Regina V. Dudley and Stephens, Essay Example


Within the case of Regina v. Dudley and Stephens, it was concluded by the Court that people are time and again forced to set up principles they cannot reach themselves, and to put down regulations, which they could not themselves satisfy. Nevertheless, an individual has no civil liberty to speak out that temptation is the reason or rather excuse, despite the fact that he may himself have given way to it, nor permit consideration for the person who commits the crime to revolutionize or weaken within any way the legal description of the criminal act. For that reason, the judges had the duty to pronounce that that inmates’ act within this case was intractable murder, which the specifics as affirmed in the ruling are no lawful homicide justification, and to articulate that, in judges’ unanimous outlook, the convicts are upon this exceptional decision guilty of killing. The court afterward went ahead to pass a death sentence on the prisoners (Casebriefs 1).

The court came to the proper conclusion of the case, and for the correct underlying principles. On the foundation of the specifics as presented within the trial, the accused ought to be found guilty. This is for the reason that the necessity of starvation does not give an explanation for aggravated burglary, let alone killing. Stephens and Dudley picked the most frail and youngest to put to death, and it was not necessary to murder him compared to any other full-fledged men. The convicts were enticed to put Parker to death; however, the enticement itself is not a justification for killing him (Murphy 10). Their regrettable circumstances, in addition do not provide clemency, to the lawful description of murder. Seeing that it is necessary, the situation appeared where giving up one’s existence would save other lives that justification does not rationalize killing Parker. The actuality that Stephens and Dudley picked the person who seemed the most frail at that moment to become prey moreover does not substantiate that Parker may possibly not have lived to tell the tale. In its place, by putting him to death, it is merely making definite that could not live on by any chance.

Stephens and Dudley are supposed to be punished since it is apparent that the two put to death a frail young man who could not harm anyone upon the probability of self-preservation by feeding on his dead body and blood subsequent to his murder, and with the assurance of leave him without any likely chance of continued existence. Stephens and Dudley ought to be reprimanded on the grounds of murder. This is because given that the two had not eaten Parker’s flesh and drunk his blood they could almost certainly have died (Casebriefs 2). In addition, the young man being weak to a large extent was expected to have passed on before them. A passing boat may probably have saved Stephens and Dudley the following day; they may perhaps not have been saved at all; in whichever circumstance, it is evident that murdering the young man would have been a pointless and unprofitable deed. It is established by ruling that Parker was not capable of resisting, and truly, made none; in addition to not even putting forward that the young man’s death was because of any violent behavior on his side attempted in opposition to, or even to a huge extent as dreaded by, individuals who murdered him (Goldman 4).

The strongest defense accessible to Stephens and Dudley is that murdered Parker in self-preservation. Within the legal system of the United States of America, in the self-defense bylaw, the decrees for the self-preservation defense permits an individual charged with injury or death of another person to base his acts on reasonable force utilized in their individual justification, or the justification of others. Within the case of Regina v. Dudley and Stephens, the convicts were in a situation where no help could be provided. The essence of the criminal act of murder is the intent of Dudley and Stephens was merely to preserve their living. The use of self-preservation is rationalized when an individual reasonably considers that it is indispensable for the continuance of oneself (Bedau and Kelly 6).

This defense is supposed to be understood as a justification. This is for the reason that, in the majority of jurisdictions, justification of a person or other people is an assenting defense to unlawful charges for a violent act. It succeeds given that actions to make complete justification available. Justification does not compel a criminal utilization of force legally recognized; if the utilization of force is substantiated, it cannot be against the law at all. The rationalization of defense in a positive way allows the utilization of force in specific situations. The argument does not work to justify a criminal deed, nor does it work against a specific constituent of a criminal act. To a certain extent, by distinguishing the utilization of force since it is privileged in specific situations, it makes this type of conduct completely lawful (Goldman 8). In this view, the contemporary statutory argument reflects the universal law, which is a civil liberty of a person to keep a threat to existence or limb at bay. Self-preservation or one’s relatives deemed an accepted, inalienable civil liberty at common regulation, justified the utilization of force, which makes even murder legally recognized.

On the other hand, the defense of justification would not make the grade. This is because Dudley and Stephens did intentionally kill Parker merely because they were tempted to, in addition to the actuality that, the young man was weak and did not seem to be a physical threat to the two. All the same, the possessor or lawful holder of property in this case Parker and his property being his body, has a privilege to utilize any amount of non-deadly power necessary to save his possession from harm or recover his possession, regardless of whichever physical danger to himself and his property. I think that this counter argument ought to be rejected in view of the fact that self-preservation is known to be behavior that makes certain the continued existence of a human being. Therefore, it is nearly universal amongst living life forms and a worldwide hallmark of existence more or less (Bedau and Kelly 12). Consequently, when a new threat is introduced to a person, he or she will act in self-preservation, which is either extremely specialized or insufficiently specialized, to muddle through that specific threat in whatsoever way probable, making it a confirmatory defense to unlawful charges for a violent action. The Regina v. Dudley and Stephens’ verdict evidently and unfalteringly sets the statute that even within the cruelest circumstances, no necessity to kill defense exists in common regulation, and no one is allowed to kill another person to save his own skin.


People are not supposed to defend their ordinary viewpoints, but need those who want to transform them to give proof. Within the U.S., people depend on the constitution for guidance from beginning to end of the criminal justice progression even while the strong sentiment for victims is implicated. Dudley and Stephens ought to get what they are worthy of, which is punishment for the murder of Parker. This is because it is an impartial resort to the criminal act committed. Within this kind of fair dealing system, a criminal act is characteristically viewed as being undertaken in opposition to the state or administration, rather than in opposition to a person or society. Therefore, the state is left with the responsibility of seeking evenhandedness in requisites of retribution against the person who is responsible for the criminal act.

Works Cited

Bedau, Hugo and Erin, Kelly. Punishment. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2010. Print.

Casebriefs. Regina v. Dudley and Stephens. 2013. Web. 26th Sept. 2013.

Goldman, Alan. The Paradox of Punishment. Philosophy & Public Affairs. Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 42-58. Princeton University Press, 1979. Print.

Murphy, Jeffrie. Getting Even: The Role of the Victim. Social Philosophy & Policy. Vol. 2, p. 209. Oxford University Press, 1990. Print.