002. www.learntoquestion.com/resources/database/archives/003398.html

Brian McGrory, “Nightmare on the 36 Bus” Boston Globe, January 25, 2000. www.learntoquestion.com/resources/database/archives/003401.html

Judy Harris, “The Bystander Effect in the Cellphone Age,” WBUR Cognoscenti, June 5, 2015 www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2015/06/05/bystander-effect-cell-phones-judy-harris

Erez Yoeli and David Rand, “The Trick to Acting Heroically,” New York Times, August 28, 2015 www.nytimes.com/2015/08/30/opinion/the-trick-to-acting-heroically.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fgray-matter&_r=0

Deborah Stone, The Samaritan’s Dilemma: Should the Government Help Your Neighbor (New York: Nation Books, 2008), chapter 1 and pp. 128-132. (PDF, available through Google classroom)


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


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”?


Choose 3 of the readings listed above (one is a PDF, and can be found in Google classroom) and integrate what you learn from them into your response. 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.


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).


Finally, a reminder that your identity vessels are due on Friday, September 15. Be sure to bring the volume/vessel with your one-page statement inside it (and make sure your name and section are on both!)…and submit your statement (via Google classroom).

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Cloutqueen101
Posts: 28

This isn't a dilemma....

This isn't a dilemma because what he did was wrong. Plain and simple.

It is the obligation of every citizen to be informed and engaged. Most people act accordingly to the rules that we as a society have created. People should not steal, lie, cheat, kill, so on and so fourth, stand by while their " best friend" rapes and murders a young 7 year old child. As it was said earlier today in class, Cash is equally as guilty for the killing of the girl as well as his friend, due to his lack of action. What should have governed Cash's actions is a moral compass he is so clearly lacking. It is in fact, reprehensible that he was aware of what was about to go down "What is an 18 year old doing in the stall with a young girl, I knew what was going to happen, I knew it was time to get out of there", and still did nothing to stop it, in fact, he heard Jeremy Strohmeyers admission of guilt, looked past it and proceeded to continue into the night. This to me showcases guilt on Cash's side, a clear disregard for the young girl in favor of his friend. A person who witnesses a heinous crime, any crime to some extent has the civic duty as well as a moral duty to report it. It does zero good to anybody other than the perpetuator to leave anything unsaid. However my " to some extent" is qualified by this: I'm talking about serious horrendous crimes that need to be punished, i do not mean for citizens to call the cops on a 4 year old accidentally stealing something and or seeing somebody pee on the street, yes these are technically crimes however petty and unconcerning to the general public. In the articles I read, they mostly showcased that the average person would say that if the time came they would report a crime if seen/ would say something to stop it, however 20/20 testing showed other wise, the real life example of Mr. Viscome showed otherwise and so did Nightmare on the 36 Bus. All people thought to do something, nobody did and to some extent the situations had irreversible repercussions on other lives. Why wouldnt they say anything? What do you lose by standing up for another person? Another life? Wouldnt you want the same if you were that young girl? If you were punched, suffered severe head trauma and all of your "friends" were afraid of getting in trouble? Wouldnt you want to be the person who does the right thing?

Ever since I can remember I thought that if you witnessed a crime and did not report it, then you became an accomplice. I was obviously wrong but this seems like a fault/ loop hole in the law system to some degree as in this case and for example that of Kitty Genovese (stabbed and rapped in the street as neighbors watched) when bystanders did nothing. They could have saved Sherrice Iverson, Kitty, Mr. Viscome, the boy on the bus, if somebody had acted. Where is the line? Should there be new/ more laws that get people in trouble for not responding appropriately...? I feel like maybe it should be situational and to the degree in which the person knew the acts of the crime beforehand. This is all easy to say though, being in a position where I've never had to report anything because I've never really seen a crime, however I would hope that in a bad situation, I would stand up and do the right thing, if it was my best friend or a stranger.

HONESTLY EITHER WAY CASH'S FRIEND WAS GONZO AND WAS GOING TO JAIL ANYWAY I DON'T KNOW WHY HE DIDNT JUST REPORT HIM BECAUSE IT IS HORRENDUS

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orangesaregood
Posts: 30

Whose Fault is It?

As Cloutqueen101 has said, the actions of David Cash were reprehensible. Despite seeing a dangerous situation and crime about to occur, David Cash claimed "I'm not going to get upset over somebody else's life. I just worry about myself first." The lack of sympathy and concern for an impending murder victim, especially that of a child, is mindboggling. Cash advocates focusing on oneself to the disregard of others. Though this can be a helpful coping strategy when there is too much irrelevant sensory information to process around you in everyday life that does not concern you, Cash was not in a situation where there was a great deal of sensory information to process. Cash was not busy and was witnessing his best friend about to murder a young child, yet did nothing to stop it.

