Bad Samaritans are bystanders who omit from preventing some foreseeable harm when doing so could have been accomplished with little risk. Although failing to intervene to prevent a harm often renders Bad Samaritans morally culpable, under current common law in the United States they could not be held criminally liable for any harm that resulted to the victims of that harm. In this paper I argue for the criminalization of individuals who fall under this label; I argue for the adoption of Bad Samaritan laws. To accomplish this, I first argue for the conclusion that omissions can causally contribute to harm. From here I am able to reach three further conclusions relative to Bad Samaritan legislation. These three conclusions are that Bad Samaritan laws are justified, that the punishment for the violation of a Bad Samaritan law should be proportional to the degree culpability for the harm caused, and that if "commission by omission" statutes are justified, then so too are Bad Samaritan laws.
- CRIMINAL LIABILITY FOR OMISSIONS: A RETRIBUTIVE APPROACH TO PUNISHING BAD SAMARITANS
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