If you take two people, and force them to have sex with each other, is it rape? I’ve been wondering this for a while.
If you force another person to kill somebody else, is it murder?
Yes on both counts (at least from a judicial perspective).
If a person forces another person to kill someone, can the person who was forced be charged with a crime? Or would it be justifiable homicide because he was in fear of his own life?
Is this like Patty Hearst?
Of course it’s rape; both the male who does the raping and the person pointing the gun can be accused as principals in the crime, although if you’re held at gunpoint you can argue that as an excuse. Duress only goes so far; it’s a complete defense to some crimes, but rape is pushing it.
Murder of an innocent is never justified; self-defense, sure, but murder is the one crime that is not mitigated by duress.
I’m curious if this is an opinion, or a legal fact. If someone held a gun to your your child’s head, and said, “You shoot Sam over there or I’ll kill your daughter”, I think you have a pretty stong defense, assuming the facts can be established (corroborating witnesses, etc.)
Mitigation may be the wrong term, I think, though IANAL. Mitigation is about reducing the penalty of a crime based on special circumstances. Did you as the shooter commit the crime, or were you just another abused tool, like the gun?
I’m sure a DA WOULD choose choose to prosecute such a case, and it’s the king of case famous defense lawyers would do for FREE (maybe), for the huge publicity value.
I would argue that actions taken to save the lives of mr or my immediate family consitinstitute self defense, and the the real murderer was the other armed person issuing the orders and threats. I think with enough corroborating witnesses, this defense will fly.
And here’s a scenario where it would almost certainly fly. Your classis armed heist (at a bank, grocery store, etc.) goes wrong and turns into a hostage situation with a fairly large pool of hostages, including families. They decide to execute someone to as a demonstration to the cops. And they decide to force a hostage to do the killing.
I must admit, the defense is a stronger one if they’ve ALREADY shot someone in front of the hostages, so everyone knows they’re serious.
IANAL, but I see a couple of problems with this. You would be doing it to save someone’s life but -
It wouldn’t be self-defense or defense of a third party because Sam is not the aggressor -he’s every bit as innocent as your daughter. And while your daughter’s life is surely more important to you than Sam’s is, and a judge or jury might take this into account (mitigation), to society and the legal system, Sam’s life is just as important as your daughter’s.
No, the man doesn’t want to have sex anymore than the female does. Both could be charged with rape.
I don’t think they will be charged as they are both victims.
It’s hard to answer these questions in any absolute sense; it all depends very much on the statutes, precedents, and prosecutors involved.
But by the old common law, self-defense is a defense to all crimes but murder. Murder is is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought, and malice is demonstrated by intent to kill. Not desire to kill, mind you; motive is irrelevant; if you shoot someone, and shoot to kill, that demonstrates intent.
If you have a gun held to your head, or your daughter’s, you’re still not allowed to sacrifice an innocent’s life for your own or your family’s. It’s true that a prosecutor might downgrade the charges to manslaughter, but he doesn’t have to. A jury might choose not to convict, but they don’t have to. Matters of motivation are normally considered during sentencing.
In most jurisdictions, statutes replace the common law, so there are crimes called “first degree” and “second degree” murder. This crime would definitely be prosecuted as second degree, although an absolute bastard of a prosecutor might make a case for premeditation.
Rape, under common law, is sexual congress by force by a man upon an unwilling woman who is not his wife. Most of these elements have been replaced by statutes, but under the old law, the woman can’t be charged with rape. The man can, although duress might or might no be a complete defense – it depends on whether people believe he was forced.
I am a second-year law student.
I’m not a lawyer either, but I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that killing someone to save your own life is not considered murder, as long as it was the only option (Eg. 2 people shipwrecked, 1 lifejacket) That could be one too many episodes of Law & Order speaking though.