I echo Cloutqueen101's sentiment that bystanders should be punished by the law. I cannot believe that David Cash got away unpunished by the legal system because he was not directly involved in the crime. The laws should be changed to implicate witnesses who are able to prevent crimes from happening, but did not do so. There was nothing stopping Cash from intervening except his own selfishness and solipsism. If the same thing were to happen to him and a fellow restroom patron were to casually walk out of a stall, stare at the crime scene, and exit the restroom, how would Cash feel?

From 20/20 ABC News's article, "bystander apathy" is cited as a possible reason why action may not be taken by bystanders. This does not apply in Cash's case, as he was the only bystander present at the crime scene. Judy Harris's article also claims that the temptation to record events on a cell phone instead of taking action may perpetuate the bystander effect. However, Cash did not pull out his cell phone during the crime. There was absolutely no excuse for his inaction.

I also found Deborah Stone's "The Samaritan's Dilemma" interesting, especially the snippet from page 30: "If self-interest is the only motive we can count on, then it's really the only source of energy society can harness. People won't behave well or contribute to the common good unless they can get rewards for it." It raises the question of whether Cash would've intervened in the situation if there were a monetary reward offered if he stopped Strohmeyer. If he were to receive $1,000,000,000 for stopping the crime, would his claim "I'm not going to get upset over somebody else's life. I just worry about myself first." still hold up?


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SupremeLasso
Posts: 31

How do we, as a society, translate moral obligations into legal ones?

Props to Cloutqueen101 for starting off with a pretty assertive statement in the first sentence. I agree, but I also believe that the focus is not whether or not Cash's actions were morally wrong; we know that. The issue is not whether or not the Rape of Nanking was morally wrong; we know that. The issue is how society should, or even if society should determine a set price for Cash's inaction. Nanking is still denied today, by Japan, and is overlooked by Western countries. Morality is not the debate; determining the next question, and the answer to that one, is.

In the NYT article by Yoeli and Rand, costs versus benefits was discussed. As humans placed in a situation where we must make a decision, cost versus benefits is an intuitive analysis: do I want a salad or pasta? Pasta is cheaper, tastes better, but is unhealthy. Salad is expensive, healthy, but less satisfactory. This is cost versus benefits, but in this case, the benefits are much more tangible. In Cash's case, the benefits were not tangible, and the costs might have seemed horrific: if he reports, he betrays his best friend, he loses his best friend (who he now knows has the ability to kill a person), he potentially endangers himself, but he does what is morally right. If he stays silent, he might keep his best friend and he certainly doesn't do anything to anger him, he separates himself from the situation, and maybe some people judge him later on in life for this decision. The costs seem, in that moment, much heavier than the benefits. orangesaregood's last sentence correlates with this: the costs remain the same, but the benefits are hiked up. That changes analysis. Moreover, I just want to note that fear can be difficult to explain: as in Purdy's NYT article, fear prioritized prevention of alcohol discovery over the safety and life of a student. Does that make sense now? No. Does it make sense morally? No. But does it make sense to a bunch of intoxicated teenagers, crippled by a crushing fear that seems to multiply every second? Yes.

I am nearly certain that the vast majority of people think that Cash seems like an absolutely horrid person to exist in society- in a way, like a Meursault in America. I am one of these people. I have issues with many things, but mostly with the fact that he continued to party with Strohmeyer. This clearly shows an emotional disconnect, but is it fair for an emotional disconnect to be punished in legislature?

There are, in my opinion, a lot of holes with implementing legislative consequences for inaction. In the WBUR article, Harris talks about "new-found instincts to document everything on our phones." This points out just one of my issues with legislature: if I see something online, maybe on a livestream, Snapchat, or anything of a similar nature, and I don't report it because I'm not sure, am I to be punished (please note, I'm not saying that any of these apply to Cash's case. These just might be strung along with laws prohibiting such behavior in the future)? Moreover, how old do you have to be to be held responsible? If a 10 year old kid sees someone getting raped, can they be punished? Do they even know what rape is? What if an assault victim sees a similar situation which he or she has experienced before, and had received social backlash for reporting it? How can the law oppress that fear and say "No, it won't happen again. The trauma can't get in the way of this legal obligation. We thus minimize your fear and you must report something which you may not have the emotional capability to do." What if the victim tells bystanders to keep silent? Are his or her wishes and choices irrelevant? When a student reports a terrible incident in a college to an administrator and the school decides to keep it on the down low, are they responsible?

