In the "case of the shipwrecked sailors", three men were marooned after the sinking of an oil tanker. Subject to extreme conditions and starvation, the men drew lots after about twenty five days and decided that the loser would be killed and eaten as food. When one of the men lost the draw, he pulled out his consent, and the other two men killed him anyway, eating him. Five days later, the remaining two men were rescued and ensuing actions incurred their murder charges. This seems to be a simple case over the battle of life and death, and it truly is. The two men, Dudley and Stephens, made a conscious decision to commit not only the crime of murder, but the atrocity of cannibalism. Crime is crime and law is law- when breaks a law and commits a crime, a punishment must ensue.
First of all, the actions committed by Dudley and Stephens were quite obviously illegal. Though not on the mainland, this court's jurisdiction falls in the area of the crime at hand. Laws are still laws in our waters. Secondly, the men decided to kill Brooks with the justification that he "was going to die soon anyway" and they should "get it over with". This type of euthanasia was completely unjustified, based on the fact that Brooks rejected the idea of having the men kill and eat him when his lot was drawn. Though Brooks may have been on his death bed, Dudley and Stephens committed murder by taking his life. Also, the discussion of drawing the lots was in no way contractual, thus making in no way a binding agreement on the obscene act.
On all accounts, this crime is simply wrong and illegal. The morality and legality in "thou shall not kill" is a tenet that all citizens must abide, no matter the circumstances or personal beliefs of the individual. Though the situation of the men was tragic and stressful, a crime was committed and a man is dead. Brooks' life was deliberately taken by Dudley and Stephens, which signifies the punishable crime of murder. I recommend, pending a guilty...
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