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Classic Law Problem

 
 
Reply Sat 26 Jul, 2008 11:43 pm
Diane, Kate, and Benjamin are walking together in the Sahara desert. Kate and Diane knows that Benjamin has been cheating on them, so they plan to kill him. Before leaving Asyut, Diane poisioned Ben's water canister. During the trip, Kate, without knowing what Diane did, punctured Ben's canister and the poison drained. And then Ben died of thirst. (Diane and Kate later became lesbians.)

Anyhoo, who killed Ben? Diane's poison never touched Ben's lips and Kate actually saved Ben from the poison.

Tough question, I think. Both are guilty of attempted murder; but is there sufficient cause for the charge of murder? For whom?

I chose Diane (just flipped a coin hehe)
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Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Jul, 2008 11:55 pm
@Victor Eremita,
I'm no law student, but here's how I'd approach the matter assuming we can prove everything -

Diane for attempted murder, Kate for murder. Posthumously award Ben a medal.
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Holiday20310401
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Jul, 2008 11:57 pm
@Victor Eremita,
Whoever did the damage is the killer in my opinion. Kate actually had influence on the death so Kate killed Ben. As simple as that. Diane should be punished as much as Kate though, because they are potentially the same in effect.
Victor Eremita
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Jul, 2008 11:59 pm
@Holiday20310401,
If Diane poisoned the canister and Kate didn't do squat, Diane is the murderer for sure. But Kate did puncture the canister, and Ben was spared the poision....
Didymos Thomas
 
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Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2008 12:03 am
@Victor Eremita,
Does it matter that Kate's actions spared Ben the poison? Kate intended to harm Ben by eliminating his water supply, and had no knowledge of the poison.
Victor Eremita
 
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Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2008 12:05 am
@Didymos Thomas,
That's the key, "Kate intended to harm Ben"; no doubt, there's attempted murder to be sent Kate's way, but the facts of the case is that poison was drained by Kate's action.
PaulG
 
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Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2008 02:03 am
@Victor Eremita,
The physical act that killed Ben was that of Kate's, Diane had the Mens Rea, as did Kate, but it was Kate's Actus Reus that resulted in the demise of Ben. Since the poison was removed from Ben's canteen by Kate's action, wouldn't it be conceivable that Diane is now, technically, not guilty of anything? My understanding is that both Mens Rea and Actus Reus must be present to prove an offence.


PaulG
GoshisDead
 
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Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2008 05:04 pm
@PaulG,
Is revenge for infidelity legal in Egypt? And if the cannister was punctured in Egypt but Ben died in Libya is there extradition? etc...
urangutan
 
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Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2008 03:28 am
@GoshisDead,
I think Ben is the guilty one for having travelled beyond hope when noticing he had no water.

I don't know if the two girls lived through the ordeal having never shared with Ben or after complete usage of all water, Ben continued to die while the girls found solice in gathering dew in the valley.

I don't know, maybe I am the crazy one and I shudder, when I should crank.
krazy kaju
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2008 11:55 am
@urangutan,
You forgot to ask the most important question: are they hot lesbians?
VideCorSpoon
 
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Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 11:29 am
@krazy kaju,
This is a classic Leo Katz example of criminal intention.

The question is; "Diane, Kate, and Benjamin are walking together in the Sahara desert. Kate and Diane knows that Benjamin has been cheating on them, so they plan to kill him. Before leaving Asyut, Diane poisioned Ben's water canister. During the trip, Kate, without knowing what Diane did, punctured Ben's canister and the poison drained. And then Ben died of thirst. (Diane and Kate later became lesbians.) Anyhoo, who killed Ben?"

Diana and Kate possess what is known as malice aforethoughtlaw of attempts
GoshisDead
 
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Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 11:49 am
@VideCorSpoon,
What the question and discussion is failing to explain is what is the law concerning this situation in the place where the act happened. Maybe if we were to move the scenario to the Mojave Desert, we could discuss American law which seems to be the reference point for this discussion. If we aren't framing the question within the cannonical law of some place (governing body) we are not discussing law, we are discussing ethics.
VideCorSpoon
 
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Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2008 12:02 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead
 
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Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 05:29 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
I would assert that the creation of Law is an ethical issue the execution of law in necessarily anethical. If ethics were considered in the execution of law, the law itself would be rendered moot. Justice is Blind refers more than simply to the equal treatment of the accused.
VideCorSpoon
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Aug, 2008 07:18 pm
@GoshisDead,
I'm curious to hear your elaboration on the fact that the creation of law is an ethical issue and the execution of law is unethical.

But I would surmise from your statement that the law in general is problematic in its creation as you consider it founded on ethical issues, which is considered moot (by the way, fantastic word) when incorporated.

I would say that both the creation and execution of law is a practical issue. Naturalism and the law never mesh well, and ethics plays that part very well. There have been some very big problems whenever ethics becomes involved in the law, whether it be the formation of that law or the carrying out of that law. But still... it's a classic battle between naturalism and positivism.