We have the moral obligation to do what (I suppose) society tells us is right. Maybe different societies have different definitions of right- and I have some doubts about translating moral obligations into legal ones.

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iLoveFood
Posts: 33

Dilemma of the Bad Samaritan

Just as CloutQueen101 and orangesaregood stated, I agree with the fact that David Cash was entirely in the wrong. To have watched his best friend assault a young child and then decide to walk away is so heartbreaking. Of course, it’s normal to not want to “to lose sleep over somebody else’s problem”. According to the articles I’ve read, many people choose to be bystanders in any moment of their lives, whether they choose not to help the lady pick up her papers, or take pictures of a house burning down ("The Bystander Effect In The Cellphone Age"). No one is required to help others out of sheer goodwill; even I don’t sometimes. But something different about those articles I read about strangers and bystanders is just that; they didn’t know the perpetrator or victim. Even the New York Times article talks about helping others to create a bond; clearly, both sides had no connection with each other beforehand. As ABC News wrote, having a human connection with others can increase the likelihood of helping the victim out. In David’s case, his close bond with Jeremy should have allowed him to stop his best friend. That “somebody else’s problem” was his own best friend. If he really was a friend, David would’ve stopped Jeremy from doing something that could ruin his life forever. It’s hard to think about why David made the choices he did when he knew those decisions would hurt his own best friend as well, because even if he wasn’t sympathetic to the poor girl who was murdered, at least he been worried about the consequences of his best friend’s actions.

As a member of the society of one of the most developed and successful worlds in the world, we should be able to spare some time and effort into becoming upstanders. When a person is shouting for help, at least see what’s wrong and try to help. If a crime is happening on the spot, take initiative and get others to follow in your footsteps. Even calling the police is good enough. I think Sherrice’s law is a good step in the right direction. One story on the news recently proves this law is needed. A bunch of teenagers were near a body of water when they saw a man drowning. Instead of helping him, they laughed at him and videotaped the whole thing. They thought they would get out scot-free, but they were wrong, due to Sherrice’s law. I think that this example proves how much the law is needed, because if people see a punishment or an incentive in place, then they wouldn’t help other people, which is not only terrible but disappointing for humans as a whole.

As a note to end on, I really liked the question orangesaregood asked at the very end, because that does raise a lot of questions on people and their lines of reasoning, especially David's. I truly think he'd have chosen to report the crime. After all, a selfish person like him would love getting some money if he had the chance.

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junglejim4322
Posts: 30

Bystanders Aren't Always the Bad Samaritan

Like most (if not all of you), I like to think that if I were a bystander during a dangerous situation, I would defend the victim and try to get help.

I am, too, outraged with Cash's actions and I can't even begin to put into words how awful the whole situation makes me feel.

But as the cliche goes, sometimes it's easier said than done. In one of the posts I read ("Who Can You Count On"), the author brought up the tragedy of Kitty Genovese in New York City, who was raped and killed-- her neighbors in the apartment building saw, yet did nothing. (I'm almost positive they made a Law & Order SVU episode based off this). All of them assumed that someone else called, or that it was her boyfriend who attacked her, or they didn't want to get involved. I noticed this same pattern of assumption that bystanders sometimes have in the post about the little boy on the 36 bus. Some of the riders assumed that the man who assaulted the little boy was his father, so they decided to stay out of it. I'm not justifying the bystanders actions in any way, but I think that this mentality of jumping to conclusions often something we do in dangerous situations out of fear for our own safety, perhaps giving us a reason to "stay out of it."

However, these two stories share something in common that Cash's story doesn't-- there were crowds of bystanders. Maybe they thought that someone else would call the police, or if they saw that nobody was going to do anything, then they shouldn’t either. Cash was the only bystander during the attack, so the only person he could have relied on to call the police, or prevent the attack from happening was himself. I think what Cash did was disgusting, especially because he feels no remorse or guilt. However, I also think that we can’t categorize bystanders to be the villain in every situation. If an individual were to witness a scenario with a weapon involved, or they too were in danger, then it would be different. As for the future, I think we need to try our best to abolish this habit of jumping to conclusions and instead try and speak up on something if it doesn’t harm us as well.

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junglejim4322
Posts: 30

Originally posted by Cloutqueen101 on September 12, 2017 21:42

This isn't a dilemma because what he did was wrong. Plain and simple.

