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Unformatted text preview: TWENTY-ONE LEGAL PUZZLERS Professor Andreas Teuber __________________ Philosophy of Law Spring 2007 1 But For What John Did, Alice Would Not Have Died John shoots Alice, intending her death. He hits her in the arm. An ambulance takes her to the local hospital where she is exposed to a nurse who has scarlet fever. Alice contracts scarlet fever and dies. But for what John did, Alice would not have died. Did John cause Alices death? Yes &amp;#2; No &amp;#2; 2 Where Theres Smoke, Theres Fire John throws a burning cigarette into a bush on the side of the road. The bush catches fire and just as the flames are dying down, a violent thunderstorm occurs. A bolt of lightning strikes the smoldering ash, flames leap up, and the forest burns down. Did John cause the forest to burn down? Yes &amp;#2; No &amp;#2; 3 John and Alice: At It Again John throws a burning cigarette into a bush on the side of the road. The bush catches fire and just as the flames are dying down, Alice comes along and pours gasoline over them, and the forest burns down. Did John cause the forest to burn down? Yes &amp;#2; No &amp;#2; 4 Is It Murder to Induce Someone to Commit Suicide? In a South African case the defendant had lost his daughter and blamed his mother for having killed her. His mother did not deny her responsibility and promised to commit suicide. Eight days later she still had not done it. The man then came into her hut with a stick and some rope. He tied the rope to a rafter, made a noose at the other end, and urged his mother to Get up and hang yourself. The woman asked for something to stand on. The man put a block of wood under the rope. He then left the hut and watched his mother get up on the block of wood, put the noose around her neck, and kick the block away. Did the man cause the death of his mother? Yes &amp;#2; No &amp;#2; 5 Henrys Fatal Desert Crossing Henry plans to go hiking in the desert. John, intending to kill Henry, puts poison in his canteen. Alice, who has no idea what John is up to, also intends to kill Henry. Alice punctures Henrys canteen. Henry sets out on his trip. All the water in his canteen leaks out and he dies of thirst. Who caused Henrys death? Was it Alice? But she only deprived Henry of some poisoned water that would have killed him more quickly than thirst. Is Alice responsible for Henrys death?...
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This note was uploaded on 02/02/2009 for the course PHYS 10a taught by Professor Martens during the Spring '07 term at Brandeis.
- Spring '07