For those of you who are just joining us and wondering what the heck’s going on, here’s a snippet from the original Tumblr post being referenced.

(Obviously drawn before I realized people were actually… y’know… reading the thing. And before I switched from infinite scroll to page-by-page format.)

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Join the conversation! There are now 17 comments on “Let’s back up
  1. Librarian says

    Thanks for the recap! Wow has it been that long?

  2. Jason says

    Since it was a conspiracy, I’m guessing that everyone in the crew (including Dr. Synthcore) can be charged with both the theft and death of the baby bystander (or by-sitter, in a stroller).

    I’m guessing the ATM robbery doesn’t count because it wasn’t part of the plan and nobody else knew about it. Dan the gas station attendant can probably be charged with aiding and abetting, but maybe not the crimes that took place earlier since it wasn’t part of the plan.

    Bystander Holden was just a bystander. He had no responsibility to stop the crime.

    • http://lawcomic.net/guide/?p=484

      To summarize: Mostly correct!

      Holden’s in the clear, as is Drake.

      You’re correct that everyone can be charged with the actual theft (accomplice liability). They can ALSO be charged with conspiracy (which is a crime in and of itself), and several can be charged with solicitation. You’re also correct that the ATM robbery is just on Mrs. Flavors. Dan’s case is going to be jurisdiction-dependent; some will let him be charged with the whole shebang, others will have an after-the-fact thing going on.

      The death of the baby is potentially more complicated, and mostly depends on whether Bahr having a gun was part of the plan or not (if they expected that he might have a need to use it, then they’re probably going down for that under felony murder rules.)

      • Bahr drew his gun on Mrs. Flavors. Attempted murder? Attempted robbery? Can it be robbery as the Maguffin doesn’t legally belong to her and it’s a crime fest anyway?

        Anyway I guess he could be charged with that but is not, for several reasons. First, they have enough charges against him anyway. Second, as the victim was another criminal, the act is not seen as reprehensible as crimes against innocent victims. Third, finding out what really happened will be difficult—it’s just her word against him. And she may be quite reluctant to testify about anything.

        • Yeah, one point that I always like to reiterate: In these fact patterns, we have (mostly) perfect knowledge about who did what. We even know the mens rea behind each person’s decisions.

          In an actual court setting, a lot of this stuff is unknowable, and so the question is more what you can convince the jury of. Even though Bahr may be guilty of further crimes against Mrs. Flavors, a prosecutor might not choose to charge him for all the reasons you pointed out. That said, if they haven’t completely thrown out the idea of a plea deal, they might charge him with those crimes as well just to have more leverage when it comes time to negotiate a plea. (Though that seems unlikely in this case.)

          • For the sake of argument, let’s say Mrs. Flavours and Mr. Havran both testify against Judge Bahr and he is charged. What is he charged of?

            If his intention was to shoot her cold, that’s attempted murder. But what if the intention was only to force her to hand over the Maguffin? Can it be robbery when what he wants is not hers in the first place? Coercion?

              • Exactly this. It’ll depend on the exact statute, but most likely robbery’s the charge here.

                We as a society say “Hey, it’s not okay to use force to take something that someone else has. And we don’t care about whether the victim owned the item themself, or was borrowing it from a friend, or what. No matter what the circumstances, taking it away from them by force is Not Cool and we want to punish it.”

                • Alright. It’s Not Cool, I fully agree.

                  What if instead of drawing a gun he conjures some distraction, grabs the Maguffin and flees, is that theft?

              • Who says it can’t be all three at once? Simply holding the gun on her is assault with a deadly weapon, doing it to take something from her is robbery, and if he intends to fire the weapon at her, it’s attempted murder.

                Crimes aren’t necessarily “one or the other”, you can perform one act and commit dozens of crimes with that act.

  3. alex n says

    I’m curious about the felony murder charge against the informant. You previously covered how duress doesn’t allow the taking of a life, so is he still culpable for the murder? Would that change if he were an undercover cop instead of an informant? I will wait patiently if this will be covered later.

    • Duress isn’t an absolute defense, but realistically a plea deal for testimony is probably what happens, right?

      If the informant (is actually one, not a ploy), actually started giving statements with no legal counsel and without talking deals at all, he’s very very stupid. Then again, I suppose being stupid is commonly a way to get attention from the justice system….

      Even then, he could still leverage actually showing up in a courtroom and giving testimony, for a deal at this point. This is likely why crime syndicates in real life don’t in general get off by forcing other people to commit murders *for* them, and not testify because they don’t have a defense. Not having an absolute defense, and not having something of bargaining power to give testimony on in exchange for immunity, are different things, right?

      I’m very curious how it works for an undercover cop, though.

      • There are obviously limits to what an undercover can do. I would guess that they’re supposed to bust them before they do anything so serious as armed robbery, and if a cop let them go ahead with such a serious crime, they would have a lot of explaining to do, especially since someone got killed.

  4. Sgt. Obvious says

    I have to say, the quality of your art has really improved over the years. It wasn’t bad before or anything, but your more recent stuff is much smoother.

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