It is the obligation of every citizen to be informed and engaged. Most people act accordingly to the rules that we as a society have created. People should not steal, lie, cheat, kill, so on and so fourth, stand by while their " best friend" rapes and murders a young 7 year old child. As it was said earlier today in class, Cash is equally as guilty for the killing of the girl as well as his friend, due to his lack of action. What should have governed Cash's actions is a moral compass he is so clearly lacking. It is in fact, reprehensible that he was aware of what was about to go down "What is an 18 year old doing in the stall with a young girl, I knew what was going to happen, I knew it was time to get out of there", and still did nothing to stop it, in fact, he heard Jeremy Strohmeyers admission of guilt, looked past it and proceeded to continue into the night. This to me showcases guilt on Cash's side, a clear disregard for the young girl in favor of his friend. A person who witnesses a heinous crime, any crime to some extent has the civic duty as well as a moral duty to report it. It does zero good to anybody other than the perpetuator to leave anything unsaid. However my " to some extent" is qualified by this: I'm talking about serious horrendous crimes that need to be punished, i do not mean for citizens to call the cops on a 4 year old accidentally stealing something and or seeing somebody pee on the street, yes these are technically crimes however petty and unconcerning to the general public. In the articles I read, they mostly showcased that the average person would say that if the time came they would report a crime if seen/ would say something to stop it, however 20/20 testing showed other wise, the real life example of Mr. Viscome showed otherwise and so did Nightmare on the 36 Bus. All people thought to do something, nobody did and to some extent the situations had irreversible repercussions on other lives. Why wouldnt they say anything? What do you lose by standing up for another person? Another life? Wouldnt you want the same if you were that young girl? If you were punched, suffered severe head trauma and all of your "friends" were afraid of getting in trouble? Wouldnt you want to be the person who does the right thing?

Ever since I can remember I thought that if you witnessed a crime and did not report it, then you became an accomplice. I was obviously wrong but this seems like a fault/ loop hole in the law system to some degree as in this case and for example that of Kitty Genovese (stabbed and rapped in the street as neighbors watched) when bystanders did nothing. They could have saved Sherrice Iverson, Kitty, Mr. Viscome, the boy on the bus, if somebody had acted. Where is the line? Should there be new/ more laws that get people in trouble for not responding appropriately...? I feel like maybe it should be situational and to the degree in which the person knew the acts of the crime beforehand. This is all easy to say though, being in a position where I've never had to report anything because I've never really seen a crime, however I would hope that in a bad situation, I would stand up and do the right thing, if it was my best friend or a stranger.

HONESTLY EITHER WAY CASH'S FRIEND WAS GONZO AND WAS GOING TO JAIL ANYWAY I DON'T KNOW WHY HE DIDNT JUST REPORT HIM BECAUSE IT IS HORRENDUS

I also thought that there was a law where if you were a witness of a crime and did nothing, you were guilty by association.

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Milo2017
Posts: 31

Can the blame be shared?

I've sat here staring at my computer with a blank document open for probably a solid 20 minutes. I feel like I know what I want to say but I can't articulate it. But I'll try. What Jeremy Strohmeyer did, can and will never be forgiven in my book but what about David Cash? It's here that I am perplexed. I can sit here and say that if I were in that situation that I would definitely do something to stop my best friend but being in that situation is different. From what I've gathered, Cash was taken aback by his friend’s “out of character” actions; So, (and I'm not saying this is what I think but I have to play devil's advocate) maybe he was frozen and panicked (like fight or flight) or maybe his loyalty to his best friend was too strong or maybe he was just as high as his friend. We could sit here all day and pose hypotheticals but the only person who will ever know what truly happened is David Cash. I personally think that people have a moral obligation to step in or call for help if someone's safety and or well-being is jeopardized so putting it into the terms of the question, the obligation does get stronger based on the severity of the wrong. Now with that being said, it doesn't make it ok that people do things like cheat and steal if you don't do or say anything but someone brought up a good point in class, that if you know that person then it may or may not be easier to step in and that people unconsciously do things that will benefit them; I mean it's human nature. The 20/20 article I read examined what truly affects someone's willingness to help and it brought up good points things like race, crowd size etc. and they also made the point that that doesn't make us bad people but being aware of that may be possibly live changing. I think that all states should adopt a law of some sort making bystanders of certain crimes (assault, rape, murder etc.) can be charged in a court of law. I read another article about a kid that punched another kid that ultimately lead to that same kid’s death. In that situation obviously the first thing should have been to call 911. But these kids didn't want to be caught underage drinking. They eventually brought him to a hospital and they tried to revive him before that. But I think that the kids should have weighed out there options. If they had called 911 right away, the first priority of emergency responders would be getting the unconscious teenager to a hospital and arresting the kid who punched him. They probably would've gotten off with a warning. The article never said if they were charged with underage drinking or not so we can't speculate specifically on that. The final article I read was about a boy who was about 8, who got on the bus at the same time as an older drunk gentleman. They didn't sit together but the older man grabbed the boy's arm and punched him twice in the course of a bus ride and nobody said or did anything. Now in this situation whether the man was the boy’s father or not is pretty much not relevant. A legal adult hit a clearly underage child. This is assault of a minor and if he was his father, it would also be child abuse. There was a very clear path the other passengers, should've and could've taken. The only reason the article said they hesitated was because they didn't know if that was his father. And that is not justifiable. Also this wasn't a like slap or a hit, this was a full on bone crushing, nose breaking punch. All in all, I think we sometimes have a moral obligation to say or do something when a crime is being committed or has committed; even if it's as simple as saying “stop” or alerting the authorities, you can say that you acted and I don't know about you, but I'd much rather say that I tried and failed than say I stood by and watched it happen.

