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Old 05-15-2020, 09:27 PM
Enola Straight is offline
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Arrest and Prosecution of Supervillains


Some villains like The Penguin are merely human...without superpowers.

Some, like Doomsday, are mindless monsters...not even considered "persons" under the law.

But how about Reverse-Flash, Sinestro, Sabertooth, etc?

Obviously, in the DC and Marvel universes, super-perps can be apprehended and imprisoned, such as Magneto and the Suicide Squad can attest.


I can imagine somebody arrested in Gotham could end up in the same holding cell as The Joker; someone who is in and out of Arkham Asylum but not locked up in Prison for good.

"Hey," he asks the Clown Prince of Crime."who's YOUR lawyer?"

THAT lawyer gotta be the best attorney on the freaking planet!
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:41 PM
Asuka is online now
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There's a pretty good Batman comic about a sleazy businessman who pleads insanity to get off a Ponzi scheme charge and as a result gets thrown into Arkham Asylum with the rest of the "crazies" and his struggle to survive against the worst of the worst of Gotham's criminally insane.
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:42 PM
ekedolphin is offline
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There's another Batman comic about a guy Batman apprehends and puts in jail, and when it comes time for his trial, Bruce Wayne is in the jury pool. When asked if there's any reason he can't fairly deliver a verdict, Bruce replies with all honesty, "I'm Batman." Everyone laughs, and the judge admonishes him to take it seriously.
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:17 AM
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Sometimes, the lack of due process can be a problem.
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:34 AM
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Kurt Busiek's "Astro City" dealt with a lot of the "behind the scenes" issues of living in a super-hero universe. One story arc dealt with a young defense attorney. His client was facing an open and shut case. But the client was "connected", and made it clear to the attorney that if he were convicted, he would make sure the attorney and his young family would be killed.

Desperate, the attorney racked his brains for anything he could use as a defense. Then he had a sudden moment of inspiration.

He cross-examined the prosecution witnesses, bringing up all of the weird possibilities in a super-hero universe. Had they ruled out possession? Mind control? Could they account for the whereabouts of known shapeshifters at the time of the crime? And so. The coup de grace was the cross-examination of the M.E., where he pointed out all of the times various heroes and villains were supposedly killed but weren't, and asked, "When you began the autopsy, were you even sure the victim was actually dead?"

His client was found not guilty, since the sand-bagged prosecution couldn't prove to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that any element of the crime had actually happened.

Voice-over narration establishes that this sort of defense was a one-off. The law and legal procedures quickly caught up, and all of the objections the attorney raised would be valid affirmative defenses, but the prosecution wouldn't have the burden of proof to pro-actively disprove them.

Still, it was a pretty good illustration of just how hard court trials must be in a super-hero universe.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:34 AM
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Y'know, it occurs to me that threatening your own defense lawyer isn't the best way to try to bring mob connections to bear in the courtroom.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:45 AM
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I liked the old Spider-Man comics where bad guys were just left webbed up to a street lamp and 13 year old me just assumed that was as complicated as the Marvel Universe criminal justice system got. Comics should be fun, and courts and lawyers and probation officers ain’t.
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