Request for legal advice

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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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13 Responses

  1. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    And how would they know who laced the bottle?Report

  2. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    For this, no jury in the land would convict you. Why, just last this year, a jury thanked a man.Report

  3. Avatar BSK says:

    If giving someone the shits made someone liable legally or financially, I’m calling my lawyers and the cops on Taco Bell.

    The Indian restaurant two towns over gets a pass only because of how delicious it is…Report

  4. I’m quite certain that not only would no jury ever hold you liable, any self-respecting judge would grant your motion to dismiss.Report

  5. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    Katko v. Briney. Booby traps are illegal, regardless of how they come to be set off.

    Suggesting that “no jury would convict you” is an argument for judicial activism.Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to DensityDuck says:

      You say that like it’s a bad thing?Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to DensityDuck says:

      Not sure Katko applies here.   Confiscation law is pretty clear, the property has been arrested and passes into the possession of the confiscator.

      So if a kilo of cocaine is seized from a drug mule and it evaporates in the evidence locker, resulting in the overdose of the property clerk, we can hold the drug mule responsible?    I don’t think so.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to BlaiseP says:

        And if it were merely evaporating evidence we were talking about, you’d have a point. What we have, instead, is a booby trap. And those are not legal. “If he hadn’t stolen it the trap wouldn’t have harmed him” isn’t a defense.Report

        • Avatar BSK in reply to DensityDuck says:

          But that presumes the intent was to trap someone.  What if I enjoy wine AND am constipated?  It would be hard to prove intent when the alleged booby trapper would have no way to guarantee, or even really fairly expect, the agent to drink confiscated items (I presume they are supposed to either dispose of them or hold them for further investigation; I highly doubt that drinking them is an official means of either).Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to BSK says:

            “It would be hard to prove intent when the alleged booby trapper would have no way to guarantee, or even really fairly expect, the agent to drink confiscated items…”

            aka “Here’s a picture of Chewbacca. Why am I showing a picture of Chewbacca? A man’s life is at stake here! It doesn’t make sense! And if it doesn’t make sense, you must acquit.”Report

    • Avatar Ryan Davidson in reply to DensityDuck says:

      No, it’s an argument for jury nullification. That’s different.Report

  6. Avatar Ryan Davidson says:

    <i>Booby traps are illegal, regardless of how they come to be set off.</i>

    The prosecution would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the wine was replaced with laxative with the intent of trapping a bystander. That’s going to be really tough. A shotgun trap really only has one purpose, i.e. to shoot anyone who comes through the door. That’s clearly not okay. But putting liquid in a bottle? Any number of legitimate reasons for doing that. Maybe fewer with industrial-strength laxative, but one can certainly think of an explanation that isn’t criminal.

    “Why, sir, did you replace the wine in this bottle with laxative?” “Because, see, my buddy and I were planning on a low-fiber extravaganza this weekend so we split a jumbo-sized bottle of laxative, and I didn’t have another container ready to hand.” Or whatever.

    Just because something is formally illegal doesn’t mean it’s easy to get a conviction for it.Report

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