Welcome to the first entry in Hypothetical Crime. I think about fascinating crimes that could happen hypothetically. Of course, these crimes would need to happen under specific circumstances, and no criminal might never do them in real life. That leads me to my first hypothetical crime. It requires it to be legal to kill someone so long as the killer and killee agree beforehand. (or during if the killer is particularly brave). I cleverly named it the Consensual Homicide Gambit partly because of this.
Imagine a country where legally any pair of adults could arrange for one of them to murder the other. They sign the paperwork, have witnesses, and have several records of both parties explicitly giving consent. This creates some interesting side effects…
Now just pretend that somebody wants to see another person die. Now, for whatever reason the death wisher doesn’t attempt to take advantage of the legal method of consensual homicide. This might be because of a belief that it wouldn’t work and would only complicate things, ignorance of the law, or failure to consider the option. It doesn’t matter. It only matters that this person decides to go the “Hire the hit man route”.
Hiring a hit man is a crime, but the hit man is only half of the story. Suppose the hit man arranges with the mark the completely legal, consensual homicide. The mark wants to die for whatever reason. Let’s say the hit man has already accepted half of his pay and kills the mark legally. Then after the kill, he shows proof of the deed and collects the rest of his pay.
Did anything illegal happen? I’m not so sure. Killing the mark isn’t illegal (by itself) in this case. Is hiring a hit man illegal if the hit man carries out the hit legally? Probably. The employer probably assumes that the hit man will do the did in the traditional illegal way. Is it illegal for the hit man to accept money for doing this legal process? Again, I say probably. But nobody knows the details regarding this imaginary law.
If any of this is illegal, how hard would it be to get away with it? All parties get what they want. The hiring of the hit man and the exchange of money are the only aspects of this situation that could be illegal. The hiring could be private just like your average act of prostitution is private. Same deal with the exchange of money. Barring any sting operations or snitches, three people could execute these crimes without anyone ever knowing.
It’s amazing how this law creates such a bizarre scenario. This legal consensual homicide law must create other weird situations that I didn’t even consider.
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