At the time of the death, the men were probably about 1,000 miles from land. Prior to his death, the boy was lying helplessly in the bottom of the boat. The three surviving sailors ate the boy’s remains for four days, at which point they were rescued by a passing boat. They were in a seriously weakened condition. a. Were Dudley and Stevens guilty of murder? Explain. b. Should Brooks have been charged with a crime for eating the boy’s flesh? Explain. See The Queen v. Dudley and Stephens, 14 Queen’s Bench Division 273 (1884). My response:
In this case I do feel the sailors Dudley and Stevens are guilty of murder due to their conspiracy to kill the weakened sailor Parker without Parker’s knowledge or consent. The sailors Dudley and Stevens did commit a wrongful act that would fall under criminal law of murder. This wrongful act was against the societal norm and is categorized as a crime (McAdams, 134). The sailors were not defending themselves against any harm that Parker could have caused as he was very weak and near death from dehydration and the lack of food and possibly suffering of high doses of sodium levels in his body from drinking the salt water.
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Here we clearly have Dudley and Stevens acting on their own judgment to take the life of their companion because of their terrible suffering from the lack of food and water and were not acting of a sound mind. It may be due to these terrible sufferings that led them to kill and eat the boy out of necessity. We may think it would be been better to wait until the boy died but by then his body may have had infections at which time no one would be able to consume his body because they too would become ill and possibly die was well.
Also If Dudley and Stevens did wait until the other sailor died to consume his flesh they would have been at risk of eating contaminated meat resulting in their own death as well. In times of Necessity would it be permissible to kill one person in hopes of saving the rest? While this is still considered murder it is allowable under special circumstances or out of the necessity. In this case it was determined to still be wrong to kill one to save the lives of many.
It is also important for the court of the time in their decision to make sure the appropriate punishment was set forth to deter, others from committing the same crimes under similar circumstance but to preserve the life of others in society (Sandel, 2011). Even under dire circumstances it would be considered murder to kill a dying person who has done no wrong to you in hopes of saving yourself and others from imminent death. No matter the reason or urgency the killing of any human life is wrong and to kill the boy in this case it is still wrong and the above mentioned sailors are guilty of murder.
Should Brooks also have been charged with the same verdict of guilty for eating the flesh of the boy? While Brooks did not agree verbally to the killing of the boy it could be understood that he gave consent due to his eating of the flesh of the deceased boy is unclear. These facts in this case state, Brooks was not in favor of killing one life to save his own even when Dudley stated that they had families to consider, Brooks still refused to consent to killing the boy.
Then Dudley, on the given day, for the act to commence instructed Brooks to go to sleep (hence he may not of even witnessed the act) and Dudley made it known to Stephens and Brooks that the boy better be killed. Stephens did give consent and agreed in the killing of the boy. It is also noted that Brooks did not try to stop the act from happening could this be out of fear and to not further endanger his own life by interfering with Dudley and Stephen who could become enraged and kill him as well. Probably to some extent most would want to be removed from any danger when there is a disagreement from one member of the party.
According to most text books, Brooks should not be held guilty because he did not partake or was present when the attack on the boy occurred. However, I feel that Brooks may not be guilty of the act he is guilty of allowing the act to occur by association and by partaking in the consumption of the boy for four days. Chapter 5: Question 11, p. 210 11. Lancaster, California, located about 45 miles from Los Angeles, was trying to build its local economy but was tripped up by the United States Constitution. Costco, a big-box retailer, wanted to expand into next-door space leased to 99 Cents Only Stores.
Costco told the city it would move to Palmdale if it could not expand. Lancaster tried to buy 99 Cents’ lease, but the company refused. Lancaster then used its power of eminent domain to condemn the 99 Cents property for the purpose of making it available to Costco. The city noted that blight might follow if Costco left, and the city contrasted 99 Cents’ under $40,000 per year in sales taxes generated with Costco’s more than $400,000. 99 Cents then sued the city seeking an order blocking the effort to take the 99 Cents property. a.
How would you have ruled on the case when it was tried in 2001? Explain. b. Would the result be any different today after the Supreme Court’s 2005 decision in the New London, Connecticut, case? Explain. See 99 Cents Only Stores v. Lancaster Redevelopment Agency, 237 F. Supp. 2d 1123 (C. D. Cal. 2001). Appeal dismissed, 2003 U. S. App. LEXIS 4197. My response: I would have ruled in favor of the 99 cents store to keep its business open and not be removed for the sole purpose of providing Costco with a bigger store or a better tax base for the city of Lancaster.
In this case of eminent domain, the taking of the 99 cents store of which is a private property for public use is not plausible because the 99 cents store was also providing a service for the public and it is not justifiable that one store may be better than the other store because it provides a better tax base to the city of Lancaster. It is not in the power of Costco to remove one store that is in their way of expansion and cannot use the eminent domain to purchase the 99 cent store.
If Costco was in need of more space why wait until 1999 to expand after the property was occupied. I feel that the property was not causing blight on the community of Lancaster no more than Costco was causing as they were both on the same piece of property. I also feel that the city of Lancaster changed their decision to back Costco because they knew they were showing bias to one store over the other. It is noted in the case the city of Lancaster rescinded the Resolutions of Necessity in December of 2000 (Coalition For Redevelopment Reform, 2003).
The 99 cents store’s Fifth Amendment rights were violated by Lancaster’s actions of trying to condemn the property would only serve a purely private entity Costco, in taking of the property. What would happen if this case occurs today in light of the 2005 New London Connecticut Case? I feel that the case would not change based on the 2005 New London Case because the city of Lancaster was not in any dire economic straights but had created a thriving Power Center that housed many stores other than Costco and the 99 cents store.
I think it would have been hard for the city of Lancaster to prove that there was economic blight in their future if it doesn’t remove the 99 Cents store from the Power Center in order to allow the Costco to expand their store. The city was not in a blight condition or at risk of having one and the city cannot use this for a reason to use eminent domain. Eminent domain must be used for the entire public and not for the use of boosting one industry over a smaller one.
The Power Center today is home to large retail stores such as HomeBase, Wal-Mart, Circuit City, Costco and the 99 Cents. I do not think by removing the smaller 99 Cents store the city of Lancaster would be able to supply more jobs or a higher tax base any more than Costco can guarantee that people will continue to shop their stores. Anytime the city or government is considering the use of eminent domain to acquire property to increase a tax base, create more jobs or to boost tourism it needs to give a just compensation and not show any bias in their decisions when taking the property.