Ever been in the store and see someone slip a candy bar or a pair of earrings in their pocket?
What about someone jumping the turnstile to get into the subway station?
Running a red light?
Ever feel obligated to tell the authorities exactly who did it?
Probably not. Even though you were a witness to that situation, you probably will forget that the petty incident took place.
But what about assault? Rape? A shooting? Anything along those lines. If you were there and didn’t partake in the situation, should you be held responsible to say something?
Moral obligation has become the center of attention now that incidents like the Steubenville, Ohio rape case and the Andray Blatche sexual assault allegations are garnering media attention. The idea that NO ONE who witnessed either of these alleged assaults take place told the authorities might be alarming. But are you guilty if you don’t? Should it be criminal for not calling the police? And should you be charged with being an accomplice in the crime?
It’s a sensitive subject that has torn apart Steubenville in regards to the teens who posted pictures and were present at the parties the night the 16-year-old victim was allegedly assaulted. While some believe the partygoers should be apprehended, the police have contended that it is illegal to arrest them on any charges because of their stupidity or lack of morality.
And then there’s Andray Blatche, who is being accused of witnessing the sexual assault of a young woman in his hotel room and not reporting it to police. Blatche claims that he was unaware of the situation, but if police find enough evidence that he did know of the crime or saw someone committing the crime, should he be prosecuted?
We here at GlobalGrind believe in moral obligation, but we want to know what you think!
Does it depend on the situation? Your relationship to the person who committed the crime? If “yes or no” doesn’t suffice, leave us a note and tell us how you feel!