Excessive force is when more force is used than reasonably necessary. Kara Zor-el (Supergirl) has a whole slew of powers, so has she ever abused them?

  • 2
    Who is the judge of "more than reasonably necessary?"
    – DavidW
    Apr 28 at 16:10
  • 1
    @DavidW "More than reasonably necessary" should be common sense. After all, I think we can all agree that a police officer blowing someone up because they stole a happy meal is considered "excessive." If excessive force is not what most people agree on, then someone could stab someone else 400 times because they shoved them.
    – Mr Zyzasx
    Apr 28 at 16:29
  • @MrZyzasx While you can come up with egregious examples, it's far less clear in the real world. (Where police don't blow people up, but they do put people in choke-holds.) If you take a gun away from a criminal is it excessive force if you break one of his fingers doing it? Maybe yes, maybe no. It really comes down to how "more than reasonably necessary" is defined.
    – DavidW
    Apr 28 at 17:31

Apparently she's been accused of having used excessive force on many occasions, to the point that her "arrests" are now basically being thrown out of court for any criminal with a half-decent lawyer.

Kara: But they're in jail now, where they can't hurt anyone. That's all that matters.

Maggie: As long as they don't use the "Supergirl defense".

Kara: The what!?

Maggie: It's a thing some criminals use to get their charges dropped. It's a perfect storm for a defense attorney. Excessive force, evidence contaminated by debris, vigilante justice...

KARA: "Vigilante justice"?

Supergirl - "Alex"

  • 1
    Very nice, but I do want to point out that the accusation is not necessarily the reality. If criminals are getting off on this, it just means that the justice system isn't willing to spend the resources to litigate these claims, regardless of whether or not they're true.
    – DavidW
    Apr 28 at 17:34
  • @DavidW - The fact that she's using sufficient force that a competent States Attorney is unable to successfully litigate against criminals would suggest that what she is doing is excessive. It's pretty subjective though. How much force is "excessive" against a bank robber with a gun and hostages? I'd say that anything up to and including lethal force would be acceptable.
    – Valorum
    Apr 28 at 17:41
  • My impression - and this may be mistaken - of the US justice system is that, contrary to its portrayal on TV, most charges don't go to trial. Most defendants can't afford anything other than token representation, and most prosecutors are underfunded, so plea deals are the norm except in political or otherwise high-profile cases. If the case is weak, prosecutors may allow a plea for "time served" rather than go to trial. So anything (e.g. new grounds for dismissal) that changes this balance affects the percentage that go to conviction.
    – DavidW
    Apr 28 at 18:13
  • And the prosecutors may simply not be willing to risk getting an adverse precedent set. So even if it isn't excessive force 99% of the time, they don't want to risk getting that ruled against them for some relatively "minor" crime.
    – DavidW
    Apr 28 at 18:15

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.