Pun­ish ‘black­mail­ers’

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

A man in Guang­dong prov­ince com­mit­ted sui­cide this month. Be­fore death he in­sisted that an el­derly man he helped tried to ex­tort money by ac­cus­ing him of knock­ing him down. If there is truly an ex­tor­tion, this tragic in­ci­dent shows the rather ugly moral de­cline that has taken place in re­cent years, says an ar­ti­cle in Chang­sha Evening News. Ex­cerpts:

That the man felt he had to re­sort to sui­cide to clear his name is a weight that so­ci­ety can­not bear. If it is proved the man was wronged, his fam­ily has the right to ask for harsh moral con­dem­na­tion against the black­mailer.

But moral con­dem­na­tion alone is far from enough, if it is the only cost of black­mail­ing oth­ers, it is too small and con­nives with such shame­less acts, and will only lead to more cases in the fu­ture and fur­ther ac­cel­er­ate so­ci­ety’s moral de­cline.

If the el­derly man is truly a black­mailer, he should shoul­der the le­gal re­spon­si­bil­ity for the man’s death, as he will have driven a good Sa­mar­i­tan to sui­cide be­cause of his un­rea­son­able de­mand.

Of course, if that is the case, it would be up to the dead man’s fam­ily to de­cide whether to sue the el­derly man and the law to de­ter­mine the le­gal li­a­bil­ity he should bear for his ac­tions.

Help­ing those who fall to the ground in pub­lic ar­eas is a moral is­sue, so black­mail in such in­stances is al­ways han­dled from a moral per­spec­tive. This means that in sim­i­lar tragedies, there is no law or rel­e­vant depart­ment to pun­ish the black­mailer, as well as no real de­ter­rent to stop peo­ple from black­mail­ing oth­ers in this way.

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