Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snowflake Smiles and The Verdict on Dudley and Stephens....

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!):

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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....)

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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!!!

28 comments:

lilraggedyangie said...

Ha tree up lol I say you leave it there long enough and it will dry and become a FABULOUS prim twig tree , available for year round use! I love your new goodies but UHHUM I HATE SNOW !!! so there goes the idea of moving to Nod taking your class and being your crazy new neighbor lol Class sounds exciting Have a great week ! Miss ya BIG LIL RAGGEDY HUGS

outjunking said...

So glad you didn't leave us all hanging on that one no pun intended.
Have a great week,
Lisa

Lois--Huckleberry Lady said...

Congrats again you Lucky Crow!!!! Love what you got. Hey, I still have my little snowman tree up in my craft room!!!!! (am thinking about taking it down soon!!)
I couldn't figure out how to do those snowflakes???? I didn't know what to do!!!
Don't mind watching courtroom stuff on tv, but too many loopholes for me!!!!!

Have a good week!!!

Lois

laurie said...

such beautiful gifts you were given, have a wonderful week,

Kim said...

Hey, congrats. I had so much fun making those darn snowflakes too.
Uhmm, GET that tree down! Soon you can hang hearts on it for valentines day......
Keep the interesting cases coming.

The Moonlit Stitch said...

Hey Robin! Congrats on your wonderful win! Wow, am I glad we have capable folks like you to handle the law and air traffic control because my noggin was spinning reading that. LOL! Have a good week! ~*~Lisa

Nancy said...

I can't stay long, I have more flakes to make!!!! ;-0
Lovely gifts you got my dear.
Your tree is up still? Oh my. Once you got the spirit it jist never left eh?
I would have found them all guilty of murder due to insanity which is no excuse an they probly ran out of rum so have scurvy. I hope you are enjoying teaching. I have no law degree but I got ah lot of shingles ;-0

Sheila said...

You have to be the luckiest crow out there! Congrats on the awesome win and many thanks for the results on the case. I was afraid I'd have to search it out . . . . .
No comment about the tree, other than, maybe remove the Christmas ornies and add Valentines and continue on that way ;-)
Have a great week!

Traci said...

Hi Robin... congrats on winning Teri's Snowflake giveaway, love the flakes & folks she sent ya!

Sounds like you are enjoying the new job...keep us posted. As for the verdict, well..I plead the 5th ;)

Hugs, Traci

My Primitive Creations by Tonya said...

And to think you were worried taht you would have to back off on your Blog posting.. I knew you'd find away to come visit us regularly!!
I totally loved reading the results as much as I did the 1st post.. That stuff is way to interesting to me.. I was glad that they were given mercy.. I do wonder was that the Judges idea as well..if so he played it out perfectly. He dealt justice as he saw fit so as to allow the people to plead mercy for them. I agree with #4.

I'm with you I don't care for the real Snow..but making snowflakes is way to fun..

Great Snow prizes and cool you still have your tree up.. I did to until the other night when I hug Valentines on it ..so i guess it's still up...

Have a great week and a fun class.

Hugs
Tonya

Siobhán said...

Congratulations on the win! What a nice bunch of goodies to get in the mail.

What a very interesting case--I'm glad that you told us the conclusion! Love the tie-in to Poe, too. :)

Shirlee said...

Congratulations on yet another win! I'm telling you ... go out & buy a lottery ticket! You would no doubt win "the big one" & not have to be concerned about working every again! So glad you posted the outcome of this case by the way. Oh so very interesting : ) Blessings, Shirlee

BumbleBeeLane said...

Interesting..I'm sure you are enjoying being out and being around promising young people.Congrats on your win.Hugs!~Amy

bettyj said...

Nice winnings! I missed the "mystery"case. Have a great week. I am.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

You always win the cutest stuff!
I know our winters are long but maybe not quite 7 months? I always think November to March.
Sounds like your the busiest of gals right now! I like legal stuff although right now my head is swimming in all the recall stuff!
Happy Week,
Cindy

Prims By The Water said...

Ok, so I have to admit, my trees are still up in the kitchen and living room...great case...you sure do have your work cut out for you with a couple of groups. Take care, Janice...oh yeah, loves the fake snow...you can keep the real stuff. lol

Linda ★ Parker's Paradise said...

I think the Christmas tree/spirit is in your heart all year round!
And I didn't quite understand your menu...... LOL
Have a great week--tortes and all!

frontporchprims said...

We just took our tree down last week. Edgar Allen Poe has been a mystery to me since I was little. I love poetry. Your snowflake is very pretty, I am glad you won. Your legal musings are not boring. I have a brother and a BIL who are lawyers. We hear about stuff all the time and it's mostly very interesting. Take care and have fun in class this week. I love your menu. -Steph-

Tolentreasures said...

I am not even going to that snowflake site, don't need another addiction in my life right now. I still have one tree up also, Great wins! Love the outcome and love the speech. Your students have some great ideas, you wouldn't want them any other way!

Cathy

Carol Stuck said...

Hmmmmmmmm.....veeerrrrry interrresting case. Oh, did I mention that I think the idea of a year round tree is very cool :-)

hugs!
Carol

Mary said...

Robin, thanks for sharing that interesting case...and the conclusion. Loved the Poe reference.
Congratulations on the win! Mary

Rhissanna said...

Poe never looked happy, did he? Off topic but it always amuses me. Did he know he was going to be up on the web in the future pinned to all kinds of gothic and gloomy site? lol! The short story coincidence is fascinating. There's one about the Titanic and a story called 'Futility', about a ship called the Titan that sinks on it's maiden voyage, written 14 years before the Titanic sailed.

Pam at Antique or Not said...

So glad that you posted a follow-up to that post, Robin...I was on pins and needles. And the Poe reference was just downright eerie.

By the way, the very first book that I purchased for myself, with my own money, was The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe. Yes, I was an unusual child. ;o)

Hugs,
Pam

Cindy said...

such a beautiful gifts! Congratulations! and yes, I am addicted to the snowflake site...thanks...

Vicki said...

Beautiful gifts is right! WOW!Have a great week...

Kimberly said...

Thank you for the update on this amazing case!!!! So interesting and made me think, ouch :) Fun case!!! Pretty gifts!!! Enjoy your day and be careful who you ride with ;) All My Best ~Kimberly

Linda said...

Great gifts you won...I'm glad to hear the conclusion of that case...as far as your menu plan for this week...glad it's you teaching...all that thinking would make my head hurt!!Have a great day!!!

deb said...

wow from the death penalty to 6 months, I bet they were releived!!!