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Milo2017
Posts: 31

Originally posted by Cloutqueen101 on September 12, 2017 21:42

This isn't a dilemma because what he did was wrong. Plain and simple.

It is the obligation of every citizen to be informed and engaged. Most people act accordingly to the rules that we as a society have created. People should not steal, lie, cheat, kill, so on and so fourth, stand by while their " best friend" rapes and murders a young 7 year old child. As it was said earlier today in class, Cash is equally as guilty for the killing of the girl as well as his friend, due to his lack of action. What should have governed Cash's actions is a moral compass he is so clearly lacking. It is in fact, reprehensible that he was aware of what was about to go down "What is an 18 year old doing in the stall with a young girl, I knew what was going to happen, I knew it was time to get out of there", and still did nothing to stop it, in fact, he heard Jeremy Strohmeyers admission of guilt, looked past it and proceeded to continue into the night. This to me showcases guilt on Cash's side, a clear disregard for the young girl in favor of his friend. A person who witnesses a heinous crime, any crime to some extent has the civic duty as well as a moral duty to report it. It does zero good to anybody other than the perpetuator to leave anything unsaid. However my " to some extent" is qualified by this: I'm talking about serious horrendous crimes that need to be punished, i do not mean for citizens to call the cops on a 4 year old accidentally stealing something and or seeing somebody pee on the street, yes these are technically crimes however petty and unconcerning to the general public. In the articles I read, they mostly showcased that the average person would say that if the time came they would report a crime if seen/ would say something to stop it, however 20/20 testing showed other wise, the real life example of Mr. Viscome showed otherwise and so did Nightmare on the 36 Bus. All people thought to do something, nobody did and to some extent the situations had irreversible repercussions on other lives. Why wouldnt they say anything? What do you lose by standing up for another person? Another life? Wouldnt you want the same if you were that young girl? If you were punched, suffered severe head trauma and all of your "friends" were afraid of getting in trouble? Wouldnt you want to be the person who does the right thing?

Ever since I can remember I thought that if you witnessed a crime and did not report it, then you became an accomplice. I was obviously wrong but this seems like a fault/ loop hole in the law system to some degree as in this case and for example that of Kitty Genovese (stabbed and rapped in the street as neighbors watched) when bystanders did nothing. They could have saved Sherrice Iverson, Kitty, Mr. Viscome, the boy on the bus, if somebody had acted. Where is the line? Should there be new/ more laws that get people in trouble for not responding appropriately...? I feel like maybe it should be situational and to the degree in which the person knew the acts of the crime beforehand. This is all easy to say though, being in a position where I've never had to report anything because I've never really seen a crime, however I would hope that in a bad situation, I would stand up and do the right thing, if it was my best friend or a stranger.

HONESTLY EITHER WAY CASH'S FRIEND WAS GONZO AND WAS GOING TO JAIL ANYWAY I DON'T KNOW WHY HE DIDNT JUST REPORT HIM BECAUSE IT IS HORRENDUS

I agree with you pretty much 100% but being the devil's advocate, what would you say if the bystanders life could also be in danger if they stepped in? Like say I was walking down the street and I see someone in front of me holding a gun to someone else's head and the gunman sees me. Do I have a moral obligation to try and call the police or run or scream when the gunman can very easily shoot me from a distance? I'm definitely not saying that I wouldn't have a moral obligation to try and help, I'm just wondering your thoughts on this?

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Milo2017
Posts: 31

Originally posted by junglejim4322 on September 13, 2017 15:21

Like most (if not all of you), I like to think that if I were a bystander during a dangerous situation, I would defend the victim and try to get help.

I am, too, outraged with Cash's actions and I can't even begin to put into words how awful the whole situation makes me feel.

