Happy, Happy, Sunday!!
Those who know me even a wee bit, know I'm not an aficionado of the white stuff that blankets our landscape here in Nod the better part of 7 months of the year. However, I do admit, a snowflake is an amazingly beautiful thing.
So, when Teri from White Sheep Farm recently had a "snowflake building" contest, I couldn't resist. Teri asked that we make a virtual snowflake and send it to her. She chose two winners and showered them with some winter wonderland treasures. I guess my "snow" experience served me well, because I was one of Teri's very lucky winners. (Either that, or Teri felt bad because I ended up playing with snowflakes for hours when I should have been doing you know what....) Anyway....Yesterday, I received a wonderful winter wonderland in a box from Teri.....
Two snow glitter candles:
Two of Teri's "2x4" snowmen:
(These came packaged in an adorable snowman box that I neglected to photograph.)
And 5 feet of awesome glittery snowflake garland:
(Yes, my tree is still up...no smart comments, ya hear?)
Thank you so snowy much Teri!!! Now this kind of "white stuff" I absolutely LOVE!!
Teri's contest is over, but you can still play in the snow at "Snowdays" (but don't say I didn't warn you it was addicting!):
I also wanted to thank everyone who left such fun (and sweet) comments on my last post. I am grateful you were sport enough to play along, and promise I won't bore you on a continuous basis with my legal musings.
Class went well. For this case, I divided them into "crews" of four (a Dudley, Stephens, Brooks and Parker in each) and, not surprisingly, we had some very differing verdicts - including:
1) Dudley (the captain who actually committed the act) guilty as charged, but Stephens not guilty;
2) Dudley and Stephens both guilty of murder;
2) Dudley and Stephens guilty of murder - and would also have found Brooks guilty of at least manslaughter, if not murder;
3) Neither guilty because it was a maritime crime and the court lacked jurisdiction over the defendants (do you think I'm going to have my hands full with this group????); and
4) Not guilty because it was a crime of necessity, akin to self-defense (did I mention I have several law enforcement folk in my class???)
Anywho - for those of you interested, this, as I mentioned, was a real case. It is Regina v. Dudley and Stephens, 14 Q.B.D. 273 (1884). Although a criminal case, I chose it because, as one follower (Christine) commented, it is an "onion peel" of a case with many, many, layers. It demonstrates clearly the varying theories of jurisprudence, the fact that "nasty politics" is nothing "new," and a score of other legal principles, none of which I'm sure you care to hear about. But, long and short of it, the judge in the case (Judge Baron Huddleston) took some very unprecedented measures to ensure the result he wanted and to put to rest, "once and for all," the so-called "Custom of the Sea" and the "necessity" defense.
Baron Huddleston took the case out of the jury's hands, directing them to return a "special verdict" which he, himself, had written. The special verdict essentially recited the facts of the case and those indicated in my last post as the facts you could assume, and Judge Huddleston himself declared the men guilty of murder. On appeal (which also had some peculiar procedures), the murder verdict was affirmed. In his opinion, Chief Justice Coleridge stated:
"To preserve one's life is generally speaking a duty, but it may be the plainest and the highest duty to sacrifice it. War is full of instances in which it is a man's duty not live, but to die. The duty, in case of shipwreck, of a captain to his crew, of the crew to the passengers, of soldiers to women and children....; these duties impose on men the moral necessity, not of the preservation, but of the sacrifice of their lives for others, from which in no country, least of all, it is to be hoped, in England, will men ever shrink, as indeed, they have not shrunk."
Very eloquent, don't you think? But, I wonder....if the duty is to "sacrifice life" and to "die to save others," wouldn't Dudley and Stephens (and Brooks) be equally as guilty for not voluntarily sacrificing their lives to save the others???? (Just my legal mind running amuck mind you.....)
So....Dudley and Stephen were convicted of murder and sentenced to the statutory death penalty. However, there was a recommendation of mercy, and their sentence was later commuted to six months' imprisonment, without hard labor. Hope you all can sleep better at night now. ;o)
Oh....And one of my favorite things about this case??? A very strange coincidence: In Edgar Allan Poe's novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, published in 1838 (i.e., decades before the Mignonette sank), four men are cast adrift on their capsized ship and draw lots to decide which of them should be sacrificed as food for the other three. The loser was the sailor who had proposed the idea. And character's name???? Richard Parker..... (I kid you not....)
To borrow Linda Parker's theme, the "menu plan" for this week's class:
1) Torts and Cyber Torts (Intentional Torts against Persons; Intentional Torts against Property; Unintentional Torts (Negligence); Strict Liability; and Cyber Torts - Online Defamation).
2) Intellectual Property and Internet Law (Trademarks and Related Property; Cyber Marks; Patents; Copyrights; Trade Secrets; and International Protection for Intellectual Property).
3) Criminal Law (Civil and Criminal Law; Criminal Liability; Types of Crimes; Defenses to Criminal Liability; Constitutional Safeguards and Criminal Procedures; and Criminal Process).
Fun stuff, hey? Well, I best be getting back at it.
Hope you all have an amazing, and thought-provoking, week ahead!!!