THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. Welcome to the Home of Hyperopia.: On Televised Crimes - Part 1

Sunday, November 12, 2006

On Televised Crimes - Part 1

So we were watching the episode of Desperate Housewives from the week before this where Roseanne's sister went crazy and took a bunch of hostages at the market and then after awhile during the show she shot and killed one of the hostages and then just a little bit later on the show Roseanne's sister was going to shoot that woman who used to be on Sportsnight and some other guy from the show (who apparently is a pedophile, per tonight's episode) threw a projectile of some heft and bulk into Roseanne's sister's head so the bullet only hit the woman who used to be on Sportsnight in the shoulder and she lived.

And then a few moments later on the show a woman who was one of the hostages picked up Roseanne's sister's gun off the floor and shot Roseanne's sister in the head and killed Roseanne's sister.

I took two bar exams. I studied a lot. One of the subjects on there was criminal law. Based on my recollection, the woman who shot Roseanne's sister on there is guilty of murder. Roseanne's sister did not have the weapon. She was not a danger to the woman who killed her or any of the other people in the market. Shooting her could not be self defence.

I think it's quite possible that this sort of thing happens from time to time in real hostage crises.

And I wonder if the hostage who kills the criminal gets prosecuted?


Blogger The Velvet Fog said...

I would imagine that while that person may get prosecuted, the jury would have a difficult time convicting someone in that situation. I'm sure the prosecutor's know this and don't pursue charges as vigorously as they might.

You watch Desperate Housewives?
Next thing you know you'll be wearing a bra on your head!

7:07 AM, November 13, 2006  
Anonymous theboss said...

I would venture a guess that in today's world of liberalism gone amuck (just today, Senator Levy said now that the democrates are in the majority he is working on legislation to re-establsh habeus corpus (sic?) rights to captured terrorist) that victim's rights are less important than criminal's rights, and so yes I believe that the person who shot the crimial would at least be indicted and brought to trial. Hopefully, the jury would have the common sense to see that other hostage lives were probably saved by shooting the murderer. We still have the right to defend ourselves don't we?

4:47 PM, November 13, 2006  
Blogger garrett said...

theboss - you definitely hit on the critical and interesting element of the Desperate Housewives hostage situation. And on re-reading my original post, I assumed that Roseanne's sister was no longer a danger to any of the hostages, and on further reflection I actually think it's unfair to expect the hostages to assume she only had the one gun since she did have a pocketbooks and clothes on and could easily have brought more than one gun to the market. So that makes it more like self defence to kill her during a period of uncertainty whether she is still a danger to the hostages or not.

The examples I thought I was remembering involved an armed assailant dropping the weapon and actually trying to flee the scene when they were shot and that sort of shooting is not in self defence. But the Desperate Housewives situation probably is a much closer case. When the other lady shot Roseanne's sister, Roseanne's sister was fighting with one hostage and desperately trying to get her gun off the floor, presumably so she could shoot some more hostages.

So yes - we definitely still have the right to defend ourselves. The question that came up in the Desperate Housewives example is whether the woman who killed Roseanne's sister was actually defending herself. Was she still playing defense or had she switched over to offense?

As an aside, I am desperately hopeful that the Democrats have the courage to reinstate habeas corpus for U.S. citizens who are labeled "enemy combatants" and the other classes of U.S. citizens who are currently being held without the benefit of the habeas corpus proceeding. Habeas corpus is a centuries old doctrine that is literally instrumental to the entire legal framework and foundation of this country. The relationship between government and laypersons needs habeas corpus, otherwise tyranny is too easy.

5:35 PM, November 13, 2006  

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