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senseiman
01-11-05, 02:43
Criminal law is a pretty fascinating field as I am quickly learning. See what you can make of this scenario:

Joe Smith buys a box of top quality expensive cigars worth 10,000 dollars US. In order to protect his new "investment" he buys a standard insurance policy for his new property, which includes fire insurance.

I suppose you can see where this is going. About six months later, Joe files a claim with his insurance company claiming that his precious cigars were lost in a "series of very small fires". The insurance company refuses to pay and the case goes to court. A judge looks at the insurance policy and finds that as the policy did indeed cover loss by fire and didnt have any clauses which the company could use to get around it, they had to pay.

Now, if you were the insurance company, what would you do?

UFSI
01-11-05, 02:46
File charges for arson?

senseiman
01-11-05, 03:18
File charges for arson?

Bingo, first try. Have the guy arrested for 24 counts of arson.

How about this one:

Ted Jones, 25 years old, is walking along the beach. He hears a cry for help coming from the water and looks to see 5 year old Suzie Phillips desperately flailing her arms about trying to keep her head above water. He looks around and finds that nobody else is on the beach. Ted is an expert swimmer and could easily rescue young Suzie. But instead he just stands by, makes no attempt to rescue her and watches her drown.

What do the police arrest Ted for?

Gaijinian
01-11-05, 06:02
Nothing...

Sensuikan San
01-11-05, 06:26
Bingo, first try. Have the guy arrested for 24 counts of arson.

How about this one:

Ted Jones, 25 years old, is walking along the beach. He hears a cry for help coming from the water and looks to see 5 year old Suzie Phillips desperately flailing her arms about trying to keep her head above water. He looks around and finds that nobody else is on the beach. Ted is an expert swimmer and could easily rescue young Suzie. But instead he just stands by, makes no attempt to rescue her and watches her drown.

What do the police arrest Ted for?

Suspicion of Second degree murder? (They couldn't prove pre-meditation).

(Unless he was not wearing pants - in which case they'd nail him on obscenity charges ...!)

ジョン

senseiman
01-11-05, 07:02
Actually, nothing is the correct answer. Unless the act was commited in a jurisdiction with a 'good samaritan' law there isn't any obligation to rescue a stranger even in cases where you can do so without risk to yourself. If the guy had been a lifeguard or a parent of the child it would have been a different case, but with complete strangers he could have done nothing and been completely within his rights to do so.

How about this one. A mafia hitman pushes a snitch off the top of a 20 story building. Unknown to the hitman, construction workers have erected a net on the side of the building at the 5th floor that would break the snitch's fall.

Unfortunately for the snitch, at that moment a quarrel is going on between Mr. and Mrs. Jones on the 6th floor. Mr. Jones has an unloaded shotgun that he keeps around the apartment, and every time he gets into an argument with his wife he grabs the shotgun, points it at her and pulls the trigger, pretending to shoot her.

That morning, Mr. and Mrs. Jones' son Eddie had a terrible argument with his mother. In a fit of rage he decided he wanted his mother dead, so unknown to his parents he secretly loaded the shotgun, knowing his father's propensity to pretend to use it against his mother whenever they had an argument.

In the midst of the argument between Mr. and Mrs. Jones, Mr. Jones in his usual way grabbed his shotgun and was about to point it at Mrs. Jones when his foot got caught on the edge of the carpet. He tripped and dropped the shotgun, which went off. The blast went through the window at the exact moment the snitch who had been pushed off by the mafia hitman was passing by, blowing his head clean off.

The snitches name was Eddie Jones.

Who is guilty of what?

CC1
01-11-05, 07:05
Much as the laws are in Japan!

nice gaijin
01-11-05, 10:52
I would guess second degree manslaughter by the father, since he was the one who pulled the trigger and killed eddie before he hit the ground.

The hitman might be guilty of attempted murder, since he tossed eddie off the roof

and eddie himself might be guilty of conspiracy to arrange the death of his mother (which probably isn't the right term, since a conspiracy requires more than one person involved, last i checked)

these are interesting!

edit//grammar check

senseiman
01-11-05, 18:08
Its an interesting problem.

The father would probably be guilty of negligence causing death rather than manslaughter as he was not commiting a crime when he killed his son, he just dropped the gun.

