No Good Deed Unpunished
On a hot day in July 2016, a group of young men on Chicago’s West Side broke into a pickup truck and stole a laptop. Unbeknownst to the thieves, there was a dog in the car that might have died in the heat had they not broken the window. The car was parked for about an hour before the owner’s return, long enough to cause heatstroke in pets according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
All would agree that the laptop must be returned, but should the thieves be prosecuted for breaking the window? Should they compensate the owner for the broken window? Should they be rewarded for saving the dog? Should criminals be rewarded or at least not punished for malicious actions that produce unintended positive results for the victim?