criminal law class 1

Extra Credit (up to 10 points)

In the beginning of the semester, we had a robust discussion about whether laws primarily protect people or whether they infringe on their rights and freedoms. I could never have imagined the tension between these two principles would come to fruition in such an intense manner this semester. What I mean by that is as folllows:

Some argue that the strict measures that have been put in place–closing down “non-essential” businesses, restricting peoples right to gather, restricting movement/travel, pre-empting elective surgeries, etc. etc.– are necessary, vital, and essential measures for keeping the U.S citizenry safe and healthy by preventing the spread of the corona virus disease, a once in a generation pandemic. My own sister, a nurse, is onboard with the restrictions. She says “I am seeing people die and die alone (families are not allowed to visit loved ones in the hospital). It is really hard.”

Others are beginning to view many of the governments’ prohibitions as largely unnecessary, an over-reaction, a government grab for power, and an infringement on people’s God-given Constitutionally rights. There have been reports of: governments using drones for surveillance to make sure people are not gathering in large groups; citizens being fined $500 for attending in-car parking lot church services; cities dumping sand on its skateboard parks to prevent kids from gathering to skateboard; police adding additional charges to arrests (violating social distancing edicts); businesses being forced to close; people not being allowed to be with dying loved ones; etc. etc. In fact, one of my friends texted me today with a link to join a group called: “Wisconsonites Against Excessive Quarantine.” :). Others have been protesting at state capital buildings to end the restrictions.

Question: What is your view of the issue? Are the additional government laws and restrictions that have been placed on citizens all across the country reasonable and necessary measures to protect the citizenry from what is viewed by experts as a pandemic, with grave consequences for some that contract the virus OR do you agree with those who feel that the imposed government restrictions are an overreaction and/or excessive, which infringe on the God-given freedoms and rights extended to the citizenry through the U.S. Constitution? Explain your views.


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