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Accused of vigilante justice

Barry Gilton and Lupe Mercado are scheduled to be arraigned in a San Francisco court today. They are accused of killing 22-year-old Calvin Sneed, a gang member who was pimping out their 17-year-old daughter. Sneed is dead, but Gilton and Mercado deny any involvement.

They did, however, ask law enforcement and other agencies to help them rescue their daughter. According to Gilton’s attorney, “Every place they turned to turned them away.”

Read:

S.F. couple kill daughter’s alleged pimp, cops say, on SFGate.com.

Parents accused of killing daughter’s pimp in San Francisco, on LATimes.com.

Meanwhile, in Shiner, Texas, a 23-year-old man allegedly killed a man he found molesting his 5-year-old daughter in a barn. His weapons were his fists. This man has not been arrested and charged with murder. According to news reports, local residents think he’s a hero.

Read Is Texas dad who killed alleged child molester a criminal? On MSNBC.MSN.com.

Despite the heinous actions of the men who are now dead, legal experts say that no one has the right to take the law into their own hands, and vigilante justice cannot be tolerated in a civil society.

Yes, but …

Society’s legal institutions depend on people following the rules. Sociopaths do not follow the rules. Therefore, when it comes to dealing with sociopaths, the institutions are practically useless.

Many of us can tell stories of going to law enforcement or other authorities, and coming away disappointed, even outraged. Not only did the authorities fail to investigate, they conveyed the impression, or sometimes came right out and stated, that we were victimized because of our own stupidity, or we were just jealous and vindictive.

I learned early in my experience of going after my ex-husband, who took $227,000 from me, that I could not depend on lawyers, law enforcement, or the court. And while I had always been the most law-abiding of citizens, when it came to James Montgomery, there were certain matters that I took into my own hands. I got more results on my own than I did through the legal system.

The Texas father apparently acted in an unplanned fit of rage. If the California parents did, in fact, kill the pimp—which they deny—it would have been out of frustration, fear and anger at not only the gang member, but at a civil society that let them down.



11 Comments on "Accused of vigilante justice"

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  1. skylar says:

    Spath loved that word. He repeated it over and over after I used it.
    wtf?



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  2. darwinsmom says:

    Kim,

    Actually something has happened here in Belgium regarding reality shows towards the positive… because of a series of articles on reality tv from the same magazine that had an interview with Hare and who published my reader’s letter.

    They used an angle that was ‘novel’. Part of it was of course trying to point out how not real these reality shows were, but the major part was about showing that the ‘silencing’ contracts by those who played in those shows are totally illegal contracts.

    People assume that since they enter these reality shows voluntarily and sign the contract that they cannot do much against the outcome, against the protrayal, etc…

    But the magazine did get their hands on some contracts and put them before lawyers and legal professors… and those contracts are ’employment’ contracts… so, yes, the candidates ‘work’ for free, but it could be proven before court that they’re still ’employed to act a role’. Since they are under an employment contract, the employer must by law ‘respect privacy’… an employer cannot legally ask an employee in any way to surrender their privacy… MORE, they cannot ask the employee to sign a contract that states that damages (emotional and physical… think Survivor here) that happen ‘on the job’ are not the employer’s responsibility. Again by law an employer is obligated to provide a ‘safe working environment’ and cover the costs of ‘work related accidents’…

    So, what this magazine did was make contestants aware that they are under a work contract with a few crucial illegal parts in it (hte most important ones) and htat in fact the networks are obligated to do certain stuff that fully contradicts the goal of a reality show: preserve privacy, not smear someone’s name in how they portray a participant, provide a safe work environment, provide a work accident related insurance or taking the costs…

    Since these series of articles a lot of reality shows have hardly made it on tv anymore or have been cancelled after 1 or 2 airing. View numbers were declining AND participants now have a case in court against the network. And I for one am pleased about it.

    And basically they are right: that you work as a volunteer and don’t get a paycheck doesn’t mean you’re not working and that those who hire you can throw you before the lions. I don’t get paid for aventure tourleading, but they pay my plane ticket, pay my traveling costs (lodging, food, excursions) and pay my travel and accident insurance. And basically reality shows hire non-actors to do an actor’s job, but in work circumstances and work hours (24/7) no actor would ever do for free, and the actor cannot say afterwards, “Well I played a part… that’s not really me.”

    Not sure whether labour law is similar to Belgium’s, but it’s an interesting angle to investigate… The networks and media might like to portray this deceptive argument of they volunteer for it, they sign the contract to give away their privacy, they go into it knowingly, etc… doesn’t make it necessarily legal. And when I think of it from the pov that the magazine did, and then regard some movie about a reality show where contestants must kill each other, then at least in Belgium, that would be a total fantasy. I don’t think contracting people to kill each other is legal employment, not even in the US, and the FBI would have a field day on that.



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