Does the end justify the means?
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September 1st, 2008, 20:38
For me this is a rather pragmatic question. I'll give you an example: We had an interesting case over here a few years ago when a young boy was kidnapped. The police was able to catch the kidnapper (and they were pretty sure that they had the right guy), but the delinquent was not willing to say where he had hidden the child. So a high ranking police officer gave the order to threaten the kidnapper and eventually use violence (torture, whatever) to force him to tell them where he was holding the boy captive. As it later on turned out the boy was already dead at that point in time.
If you look at the facts in this particular case we can say that pretty much everything spoke in favour of breaking the rules. The police knew this was the kidnapper, they knew that torture might save the child's life - nonetheless it's wrong what they did… at least according to the law.
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