The case of Kitty Genovese is a significant incident that raised many questions in American society, such as morality, duty, indifference to another human being and the Samaritan law. Back in times when the situation had happened, the neighbors were judged for their lack of actions and apathy towards the crime. Nowadays, after much time has passed, the outcome could be different depending on the specific factors.
Everything has changed one way or another as time goes by, and people’s attitudes towards each other and the following of the Samaritan law have changed as well. If that kind of situation would happen nowadays, there is a probability that the scenario would be different somehow. On the one hand, people now have more access to the means of communication, and if thirty eight neighbors would see the girls’ attack at night, most likely the majority of them would have their phones in their hands, and it would take nothing to call the police. On the other hand, some could start recording the incident instead of getting help or intervening. Due to the fear or inability to interrupt, people try to get the evidence and document what happened on camera to provide it to the police. However, it is a questionable act of help, for people could prevent the crime instead of waiting for it to happen.
Initially, the concept of a good Samaritan came from the ancient biblical parable. It is defined as “an individual who intervenes to assist another individual without prior notion or responsibility or promise of compensation,” according to West & Varacallo (2019). Therefore, in the modern world, people have more ability to help. Still, at the same time, they can find excuses not to intervene, and in the end, when the worst outcome happens, they cooperate more effectively with the police using materials from their phones that they recorded.
In conclusion, the time has changed, and the opportunities for help and personal and collective safety measures have developed, but some scenarios still can repeat. Society has the means to stand one for another and follow the Samaritan law, but some prefer to observe rather than participate. If the situation with Kitty Genovese would happen nowadays, everything could be different, and she would have more chances to get help and stay alive.
West B, Varacallo M. (2020). Good Samaritan Laws. StatPearls Publishing, Treasure Island.