POSTS TO HPFGU
2002-2003
     
       
       
HPfGU #52077

Unforgivables and Aurors

RE: Unforgivables and Aurors


Ginger wrote (of Crouch's measures):

I can see giving the Aurors those powers under the circumstances. We had an unfortunate incident in my town a week ago where an officer was forced to kill when he was attacked. If Aurors, as trained law enforcement officials, are not given this authority, the attacking DE has all the advantages. It would be like sending a cop to a drug bust with no gun.

There's no reason to believe that the Aurors didn't have the right to kill in self-defense even before Crouch came along.

This is what Sirius says in "Padfoot Returns," Ch. 27 of GoF:

"The Aurors were given new powers -- powers to kill rather than capture, for instance."

Note what Sirius is actually saying. He does not say that what Crouch authorized his Aurors to do was to kill in self-defense. For all we know, they already had that authorization. Recognition of self-defense as an acceptable legal justification for killing is very common, after all, even if the burden of proof may vary widely from culture to culture.

No, what Sirius actually says is that the Aurors were given authorization to kill rather than to capture.

This is serious. What it means is that the Aurors were permitted to kill not only in self-defense, nor even in the immediate defense of others. They were allowed to kill as an alternative to arrest.

In other words, they could kill innocent citizens—people only suspected but not yet actually convicted of any crime—without being held accountable for it.

Note also what Sirius has to say about Moody:

"I'll say this for Moody, though, he never killed if he could help it. Always brought people in alive where possible."

Indeed, the text gives us an example of the sort of situation in which it was not possible: the combat with Evan Rosier, who chose to fight rather than to surrender. But for all we know, Rosier's death at the hands of the Aurors might have been perfectly legal even before Crouch came into power.

The implication that I see in Sirius' commentary about Moody above is that there were other Aurors who, unlike Moody, were not killing in self-defense. Nor were they killing only when it was impossible to apprehend a suspect by other means (Moody himself brought more Death Eaters to justice than any other Auror, we are told, so clearly refraining from the AK was really not all that crippling a disadvantage).

No. They were killing gratuitously.

And Crouch's measures were what allowed them to get away with it.

—Elkins

Posted February 12, 2003 at 3:54 pm
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