Another Dilemma

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by dgabriel, Feb 3, 2003.

  1. A man is hired to kill another man. His plan is to enter the bedroom of his intended victim in the middle of the night and shoot him.

    On the night of the planned attack, the intended victim dies in his sleep of a heart attack. The hit man shows up, skillfully enters the house, goes up to the bedroom and in the darkness spys his target asleep in bed. Unaware that the intended victim is already dead, the hitman proceeds to shoot him 3 times squarely in the head.

    A police cruiser by chance happens to be on that block and sees the flashes of light and the familar report of gunshots.

    They arrest the hitman redhanded with the gun in his hand.

    Question: Is the hitman guilty of murder? Disregarding conspiracy to murder, did he commit a crime?

  2. okwon


    Nope not guilty of murder.

    Maybe guilty of another crime. Not sure what to call it. Vandalism on a corpse? I don't think you can shoot you're gun anywhere you want either.
  3. If the hitman still has the smoking gun in his hand just shoot the bastard. Save the taxpayers money.
  4. not guilty of murder, but guilty of something.
  5. Not guilty of murder but guilty of break and enter if he forced his way in by forcing the window or the door open.

    Or if the bedrrom window actually was open then he would be guilty of trespassing.

    Even though WE knew that the victim had a heart attack before the body was shot, the fact remains that, even if it were possible to scientifically establish that the heart attack and subsequent death took place before the gun was fired, the public prosecutor could argue that a reasonably assumption could be made that in all probability the heart attack was brought on by the shock of the victim getting a fright when he saw someone entering his bedroom with a gun in his hand.

    So on that ground the hitman can be found guilty of murder.

    The defense attorney would of course argue that, whilst it is quite possible for the victim to have been frightened to death, that the hitman ought to get the benefit of the doubt considering the fact that we really cannot be absolutely certain what exactly brought on the heart attack.

    (Does anyone need a defense lawyer ?)

  6. it depends on 'how dead' the guy was. was he dead beyond the point of being able to be resucitated?
  7. Good point Daniel. But facts are he was dead. That is a given.

    FreeAlways, forget courtroom tactics, think legal principles.

    Can you kill a man who is dead? Should intent and an action virtually parallel to murder constitute a type of homocide, or another crime.

    Morally, the hitman's actions were no different from a murderer's, but he did not cause anyone's death.