Queen vs dudley and stephens. R. V. Dudley and Stephens 2022-11-02
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Queen v. Dudley and Stephens, also known as the "cannibalism case," was a legal case that took place in England in 1884. The case involved four men who were shipwrecked and stranded on a small boat in the Indian Ocean. The men were Edward Dudley, Edwin Stephens, Thomas Dudley (Edward's cousin), and Richard Parker.
After several days without food or water, the men decided to draw lots to see who would be killed and eaten in order to sustain the others. The lot fell upon Richard Parker, who was killed and eaten by the other three men.
When the men were rescued and returned to England, they were charged with murder. The case went to trial and the defendants argued that they had acted out of necessity in order to preserve their own lives. The prosecution argued that the defendants had acted with malice and that the killing was not justified.
The case was ultimately decided in favor of the prosecution and the defendants were found guilty of murder. However, the judge recognized the difficult circumstances in which the men had found themselves and sentenced them to only six months in prison.
The case of Queen v. Dudley and Stephens is significant because it established the principle of necessity in English law, which allows individuals to act in ways that would normally be considered illegal if they are doing so to avoid a greater harm. The case also raised important ethical questions about the limits of self-preservation and the moral implications of taking another person's life in order to save one's own.
The Queen vs. Dudley and Stephens
According to Dudley, the crew discussed cannibalization openly between them during this period. But a man has no right to declare temptation to be an excuse, though he might himself have yielded to it, nor allow compassion for the criminal to change or weaken in any manner the legal definition of the crime. Any unlawful killing requires that a living person be killed and it does not mean that the guilty person feels any hatred or spite in order to plan and execute the act of murder. Hence, he planned to adjourn the trial after the special verdict and reconvene with fellow judges to pronounce guilt. But if you chose to subscribe to a deontological moral perspective then you could very much argue that the Dudley and Stephens were betraying their duty to Richard Parker by taking away his right to live in order to secure their own.
Family and friends are not just members of humanity; they are special to us and if we were unable to show more concern for their welfare than others, then it would not be even possible to care for the general public who are not special to us. His autopsy reported that after Dukes drowned in the cold water, he was bitten in the groin. . However, utilitarianism said that it produces greater unhappiness over happiness by only taking account of individual needs. Before I begin, I want to remind you that this is the court of law. Dudley and Stephens 264 F.
There is no question as to who took the life of Brooks, a man with families and loved ones waiting for him to return from sea. There is no evidence that Brooks had been canvassed about this and the magistrates agreed. Wrong in this case stands for legally wrong, and not morally wrong. While it is true that all of the crew members would most certainly have died if Parker had not been slain, that is still not enough reason to have permitted the murder. Also Dudley and Stephens have considerably smaller family, which again goes against the greater good anyway. He was taking big amounts of opium in order to relieve himself from painful memories and died from bubonic plague in 1900. You have read the facts, four men: Mr.
Defense of Necessity: Queen v. Dudley and Stephens
But their families, or anything else, should not have been enough to motivate them to kill the boy, as it is a completely evil act and cannot be justified by anyone. Lots were cast, and the lot fell on him who bad proposed it. The loosely defined term of murder implies that a person who kills another human being with intent is known as being the worst kind of violent crime we see in our society. They obviously new what they did was wrong or they wouldn't have felt guilty enough to admit to it. To me, this conclusion is very reasonable because it is known that if you carry out a murder, the chances are you may be sentenced to death.
NOTES A Dutch writer, Nicholas Tulpius, the author of a Latin work, Observationum Medicarum, written at Amsterdam in 1641, states that the following facts were given him by eye-witnesses. While on the lifeboat, Parker had drunk seawater out of desperation and appeared to be dying. Collins responded by citing United States v. Examples: integrity, truthfulness, loyalty, dishonest. Relate your answer to one or more of the following ethical theories: Aristotelian ethics, Hobbesian ethics, Utilitarianism, or Kantian ethics. I have a what-elf of my own, too.
Next it was objected that the record should have been brought into this Court by certiorari, and that in this case no writ of certiorari had issued. On twentieth day of being in the state of prostration, Dudley and Stephens spoke to Brooks as to what should be done if there will be no help. There is no hint, no trace, of the doctrine now contended for; the whole reasoning of the chapter is entirely inconsistent with it. Much of the prevailing authority at the time spoke of necessity in terms of what is now called self-defense, i. Collins before he came to argue the main point in the case.
Although the crew had already gone numerous days without any form of nourishment, murder was still not the proper course of action. That at the time of the act in question there was no sail in sight, nor any reasonable prospect of relief. These two authors are educating their audience on better ways to think. What ever a person does, it should be affiliated to what that person deserves. Laws are still laws in our waters. That on the fourth day they caught a small turtle, upon which they subsisted for a few days, and this was the only food they had up to the twentieth day when the act now in question was committed.
Harcourt was responsible for the case. But they have little application to the case before us which must be decided on very different considerations. The two prisoners, Thomas Dudley and Edwin Stephens, were indicted for the murder of Richard Parker on the high seas on the 25th of July in the present year. If you chose to subscribe to a utilitarian moral perspective then yes of course it makes more sense to save two lives from starvation by sacrificing a life that might not make it. Is there, then, any authority for the proposition which has been presented to us? Permitting such a defense to be asserted raises poignant questions such as how does one measure the comparative values of lives and who decides such things.
The central question of the story, both book and film, is: which story do you choose to believe? This is similar to organs donation when you are dead. Since all four would have died, I believe Dudley and Stephens should be able to assert that they did not commit murder because their actions saved three lives out of four. They think that the best decision that will benefit most of the people would be to kill Parker, the weakened and ill, since he is the most likely to die before them. Let us stop and think about the question "what if eating Brooks was your only choicer. Uncertainty on the question where to draw the line between murder and manslaughter has prompted proposals to abolish the distinction so as to merge murder and manslaughter into a single offence of unlawful homicide…. Kitts, when that island was possessed partly by France and partly by this country, somewhere about the year 1641. Danckwerts opened the prosecution case and called as witnesses those who had heard the survivors' stories and Brooks.