Sunday, January 28, 2007

Death by Natural Causes

That's how frontier coroners sometimes put it when people did stupid and/or antisocial things that would predictably lead to high-velocity lead poisoning.

The story linked below may well be such a case.

Telegraph | News | Entire village suspected of mayor's murder

At one time, from what I understand, a defense of "he needed killin'" was on occasion persuasive to a jury of one's peers. No doubt that would be the case in this village, were such a determination legally permissible.

Tip o' the Hat to Eugene Volkoh - with a question, strongly implied; what does he think about Jury Nullification in cases such as this, where the law proves a murder "beyond a reasonable doubt" and the Jury essentially declares "no harm, no foul?"

Of course the issues of race, class and context raise their heads, but at times I think the historical power of the jury has been too constrained by judges, to the extent that there is little recognition for the common-sense principle that bad actors do come to bad ends, and that, on the whole, is a good thing.

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