But as the cliche goes, sometimes it's easier said than done. In one of the posts I read ("Who Can You Count On"), the author brought up the tragedy of Kitty Genovese in New York City, who was raped and killed-- her neighbors in the apartment building saw, yet did nothing. (I'm almost positive they made a Law & Order SVU episode based off this). All of them assumed that someone else called, or that it was her boyfriend who attacked her, or they didn't want to get involved. I noticed this same pattern of assumption that bystanders sometimes have in the post about the little boy on the 36 bus. Some of the riders assumed that the man who assaulted the little boy was his father, so they decided to stay out of it. I'm not justifying the bystanders actions in any way, but I think that this mentality of jumping to conclusions often something we do in dangerous situations out of fear for our own safety, perhaps giving us a reason to "stay out of it."

However, these two stories share something in common that Cash's story doesn't-- there were crowds of bystanders. Maybe they thought that someone else would call the police, or if they saw that nobody was going to do anything, then they shouldn’t either. Cash was the only bystander during the attack, so the only person he could have relied on to call the police, or prevent the attack from happening was himself. I think what Cash did was disgusting, especially because he feels no remorse or guilt. However, I also think that we can’t categorize bystanders to be the villain in every situation. If an individual were to witness a scenario with a weapon involved, or they too were in danger, then it would be different. As for the future, I think we need to try our best to abolish this habit of jumping to conclusions and instead try and speak up on something if it doesn’t harm us as well.

I definitely agree with your last point about how we need to stop assuming things in these situations. I would like to additionally add that if someone had reported the crime already but you decided to call incase someone hadn't, you wouldn't be scolded! Which is important to remember. So why risk someone's life over your faith in humanity? (Just a note it's nice to have faith in humanity but in these situations you have to learn to ignore the faith

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pats4life
Posts: 36

BOTH of them are at fault

There is no question that what Mr.Cash did was wrong and there is absolutely no argument to be had. The minute he saw that Jeremey grab the little girl he should have stepped in and helped the girl. Now there are many things that could have fueled the actions of Mr.Cash.One of the things that could have fueled his actions would have been the fact that he was Jeremy’s friend and did not want him to get in trouble. As he said in the interview, “His day of reckoning was coming and I did not to be the one to turn him in.” This is a ridiculous statement as he should have one told the authorities about what had happened, and two he should have stopped the actions of Jeremy. One thing that I really don’t get is how his argument for telling his friend to stop was that, “I gave him a look that said this is wrong.” This to me does not make one shred of sense as a look did not save the little girl's life. I think that Jeremy knew and David knew exactly what was going to happen the minute they walked into that bathroom. Also they hung out together after the fact which is crazy, I mean if one of my friends told me what he had did that I would have told the police immediately. But I suppose their night of partying was much more important. I think it is also on the fault of the father for not taking care of his child. For the total of around 25 minutes to a half an hour, he did not notice that his DAUGHTER was missing. Also to add to the “look” that David gave Jeremy he went on to say that “he was not going to lose sleep over someone else's problem. It was his problem the minute he walked in there and saw what he saw and did not do a single thing to prevent the death of a 7 year old girl.

Upon reading the case about the incident of the drunken party members I think that this is a similar case. All of the teenagers there knew that, that the teenageer needed help yet none of them decided to bring him to the hospital until they could not revive him after 20 minutes. On top of that the fact that the parent came home and said that she did not want anything to do with was absolutely ridiculous. I mean if I came home and saw some kid passed out on my floor and all the teeneagers told me what happened I would not say, this is not my problem, I would say let’s get this kid to a hospital. This kind of reminds me of a personal experience I had with me being assaulted. I was coming home from school last year on the T and at my T stop there were about twenty kids waiting for me. I got off the train and walked up the stairs and then they started to jump me and kick me all other types of things. But them out of the blue a stranger on his moped hopped off and dragged the kids off me. I mean a complete stranger did this and possibly saved my life/ further injury. The fact that these teenagers could not do this for a so called friend is absolutely ridiculous.

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pats4life
Posts: 36

Originally posted by Cloutqueen101 on September 12, 2017 21:42

This isn't a dilemma because what he did was wrong. Plain and simple.

