The case of spelunkers

The melee in which the plaintiff was injured had been a very confused affair, with some people trying to get to the center of the disturbance, while others were trying to get away from it; some striking at the plaintiff, while others were apparently trying to protect him.

The wireless machine within the cave then remained silent for eight hours. You simply cannot apply a statute as it is written and remake it to meet your own wishes at the same time.

There are, of course, a few fundamental rules of the game that must be accepted if the game is to go The case of spelunkers at all. He criticizes the other judges for failing to distinguish the legal from the moral aspects of the case.

If these men passed from the jurisdiction of our law to that of "the law of nature," at what moment did this occur? My brother thinks he knows exactly what was sought when men made murder a crime, and that was something he calls "deterrence. The nature of the method Spelunkers used demonstrates the pure intention of survival that drove them to kill one of their own.

Yet we deliberately and knowingly incur and pay this cost on the assumption that the values obtained for those who survive outweigh the loss.

Suppose, for example, one of these men had had his twenty-first birthday while he was imprisoned within the mountain.

For us to assert that the law we uphold and expound compels us to a conclusion we are ashamed of, and from which we can only escape by appealing to a dispensation resting within the personal whim of the Executive, seems to me to amount to an admission that the law of this Commonwealth no longer pretends to incorporate justice.

Neither do I, but unlike my brothers I respect the obligations of an office that requires me to put my personal predilections out of my mind when I come to interpret and apply the law of this Commonwealth.

The man who acts to repel an aggressive threat to his own life does not act "willfully," but in response to an impulse deeply ingrained in human nature. A huge temporary camp of workmen, engineers, geologists, and other experts was established.

It led to the case of United States v. Now, thirty years later, thanks to an ambitious Prosecutor and a legalistic jury foreman, I am faced with a case that raises issues which are at bottom much like those involved in that case.

Principal purpose of the criminal law — deterrence — would not be served by convicting the defendants. The ten per cent constituted a very oddly assorted group, with the most curious and divergent opinions.

Of all branches of the government, the judiciary is the most likely to lose its contact with the common man. The issue of this struggle could only be that which occurred, a complete default in the discharge of the judicial function.

I am not concerned with the question whether the principle that forbids the judicial revision of statutes is right or wrong, desirable or undesirable; I observe merely that this principle has become a tacit premise underlying the whole of the legal and governmental order I am sworn to administer.

The second question that I wish to put to one side is that of deciding whether what these men did was "right" or "wrong," "wicked" or "good. The true reconciliation of the excuse of self-defense with the statute making it a crime to kill another is to be found in the following line of reasoning.

I have been asked by the Chief Justice whether, after listening to the two opinions just rendered, I desire to reexamine the position previously taken by me. This statute permits of no exception applicable to this case, however our sympathies may incline us to make allowance for the tragic situation in which these men found themselves.

The Case of Spelunkers

My second ground proceeds by rejecting hypothetically all the premises on which I have so far proceeded. To put it bluntly, my brothers do not like the fact that the written law requires the conviction of these defendants.

The language of our statute is well known: I have never been able to make my brothers see that government is a human affair, and that men are ruled, not by words on paper or by [original page number ] abstract theories, but by other men. A rescue party was promptly dispatched to the spot.

After the rescue of the defendants, and after they had completed a stay in a hospital where they underwent a course of treatment for malnutrition and shock, they were indicted for the murder of Roger Whetmore.

But I believe that judicial dispensation does more harm in the long run than hard decisions. I have no hesitancy in saying that under those principles they were guiltless of any crime.

The Case of the Speluncean Explorers

My brother Tatting expresses annoyance that the Prosecutor did not, in effect, decide the case for him by not asking for an indictment. It is better to have someone survive than everyone must die. After the release of the jury, its members joined in a communication to the Chief Executive asking that the sentence be commuted to an imprisonment of six months.

I believe, on the contrary, that it declares them to be innocent The case of spelunkers any crime. Considerations similar to those I have just outlined are also applicable to the exception in favor of self-defense, which plays so large a role in the reasoning of my brothers Foster and Tatting.

Postscript Now that the court has spoken its judgment, the reader puzzled by the choice of date may wish to be reminded that the centuries which separate us from the year are roughly equal to those that have passed since the Age of Pericles.

On the emotional side I find myself torn between sympathy for these men and a feeling of abhorrence and disgust at the monstrous act they committed. This perplexity is in this case compounded, as it were, for we have to set off one ex [original page number ] planation, incorporated in a virtually unknown precedent of this Court, against another explanation, which forms a part of the taught legal tradition of our law schools, but which, so far as I know, has never been adopted in any judicial decision.

Various attempts have been made to reconcile the legal treatment of self-defense with the words of the statute, but in my opinion these are all merely ingenious sophistries.View Essay - TheCaseoftheSpelunkers (1) from COMM W at San Jose State University. THE CASE OF THE SPELUNKERS The Case of the Murderous Spelunkers 1 THE CASE OF THE SPELUNKERS 2.

Spelunkers Case The surviving members of Spelunkers should not be charged with murder based on the dire circumstance they faced and the decision they made. the case of the speluncean explorers In the Supreme Court of Newgarth, The defendants, having been indicted for the crime of murder, were convicted and sentenced to be hanged by the Court of General Instances of the County of Stowfield.

I HARVARD LA W RE VIEW [Vol. II2:i THE CASE OF THE SPELUNCEAN EXPLORERS: REVISITED KoZINSKI, J.* [Iun the days when the judges ruled, a great famine came upon the.

It is not morally and politically correct for people to act as Gods and decide the fate of another person even when we are in the face of intense pressure. In. Spelunkers Case The surviving members of Spelunkers should not be charged with murder based on the dire circumstance they faced and the decision they made under time pressure by their inner drivers of human nature.

The Case of the Spelunkers - Essay Example

Four members of Spelunkers went on expenditure to climb mountain and ended up with exploring cave instead. Unfortunately, they were [ ].

The case of spelunkers
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