But I did not say that justice refers just to the equal treatment of the accused. If anything, I support the legitimization of lady justice being blinded in the first place. When they say wear safety goggles... THEY MEAN IT!!! Justice is blind refers to the preponderance of evidence, the means of that judgment, and the relativistic nature of the law.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2008 12:36 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
The application/execution is anethical meaning, having nothing to do with ethics, rather than unethical. Once a law is made with its accoutrement of established interpretations, it is ideally supposed to be universally applied. The universal application of the law cannot in itself be ethical. Ethical application of law renders the law moot, as it could never be applied universally. This is not the say that there aren't ethical and possibly unethical processes in the court system itself e.g. juries, arguments of passion, arguments of sympathy, character witnesses, judges etc... But the law itself is supposedly blind and universally applicable. The ethical issue as it applies to the law itself is in its making.
0 Replies
 
Justin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2008 01:11 pm
@Victor Eremita,
Victor Eremita wrote:
Diane, Kate, and Benjamin are walking together in the Sahara desert. Kate and Diane knows that Benjamin has been cheating on them, so they plan to kill him. Before leaving Asyut, Diane poisioned Ben's water canister. During the trip, Kate, without knowing what Diane did, punctured Ben's canister and the poison drained. And then Ben died of thirst. (Diane and Kate later became lesbians.)


Well, this would all depend on what comes out in court. If it is found that they both attempted to kill Ben, then both could be found guilty of Attempted Murder which in the US could carry the same sentence as if they had both been successful.

Technically speaking, the attempt to poison Ben was done by Diane and even though Diane was unsuccessful in killing Ben by way of the poison, she actually carried out the act of attempted murder willfully and arbitrarily. Even though Ben died of thirst, I think a US Court would find Diane more to be the guilty party than Kate. Although Kate wanted to kill Ben, a hole in his canister before a trip would not be considered murder, it would be more the intention of Kate so it would be a tough case to find Kate guilty of anything. Of course, it would all depend on what was said in court.

So, in my opinion, Kate would be found innocent and Diane found guilty of murder in a US Court. Kate could be however found guilty of a lesser charge or guilty by association.

Philosophically, Benjamin killed himself. It was his responsibility to make sure he was prepared for his trip and that his canister had water. He also attracted these two women into his life and then attracted the desire to be killed by both of them through his actions.

Interesting law problem and some interesting responses. In the USA, an attempted crime can carry the same weight as if the crime was actually committed, however it has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt... reasonable doubt being the keyword.

... Actually, we're lacking a lot of information to come to a conclusion on this. Were Kate and Diane present when Ben died? Could they have prevented him from dying? This could get real technical. Smile
0 Replies
 
No0ne
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2008 01:31 pm
@Victor Eremita,
Victor Eremita wrote:
Diane, Kate, and Benjamin are walking together in the Sahara desert. Kate and Diane knows that Benjamin has been cheating on them, so they plan to kill him. Before leaving Asyut, Diane poisioned Ben's water canister. During the trip, Kate, without knowing what Diane did, punctured Ben's canister and the poison drained. And then Ben died of thirst. (Diane and Kate later became lesbians.)

Anyhoo, who killed Ben? Diane's poison never touched Ben's lips and Kate actually saved Ben from the poison.

Tough question, I think. Both are guilty of attempted murder; but is there sufficient cause for the charge of murder? For whom?

I chose Diane (just flipped a coin hehe)


:detective:Your presentation is a little flawed... due to the fact that Ben died from thirst, it seem's that Diane and Kate would die from the same thing, since they both are still in the desert with no water...

But if they had not died, it's left to there intent, hence was it her intent to poked a hole in his water bottle.
:a-thought:
...:detective:Also, to charge someone with attempted murder, you must prove that they had intended to commit murder, and in this case, there would be no way to prove that since he had died from lack of water, unless they admit that they had intended to murder him. So it would come back to the poked hole in the water bottle, was it intentional or not, which also cannot be done unless they admit, or that you prove that the force and angle used to poke the hole was not formed by the action that they said it happend from, then you would have ground's to speculate that they had intented to create a hole in his water bottle, due to the fact that there testamony dosnt match the force and angle that was used to make the hole.(they could just say that they where confused from the lack of water and forgot the facts...) So a case like this would be tricky to land a charge on one or or both of them for attempted murder.

The smoking gun would be the angle and force that was used to make the hole macthed with there testamony of how the hole was created that would make a speculation stick or not...

Yet there are two of them, and each could just point the finger at one another, so it seem's like this case could get very long and tricky...The way how to block that is to keep them seperate till one of them slips in interagation, by playen both of them by saying the other has said it was you...(That's an old trick tho...but what work's, work's)--(there are other legal methods aswell that work just as great)

It's why its a classic law problem ^.^, dang double play case make's it hard to land a conviction on one of the two...
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