Hero or Felon?
Samuel Mohammed of the West Palm Beach community was arrested and charged with arson after burning down a local crack house. Mr. Mohammed’s case has become a controversy because some insist that Mr. Mohammed was merely practicing civil disobedience as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr once did. The question at hand seems to be whether or not Mr. Mohammed is an arsonist or not? I intend to argue that Mr. Mohammed is indeed an arsonist, according to the law.
According to Nolo.com, Arson crimes involve setting fire to property – usually residual property or a commercial structure. Nolo.com then goes on to define arson as “the intentional destruction or damage of property by burning it or setting it on fire. Most arson crimes involve damage to buildings. But arson can also be committed by a person who ignites a farmer's haystack or someone who sets fire to forest land that's public property.” Black’s Law Dictionary defines arson as the act of unlawfully and maliciously burning down the house of another man. Mr. Mohammed’s plan to burn down the crack house was intentional because he took the time to make sure that no one was inside and then watched the building burn after torching it. Although the crack house was abandoned, it belonged to the city and was therefore still a part of public property. Mr. Mohammed’s actions were not malicious because he did not intend to harm anyone, but they were undeniably unlawful.
The District Attorney’s office see Mr. Mohammed as a vigilante and feels that he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, because if he isn’t there will be copycat incidents. A vigilante is someone who takes the law into his/her own hands by trying and/or punishing another person without any legal authority (The Free Dictionary). I agree with the claims that Mr. Mohammed is a vigilante because he was not appointed by any law enforcement to burn down the abandoned house, and it was already made known to the police that the abandoned...