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使用机器人击毙嫌犯在法律上有何规定?

Jeff John Roberts 2016年07月18日

警方使用机器人杀死凶残的嫌犯,这种作法虽然不同寻常,但是合法。

在7月8日的达拉斯发生惨案中,嫌犯连杀五名警官,引发了关于暴力和正义的新的反思。其中,针对结束这场暴乱采用的非常方式,许多人提出了质疑——达拉斯警方使用了带炸弹的机器人,杀死了这名罪犯,这在美国执法的历史上还是头一遭。

案件的具体细节目前尚未得到确认,目前来看,警方似乎通过五角大楼向美国执法机构出售军事装备的项目,在几年前得到了这种机器人。它并非用于执行杀伤类行动,但达拉斯警方情急之下,临时在它上面安装了炸弹去阻止枪击犯。

Twitter上的人们对这场惨剧的超现实主义结局进行了评论:

使用机器人也让一些人质疑了在治安场合使用军事技术是否合理,应当如何恰当地对这种技术进行管理。

另一些人则回想起了艾萨克·阿西莫夫和《机械战警》(Robocop)中的反乌托邦世界,他们想知道使用武装机器人杀死嫌疑犯具有何等法律涵义。

This week’s tragedy in Dallas, in which a man murdered five police officers, has prompted new reflections on violence and justice. This has included questions over the unusual manner that the rampage ended: In an apparent first for U.S. law enforcement, the Dallas police dispatched a robot equipped with a bomb to kill him.

The details have yet to be confirmed but, for now, it appears the police obtained the robot several years ago as part of a program in which the Pentagon sells used military equipment to U.S. law enforcement. The robot was not designed to commit lethal acts, but the Dallas police, in a desperate act of improvisation, strapped on a bomb and sent it in to stop the shooter.

People on Twitter remarked on the surreal end to the tragedy:

The use of the robot also led some to ask about the appropriate use of military-style technology in police situations, and the appropriate way to regulate it.

Others have invoked the dystopian worlds of Isaac Asimov and Robocop, and asked about the legal implications of using an armed robot to kill suspects.

然而,考虑到当时的情景,这些法律上的担忧似乎有些过分。在当时,警察面对的是一名拥有装备优势的残忍罪犯(据报道,罪犯手持AR-15冲锋枪,可以射穿警察的防弹背心)。他们必须找办法来阻止罪犯,他们也是这么做的。

华盛顿大学法学教授赖安·卡罗表示,这一案件并未引发任何新的法律问题,令人不安的主要是另一个原因:我们可以接受警察使用致死手段伸张正义,但我们希望他们用一种熟悉的方式——开枪。临时使用机器人炸弹就像警察对枪击犯使用刀具或是投掷铁砧一样,令人感到不踏实。

当然,如果执法机关试图在常规情况下使用致死机器人,情况就完全不同了。

法律和机器人专家卡罗表示:“如果警官开始在日常工作中使用无人机和陆行机器人,它们是否存在致死的危险就存在着疑问。这会降低人们的态势感知能力,很容易让事态升级。”

他补充道,政府现在正开始通过无人机法案,他们应当考虑在更大的政策背景下针对如何使用机器人进行管制,确保它们的程序不会被黑客修改。

最后,达拉斯机器人案引发的最后一个问题十分有趣:嫌疑犯如果袭击或回击执法机器人,会怎么样?是否应当按照袭警的罪名起诉他们?

卡罗引用了几年前的一个案例,当时警方派了一名机器人来对付嫌疑人,后者用霰弹枪轰击了机器人。这名嫌疑人的行为最后受到了指控,罪名不是袭警,而是拒捕。卡罗补充道,根据国家法律的规定,那些袭击机器人的嫌疑犯还可能受到故意毁坏公物或破坏财产的指控。 (财富中文网)

译者:严匡正

Those legal concerns, however, seem overblown given the situation. Recall that the police were facing a murderous individual who had them outgunned (he reportedly had an AR-15 assault rifle that could cut through their bullet proof vests). They had to find any way to stop him, and so they did.

According to University of Washington law professor Ryan Calo, the situation doesn’t give rise to any new legal issues, but is unsettling for a different reason: We are okay with cops using lethal force in a justified situation, but we expect them to do so in a familiar way—with firearms. The use of an improvised robot bomb is unsettling in the same way as if the cops had used a knife or dropped an anvil on the shooter.

It would be a different story, of course, if law enforcement tried to use deadly robots in non-exceptional circumstances.

“If officers used drones and land robots in routine stops, it would be problematic if they had lethal force. It would diminish situational awareness and make it easier to escalate things,” said Calo, who is an authority on law and robotics.

He adds that governments, which are beginning to pass drone laws, should be thinking about their use of robots in a larger policy context for regulating how they are used and ensures they cannot be hacked.

Finally, the Dallas robot case raises a final interesting question: What should happen to suspects who assault or retaliate against a law enforcement robot? Should they be charged with an assault on a police officer?

Calo cites a case several years ago in which police sent in a robot to confront a suspect, who then blasted the robot with a shotgun. The suspect was not charged with assault but instead his attack on the robot fell under a charge of resisting arrest. Calo added that, depending on the wording of a state’s law, those who assault robots might also be charged with vandalism or destruction of property.

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