It is the obligation of every citizen to be informed and engaged. Most people act accordingly to the rules that we as a society have created. People should not steal, lie, cheat, kill, so on and so fourth, stand by while their " best friend" rapes and murders a young 7 year old child. As it was said earlier today in class, Cash is equally as guilty for the killing of the girl as well as his friend, due to his lack of action. What should have governed Cash's actions is a moral compass he is so clearly lacking. It is in fact, reprehensible that he was aware of what was about to go down "What is an 18 year old doing in the stall with a young girl, I knew what was going to happen, I knew it was time to get out of there", and still did nothing to stop it, in fact, he heard Jeremy Strohmeyers admission of guilt, looked past it and proceeded to continue into the night. This to me showcases guilt on Cash's side, a clear disregard for the young girl in favor of his friend. A person who witnesses a heinous crime, any crime to some extent has the civic duty as well as a moral duty to report it. It does zero good to anybody other than the perpetuator to leave anything unsaid. However my " to some extent" is qualified by this: I'm talking about serious horrendous crimes that need to be punished, i do not mean for citizens to call the cops on a 4 year old accidentally stealing something and or seeing somebody pee on the street, yes these are technically crimes however petty and unconcerning to the general public. In the articles I read, they mostly showcased that the average person would say that if the time came they would report a crime if seen/ would say something to stop it, however 20/20 testing showed other wise, the real life example of Mr. Viscome showed otherwise and so did Nightmare on the 36 Bus. All people thought to do something, nobody did and to some extent the situations had irreversible repercussions on other lives. Why wouldnt they say anything? What do you lose by standing up for another person? Another life? Wouldnt you want the same if you were that young girl? If you were punched, suffered severe head trauma and all of your "friends" were afraid of getting in trouble? Wouldnt you want to be the person who does the right thing?

Ever since I can remember I thought that if you witnessed a crime and did not report it, then you became an accomplice. I was obviously wrong but this seems like a fault/ loop hole in the law system to some degree as in this case and for example that of Kitty Genovese (stabbed and rapped in the street as neighbors watched) when bystanders did nothing. They could have saved Sherrice Iverson, Kitty, Mr. Viscome, the boy on the bus, if somebody had acted. Where is the line? Should there be new/ more laws that get people in trouble for not responding appropriately...? I feel like maybe it should be situational and to the degree in which the person knew the acts of the crime beforehand. This is all easy to say though, being in a position where I've never had to report anything because I've never really seen a crime, however I would hope that in a bad situation, I would stand up and do the right thing, if it was my best friend or a stranger.

HONESTLY EITHER WAY CASH'S FRIEND WAS GONZO AND WAS GOING TO JAIL ANYWAY I DON'T KNOW WHY HE DIDNT JUST REPORT HIM BECAUSE IT IS HORRENDUS

I think you are absolutely right, only someone with a sick and twisted brain could allow something like this to happen. He is clearly lacking a moral compass and the fact that he continued through the night is so strange to me. I think that he was smart in getting out of the situation in the bathroom but was irresponsible for not helping the young girl.

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pats4life
Posts: 36

Originally posted by junglejim4322 on September 13, 2017 15:21

Like most (if not all of you), I like to think that if I were a bystander during a dangerous situation, I would defend the victim and try to get help.

I am, too, outraged with Cash's actions and I can't even begin to put into words how awful the whole situation makes me feel.

But as the cliche goes, sometimes it's easier said than done. In one of the posts I read ("Who Can You Count On"), the author brought up the tragedy of Kitty Genovese in New York City, who was raped and killed-- her neighbors in the apartment building saw, yet did nothing. (I'm almost positive they made a Law & Order SVU episode based off this). All of them assumed that someone else called, or that it was her boyfriend who attacked her, or they didn't want to get involved. I noticed this same pattern of assumption that bystanders sometimes have in the post about the little boy on the 36 bus. Some of the riders assumed that the man who assaulted the little boy was his father, so they decided to stay out of it. I'm not justifying the bystanders actions in any way, but I think that this mentality of jumping to conclusions often something we do in dangerous situations out of fear for our own safety, perhaps giving us a reason to "stay out of it."

However, these two stories share something in common that Cash's story doesn't-- there were crowds of bystanders. Maybe they thought that someone else would call the police, or if they saw that nobody was going to do anything, then they shouldn’t either. Cash was the only bystander during the attack, so the only person he could have relied on to call the police, or prevent the attack from happening was himself. I think what Cash did was disgusting, especially because he feels no remorse or guilt. However, I also think that we can’t categorize bystanders to be the villain in every situation. If an individual were to witness a scenario with a weapon involved, or they too were in danger, then it would be different. As for the future, I think we need to try our best to abolish this habit of jumping to conclusions and instead try and speak up on something if it doesn’t harm us as well.

I agree that bystanders aren't always the bad guy but I feel like today if someone refuses to say anything when they see a crime happening such as murder or assault then it is wrong. I know plenty of people who would refuse to tell the police about a crime they witnesses so they would not be called a snitch. When someone's life or livelihood is in the balance I feel like you should tell someone/ the proper authorities.

