Poll: Is Batman a state actor?

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    Is Batman a state actor?

    Common law prohibits the use of evidence obtained illegally...but only if the person who obtained it illegally is a state actor, like the police. Evidence obtained illegally by vigilantes is generally admissible in a trial. Additionally, the state can be held liable for acts of torture performed by state actors.

    But would Batman be considered a state actor? He operates mainly as a vigilante and does whatever he wants to do without a direct mandate from the state, but he works very closely with Commissioner Gordon, and the police can specifically summon him with the Bat Signal.

    What do you think? Is Batman a state actor? Would any evidence that Batman illegally obtains be inadmissible in court? And could the Joker successfully sue the state when Batman roughs him up to get him to talk?

    Is Batman a State Actor? | Law and the Multiverse
    Last edited by Kandahar; 12-04-10 at 02:53 PM.
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    Re: Is Batman a state actor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Common law prohibits the use of evidence obtained illegally...but only if the person who obtained it illegally is a state actor, like the police. Evidence obtained illegally by vigilantes is generally admissible in a trial. Additionally, the state can be held liable for acts of torture performed by state actors.

    But would Batman be considered a state actor? Obviously he works very closely with Commissioner Gordon, and the police can specifically summon him with the Bat Signal.

    What do you think? Is Batman a state actor? Would any evidence that Batman obtains illegally be admissible in court? And could the Joker successfully sue the state when Batman roughs him up to get him to talk?

    Is Batman a State Actor? | Law and the Multiverse
    Really, it depends on which criminal he's taking down.

    Most criminals, he takes down during their criminal operation. For example, if he takes on the Joker in the middle of a bank robbery, this is a pretty moot point since all this is is a trumped-up equivalent to stopping a purse-snatcher.

    However, if he's trying to take down a criminal organization, such as the type the Penguin does nowadays, it likely would require evidence to implicate the Penguin in a RICO case. In that instance, Batman would have to be organized in the evidence he collects, and in which case he'd likely be considered a state actor if only because of the frequency with which he interacts with the police and the district attorney.

    Note, however, that not every superhero could be considered a state actor - only those who get support in some form from a government. So in this case if Spider-Man, who generally does not get support, was to make a protracted investigation of the Kingpin to collect evidence of his criminal wrongdoing to bring down his criminal cartel, he would not be considered a state actor, in my opinion.
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    Re: Is Batman a state actor?

    He's a state actor if he's working by request from the police, sure. He's not if he's working entirely on his own.
    "It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - D. Webster

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    Re: Is Batman a state actor?

    He's a fictional character....


    I think he's not a state actor, although I'm not sure how I feel about vigilante-obtained evidence being used in courts. I know the constitution is supposed to limit the actions taken by the government to prosecute me, but a vigilante doesn't work for the government. On the other hand, evidence in a court of law is being used by the government, isn't it?
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    Re: Is Batman a state actor?

    He does things on his terms. He doesnt do them for the police. just because he talks to the Commish doesnt mean he is working for him. I say NO!
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    Re: Is Batman a state actor?

    On the other hand, any evidence obtained by Batman and dutifully turned over to the police would have obvious chain-of-custody issues. And since Batman couldn't possibly testify in a court of law...

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    Re: Is Batman a state actor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Viktyr Korimir View Post
    On the other hand, any evidence obtained by Batman and dutifully turned over to the police would have obvious chain-of-custody issues. And since Batman couldn't possibly testify in a court of law...
    Different issue, but certainly a good point.
    "It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - D. Webster

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    Re: Is Batman a state actor?

    Of course Putin is a state actor. He has not been parastatal in a long time.


    ps. Who are Gordon and Joker?

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    Re: Is Batman a state actor?

    In the comicbooks Batman works closely with Gordon, and his daughter Barbara Gordon the old Batgirl now known as Oracle and she uses government resources to help Batman get what he needs, as well as Wayne Enterprises having several government contracts. He works technically as something federally approved, as he is part of the Justice League of America and has the approval of the United Nations and United States to operate worldwide including having a headquarters that rotates around the Earth.

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    Re: Is Batman a state actor?

    Batman has been too busy lately working to end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy to worry about much of anything else.
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