Eddie would be guilty of attempted murder, except that he is dead. The interesting thing is that he has effectively commited suicide, given that the shotgun blast that killed him was caused by his own misdeed.

The hitman is the most interesting. Is he guilty of murder or just attempted murder? Were it not for his having pushed Eddie off the roof, Eddie would still be alive, so he in a sense caused his death. But were it not for the shotgun blast Eddie would have lived. Because the shotgun blast was not a foreseeable event, it gets the hitman off on the count of murder, but he is still guilty of attempted murder.

Even if the net hadn't been there, the hitman would still been not guilty of murder as the shotgun blast was an independent intervening act.

nice gaijin
02-11-05, 00:23
ah I misread the problem, I thought the father tripped and the shotgun went off in his hands. Glad to know I was at least close for the most part. All that Law and Order is finally paying off :)

senseiman
02-11-05, 03:24
ah I misread the problem, I thought the father tripped and the shotgun went off in his hands. Glad to know I was at least close for the most part. All that Law and Order is finally paying off :)
Actually you might have been correct either way, the law is different in Canada and the US (I'm going on Canadian law here).

Here is another interesting case, this is a real one from the 1930s in Missouri.

Two men get into an argument, which ends when one man hits the other in the face. It isn't a strong punch, but it is hard enough to cause the guys mouth to start bleeding. Unfortunately the guy with the bleeding mouth is a haemopheliac whose blood cannot clot like normal people's. The small wound, which would normally be extremely trivial and probably not even require any medical attention, causes excessive loss of blood. The man is taken to hospital but he dies the next day as a result of the injury.

So what to do about the guy who punched him? Bear in mind that A) he was not aware of the other guys' medical condition, and B) he didn't hit him with great force and had no intention of inflicting serious harm with his punch.

Sensuikan San
02-11-05, 05:12
Manslaughter?

ジョン

senseiman
02-11-05, 05:24
Manslaughter?

ジョン

Actually, murder. But you are right, usually he would be convicted of manslaughter, because A) he lacked the intent (mens rea) to commit murder and B) the death had resulted as the result of a criminal act (assault).

But for some reason in Missouri in the 1930s it was murder.

You kind of have to feel sorry for the guy though, all he did was give an apparently healthy man a light punch in the mouth and suddenly he is being convicted for murder.

nice gaijin
03-11-05, 09:32
In the states, any unwelcome physical contact can be interpreted as assault. Although there was an apparent lack of mens rea, it's possible that the defendant had a hard time showing it, or perhaps he had a lot of violent priors.

If I had to guess, I would've gone with 2nd degree murder, but it's borderline manslaughter.

senseiman
03-11-05, 20:16
In the states, any unwelcome physical contact can be interpreted as assault. Although there was an apparent lack of mens rea, it's possible that the defendant had a hard time showing it, or perhaps he had a lot of violent priors.

If I had to guess, I would've gone with 2nd degree murder, but it's borderline manslaughter.

There isn't any question that he commited assault, he is obviously guilty on that count. The fact that he lacked mens rea for murder is easy to prove though, there is no way he could have foreseen that by merely striking the victim with moderate force death would result. And remember that the burden of proof isn't on the defence, it is on the prosecution.

In order to get a murder conviction you have to prove that the defendant intended death to occur (though in some jurisdictions there are exceptions for depraved indifference), which in this case he clearly did not. So it should be manslaughter.

nice gaijin
03-11-05, 20:44
Oh I see, I misread your post as he lacked both of those prerequisites for murder.

Do you know the specifics of the real-life case? was there an explicit reason he was convicted of murder instead of manslaughter?

Dutch Baka
06-11-05, 03:36
how about this one, a burgler is standing on somebody roof, he falls true the roof, brake some things, who has a problem? the burglar, or the person who lives in the house?

senseiman
06-11-05, 04:54
Oh I see, I misread your post as he lacked both of those prerequisites for murder.

Do you know the specifics of the real-life case? was there an explicit reason he was convicted of murder instead of manslaughter?

I'm not sure about the specifics, I believe that the murder conviction happened because the case was over 70 years ago, probably today it would be manslaughter.

nice gaijin
06-11-05, 04:55
If I remember correctly, the burglar sued the house owner and won. That wasn't really a criminal case though.

mat jo
09-03-19, 19:06
it's very interesting