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OceanEscape19
Posts: 32

Bystanders and Upstaders

It was interesting because in class we were all saying that if we knew the perpetrator we wouldn’t have ratted them out to the store official. In a weirdly similar way that is what David Cash did, it just seems that unlike us he just never found a point at which he felt he needed to say something. In the “Who can you Count on” article everyone said they would help if they saw someone committing a crime. In reality everyone proved that unless your the same race, attractive, and make friends with neighbors, you're probably gonna be all on your own. If none of those things apply then you better hope there isn’t a crowd because apparently they don’t make the situation any better.

The only article in which people were actually upstanders is probably in the most difficult situation. Four men took down an armed gunmen on a train, but calling the cops when a party goes wrong, helping a women at the beach, or saving a teenage girl screaming on your street was not stopped. These men had some military training, and I’ll give you that that is more preparation than the average passer-by. However, no one else had to physically intervene in order to help this situation. Another point is that they said they didn’t think about what they were doing. I wonder if maybe the only way to overcome biases is adrenaline. People are willing to take picture of house fires, and stare at atrocities but actually calling the cops never happened.

Racial prejudice and attractiveness are very stereotypical and it's kind of insane that it dictates our response, but they are so prevalent in our society I was expecting it to play a role. What didn’t make any sense was that crowds diminish upstander responses, and lead to a phenomenon called “bystander apathy.” In my mind people watching you do something immoral would force you to do the right thing, instead it seems to just give people more excuses not to.

Another thing I was expecting to be a factor is age and seriousness of the crime. I think you're more obligated to help children, or save people from murder. Like we said petty theft, cheating, maybe not paying for your T fare are all easier crimes to let slide. But all of the incidents I read about could’ve potentially, or did, lead to death. Not to mention the fact that 3 of them involved a minor. A little boy on a bus gets assaulted and no one stands up to him, the bus driver doesn’t even put on the emergency message outside of the bus to alert other people (although apparently it wouldn’t have helped). So Sherrice and Genovese and this boy are dead or probably so.

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OceanEscape19
Posts: 32

Originally posted by orangesaregood on September 12, 2017 21:52

As Cloutqueen101 has said, the actions of David Cash were reprehensible. Despite seeing a dangerous situation and crime about to occur, David Cash claimed "I'm not going to get upset over somebody else's life. I just worry about myself first." The lack of sympathy and concern for an impending murder victim, especially that of a child, is mindboggling. Cash advocates focusing on oneself to the disregard of others. Though this can be a helpful coping strategy when there is too much irrelevant sensory information to process around you in everyday life that does not concern you, Cash was not in a situation where there was a great deal of sensory information to process. Cash was not busy and was witnessing his best friend about to murder a young child, yet did nothing to stop it.

I echo Cloutqueen101's sentiment that bystanders should be punished by the law. I cannot believe that David Cash got away unpunished by the legal system because he was not directly involved in the crime. The laws should be changed to implicate witnesses who are able to prevent crimes from happening, but did not do so. There was nothing stopping Cash from intervening except his own selfishness and solipsism. If the same thing were to happen to him and a fellow restroom patron were to casually walk out of a stall, stare at the crime scene, and exit the restroom, how would Cash feel?

From 20/20 ABC News's article, "bystander apathy" is cited as a possible reason why action may not be taken by bystanders. This does not apply in Cash's case, as he was the only bystander present at the crime scene. Judy Harris's article also claims that the temptation to record events on a cell phone instead of taking action may perpetuate the bystander effect. However, Cash did not pull out his cell phone during the crime. There was absolutely no excuse for his inaction.

I also found Deborah Stone's "The Samaritan's Dilemma" interesting, especially the snippet from page 30: "If self-interest is the only motive we can count on, then it's really the only source of energy society can harness. People won't behave well or contribute to the common good unless they can get rewards for it." It raises the question of whether Cash would've intervened in the situation if there were a monetary reward offered if he stopped Strohmeyer. If he were to receive $1,000,000,000 for stopping the crime, would his claim "I'm not going to get upset over somebody else's life. I just worry about myself first." still hold up?


I agree that it's moral, but to me it is at least more understandable not to intervene in the moment. Cash's actions don't make much sense but as a person I can understand at least being scared in that moment. To me the thing I can't get over is that he confesses to you, is obviously guilty, and then you go and play some video-games with him. I think that if you don't stop or prevent a crime it's wrong, but to know that information and remain a bystander after the fact is where it's almost criminal. Like Mr. Gavin was saying about the arch; if you can't be a really good upstander at least don't help the perpetrator.

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