An Ethics Question

CAO scale of justice. Photo By St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office

A Fall River, Mass. bank robbery was stopped on Monday. It wasn’t stopped by a teller, or a security guard. It was stopped by the potential robber.

The woman walked up to the bank teller. But then she hesitated and told the teller, “give me a minute,” Robinson said.

The teller obliged, and the woman walked over to a counter normally used when filling out checks.

The unidentified woman wrote a note on a piece of paper, he said.

But then she ripped up the note into several pieces, dropped them in the trash and walked out of the bank.

Bank employees noticed the woman’s behavior and walked over to the trash can to inspect the note.

The employees managed to piece the note back together. It revealed a demand: “Give me the money,” according to Robinson.

Because the woman abandoned her apparent plan to rob the bank, no money was stolen, said Robinson.

Herald News

The woman’s photo was then released to the media, with a request for information about her identity.

Here’s my issue: It is undeniable that the woman intended to rob the bank. But the note that she wrote was not delivered to the teller; in fact, she tore it up. Does that count as an attempted robbery, if the note was torn up and discarded rather than presented?

We are told that one of the best things a person can do is to reach the lip of an abyss and not jump off. This person faced a crisis and she chose to do the correct thing.

On the other hand, she was very close to committing a felony, and had started walking through the steps to do so. Very often, initial attempts at crime are followed by more successful efforts.

If it does not, in your view, count as an attempted robbery, are the police in the wrong for circulating this woman’s image and disrupting her life when she technically performed no crime?

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.