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Should we have laws we aren’t willing to kill for? Learn more:
Following tragic deaths at the hands of police, like that of George Floyd and Eric Garner, many are outraged over racism and unaccountability in law enforcement. But George Mason Law Professor Ilya Somin takes issue with the laws themselves, and asks whether all laws are really worth killing for. Police run the risk of injuring or killing Americans every time they arrest someone–and each year, hundreds of thousands are arrested for nonviolent crimes. The more racist and unaccountable you believe the police are, Somin argues, the more you should want to limit the number of situations where they can inflict that abusive and racist behavior on civilians.
Can we justify killing people for nonviolent crimes? Can we justify the death of Eric Garner and countless others?