Daylight Saving Time and Crime

In the EU, the clocks went forward on Sunday morning - 1am became 2am with no intervening hour. I was going to start a boring thread in IMHO about when this will happen with other countries (what date), and what time (ie is it between 1am and 2am, or what?).

However, that would be dull. In autumn, the clocks go back (2am becomes 1am) again… some nightclubs in the UK that have to close at 2 manage to stay open an extra hour, to the second 2am.

If I were to be seen and photographed and have an alibi for say, 1.30am - maybe I was having a chat with friends or something, I could conceivably nip out an hour later and rob the local bank, appearing on their CCTV, also at 1.30am. Alright, I’m sure that our boys in blue wouldn’t be too flumoxed by this, but has anyone ever tried anything like this?

Or… just thought of this… I could provide a contract saying “you give me that rolls royce now, I’ll give you £10,000,000 in a week, signed bras0978 March 27th 2005, 1.30am”. Of course, 1.30am didn’t exist, the date is invalid, and off I trot with my free Rolls (assuming their lawyers didn’t read the contract too carefully). Anyone ever tried that?

Why stop with DST? Go across the dateline, commit a crime, return and die. There’s no laws about commiting a crime after one’s death, so you should be
home free.

Yes, or you could rack up as many debts as possible, then die (if necessary, kill all next of kin too) - beat the credit card companies!

I think the point of the exercise is ruined somewhat if we die in the execution. I wouldn’t call that “getting away with it”. :slight_smile:

I wish I’d previewed that.

There is a crime. They steal my sleep! :eek:

Not quite what the OP was asking for, but I was reminded of the solution to the asmiov black widowers mystery ‘a sunday in april.’

[spoiler]Mario Gonzalo tells the black widowers about how his sister was murdered in her own home, how he had been having a bad weekend, gone to bed saturday night, woke on Sunday morning at eight AM, as was his lot because of a consistent internal clock, and answered the phone a few minutes later. It was his brother, who immediately apologized for calling so early and asked if he had woken Mario. “No, it’s a few minutes after eight, of course I’m awake, sheez” was the reply.

The brother-in-law went on to say that he’d had a huge fight with his wife, Mario’s sister, and needed to talk, and they met at a nearby place for breakfast and ended up going fishing for a few days or something like that. On returning to the city, Mario found that the clock in his apartment had stopped, and the brother-in-law found that the sister had died, apparently killed by burglars in a break-in. Based on Mario’s testimony, the police decided that junkies had probably seen the brother-in-law leaving, come in to find something that they could sell for drug money, not expecting there to be another person, still home.

The other black widowers express their regret, but are unable to add anything to the police conclusion. Henry, the brilliant waiter, asks Mario to leave and then come back to the restaurant afterwards. He points out, based on certain clues from the story, that the night before his sister was killed was the one that the clocks would have been set forward, and Mario had apparently not noticed that. When his brother called and Mario, based on his own internal clock and the clock in his apartment, said that it was a few minutes after eight, it was actually a few minutes after nine. The brother-in-law had killed Mario’s sister and used Mario to construct an alibi for himself, one that Mario had never noticed afterward because of his clock in the apartment stopping.

A bit of an unlikely tale perhaps, but it does fit with the theme of committing (or covering up) a crime through daylight savings time. In later stories it is mentioned that Mario, after some soul-searching, goes to the police to recant his alibi. I’m not sure if it’s mentioned whether the brother-in-law is prosecuted after all.[/spoiler]

I wondered about something very similar when I asked my mother, who’s a criminal investigator, how the police signify the exact time of an event in police reports if this point of time exists twice due to the time switch. Her answer turned out to be something like “I don’t know, I’ve never come across that, and if it turned out to be important one day we’d find some solution.” It would be interesting to hear someone from a company that manufactures CCTV cameras and similar stuff who’d know if the clocks faded in distinguish between the two different 1:30 am’s.

Regarding the example of a contract “invalid” due to the nonexistence of the time mentioned in it, I doubt you’d get away with it, but then again this impression might be the result of my continental European legal education where we get taught to depart from the wording of a contract or a statute in interpreting it, if necessary; common law systems, where the literal construction is the most important method of construing contracts and statutes, this might be different.

In any case, during the investigation of your case, the police would sooner or later notice that your alibi might not be all that waterproof and try to find out which one of the two 1:30s you were definitely away, and which one was the one the crime was committed.

I know of at least one case where someone tried to plead innocent to a crime on the basis that the time indicated on the police report didn’t exist. Unfortunately, I can’t provide a cite because I don’t remember any names, dates or locations.

Basically it went like this: A guy was given a ticket for a traffic violation (speeding, IIRC) early one Sunday morning in the early spring. The officer wrote on the ticket 2:43 AM. In court, the accused tried to claim his ticket was invalid, because 2:43 AM on said date did not exist, due to the switch to DST.

He was laughed out of the court.

I wish I could provide a real cite. I’ll try some googling and report back later.