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Law and Society
Notes 4


Anatomy of a Murder
Woburn Case
School Searches
Search and Seizure
Bill of Rights
Constitution Film Q's
New Page Title
Bill of Rights Comes Alive
Law and Society Policies
Notes 1
Notes 2A
Notes 2B
Notes 2C
Notes 2D
Notes 2E
Notes 3
Notes 4

The Case of the Shipwrecked Sailors

The three sailors on an ocean-going freighters were cast adrift in a life raft after their ship sank during a storm in the Atlantic ocean. The ship went down so suddenly that there was no time to send out an SOS. As far as the three sailors knew, they were the only survivors. In the raft they had no food or water. They had no fishing gear or other equipment that might use to get food from the ocean.

After recovering from the shock of the shipwreck, the three sailors began to discuss their situation. Dudley, the ship's navigator, figured that they were at least one thousand miles from land and that the storm had blown them far from where any ships normally pass. The ship's doctor, indicated that without food they could not live longer than 30 days. The only nourishment they could expect was from any rain that might fall from time to time. He noted, however, that if one of the three died before the others, the other two could live a while longer by eating the body of the third.

On the 25th day, the third sailor, Brooks, who by this time was extremely weak, suggested they all draw lots and that the loser be killed and eaten by the other two. Both Dudley and Stevens agreed. The next day lots were drawn and Brooks lost. At this point, Brooks objected and refused to consent. However, Dudleyand Stevens decided the Brooks would die soon anyway, so they might as well get it over with. After thus agreeing, they killed and ate Brooks.

Five days later, Dudley and Stevens were rescued by a passing ship and brought to port. After recovering from their ordeal, they're placed on trial for murder .

The state in which there tried have the following law: anyone who deliberately takes the life of another is guilty of murder.

Problem 2
a. Should deadline Stevens tried to murder?

b. As an attorney for doubling Stevens, where arguments which you make on their behalf? As an attorney for the state, where arguments which you make of the state's behalf?

c. If they are convicted which the punishment be?

d. What purpose would be served by convicting Dudley and Stevens?

e. What is the relationship between law and morality in this case? It was a morally wrong for Dudley and Stevens to kill Brooks? Explain your answer.

f. Can an act be legal but immoral? Can an act be morally right but unlawful?