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Crime and Punishment - German Cannibal

Discussion in 'Medivh's Tower' started by Wazzz, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. Wazzz

    Wazzz

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    Here is a story of Armin Meiwes, who is better known as 'The German Cannibal'.

    A quick breakdown of the story is that Armin Meiwes posted an advertisement on a site called 'The Cannibal Cafe' (which has a disclaimer saying it's not for cannibals), asking for a strong male aged 18-35 to cook and eat. Many answered the ad, but later backed out. Armin, being the reasonable gentleman that he is, did not force them into anything and let them go.

    One fellow, however, did follow through with this. They started around an area best not described on the hive (you can look this up elsewhere if you wish), leading to the participant to eventually faint from blood loss (and possibly overdosing on painkillers).

    So, Armin, being the resourceful and economic individual that he is, stored this man in pizza boxes and ate him over a great course of time. As his meal was running out, he decided to post another ad on the same site. This time, he got reported for it, and before too long the authorities arrived at Armin's house.

    Basically, what they found was a video tape of the entire procedure the participant had gone through, and they arrested him. He was charged with manslaughter and sentenced to 8 and a half years. Later, the charge was changed to life imprisonment for murder.

    SO, what I want to have discussed on this thread is this - should Armin have, indeed, been punished at all? Was he rightfully arrested, or were the reasons unjustified as the 'victim' was willing?

    I would like to point out that the charge was changed to murder as his psychologist found that Armin was still fantasising about eating manflesh. However, the fact that he did not act on this before getting a willing meal makes this claim questionable.

    Now, this is a very contraversial topic, so keep it clean, try not to go too off-topic and, of course, if you don't like the topic of cannibalism, then please do not post on this thread. Don't even read it beyond the point where you found out it was about cannibalism. It's not for you, simple as that.

    So... commence debate!
     
  2. BlargHonk

    BlargHonk

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    Humans are meat. If I had nothing else to eat I would not hesitate eating someone recently deceased. I would not kill for it though, unless it got very desperate.
     
  3. The_Silent

    The_Silent

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    Its strange that cannibals often get convicted of man slaughter, although I think that's because no law is made against cannibalism in most western countries. Is eating a victim of suicide legal I'd have to ask?
     
  4. Verhalthur

    Verhalthur

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    This is a discussion on the legality of assisted suicide, pretty much.

    I, myself, believe that those who assist the suicidal are preventing the people who are not in their right minds (as suicide is rarely rational) from getting help.

    I believe he should have been tried as a murderer because he killed someone who, had he lived, would have looked back and regretted being suicidal.
     
  5. Boris_Spider

    Boris_Spider

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    You have a right to end your own life. It is YOUR life. If you are unable to end it yourself, you have the right to get another to end it for you. Currently there are 3 reasons for keeping someone from killing themselves:
    1) Psychologists don't appreciate the loss/lack of potential gain of income
    2) Doctors aren't done milking said person's insurance company and/or family
    3) Religion: It preaches that if you die to can go to heaven, but it can only milk the living's resources, so it says suicide is a bad idea... even though in most religions I know of you can simply ask god's forgiveness and you get a clean slate.

    None of the 3 reasons given are viable reasons for extending the life of someone who doesn't want to live in world where food, water,, and space are becoming notable concerns. Based on your comment, if this victim donated his flesh for someone else's sustanence, then that's just being resourceful and considerate of others.

    As for cannibals, they're banned to prevent us from hunting each other. But when the shit hits the fan, ...you gotta eat or die. If it's of any consolation, we spiders have no qualms about cannibalism.

    //\\oo//\\
     
  6. Wazzz

    Wazzz

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    It is an interesting and contraversial area. For me, I believe that the most that Armin should have been convicted with was assisted suicide and possibly inhumane acts. After all, necrophillia is illegal, so I can only imagine that cannibalism itself would be illegal for the same reasons.

    But as for murder, I don't buy it. Manslaughter, maybe, if that's what one gets arrested for when performing assisted suicide illegally, but definitely not murder.
     
  7. BlargHonk

    BlargHonk

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    Actually, suicide is the only crime punishable if attempted, but not if commited.
     
  8. Verhalthur

    Verhalthur

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    I guess I consider it murder because I am a sort of optimist.

    I believe every man or woman has something to offer this world and that preventing them from doing that is a crime to both the person and the world that would benefit from the person.

    It seems like a moral abomination to me to kill someone who deserves life.
     
  9. Wazzz

    Wazzz

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    Ah good point. There are some people out there who are so morbid and suicidal that they won't really end up offering anything to this world (a sad truth), but there are plenty who are in a dark place that can get out of it.

    Yea, I see your point of view, does come across as murder when thought about in that way.
     
  10. En_Fuego

    En_Fuego

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    He killed that guy.

    Murder is against the law.

    Even if he didn't kill that guy, "suicide" is not legal either.

    "Assisted suicide" is the same thing as "Manslaughter"

    Should he go to jail? Yes...why wouldn't he?

    edit: About morality. What about his family? Do they necessarily want him to commit this suicide? I imagine they must feel a lot like the family of a murder victim.

    And I'm assuming he was tried in Germany, where laws and due process can be drastically different than here in the United States.
     
  11. Wazzz

    Wazzz

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    It's not a question of whether or not he should have been punished, although it is a tricky topic when it comes to assisted suicide.

    What I want to know is if there was a contract involved. I don't think there was, but IF there was, would it have made all the difference? After all, everything appears to be much more legal in writing.
     
  12. En_Fuego

    En_Fuego

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    A contract? Like "I hereby sign away my right to live and allow for this guy to help kill me" ?

    It doesn't matter...You can have the best intentions in the world with anything you do, but if you end up breaking the law you are punished for breaking the law.
     
  13. Verhalthur

    Verhalthur

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    What you say is true but law for the sake of law is not a concrete argument.

    It is better to examine the reasons behind the law and discuss it almost as if the status of the law is in question.
     
  14. Wazzz

    Wazzz

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    There were people who answered the ad looking to get cooked and eaten. It is a serious sexual kink that some people have the misfortune of having. Signing a contract to be cooked and eaten legally wouldn't be too far beyond them.

    But what I find redeemable about Armin is that when the initial responses backed out of being cooked and eaten, he never forced them. So while one might say he should be convicted of murder on account of taking a life, the fact is that the so-called 'victim' agreed to it. While it may be against the law to take a life, the retrial shouldn't have really gone to murder.

    I think the main reason it DID go to murder was because Armin's shrinks found he still had tendencies of wanting to eat people. He is currently a vegetarian now, I believe.
     
  15. En_Fuego

    En_Fuego

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    Okay, so lets talk about criminal justice. The criminal justice system operates under a field of ethics called "Deontology" which is Greek for "obligation; duty".

    To summarize, the field of Deontology comes down to judging the actual results of one's actions, not their intentions. In other words, if you break your obligation to society (lets say you failed to adhere to a rule or something) then you're "breaking the law" so-to-speak.

    Now I'm sure someone is thinking "what if your obligation is to just have good intentions?". That's a valid point, however, the criminal justice system judges based on the happening of your actions.

    Whether or not you're guilty of a crime isn't dependent on your intent at all. One of the common misconceptions is that mens rea (criminal intent) is required to prosecute someone in an American court. However, this is not entirely true. What the whole mens rea thing comes down to is proving that someone was involved with a crime.

    For example, 3rd degree murder. How can you prove someone was involved in a murder and deserves to be punished if they didn't actually commit the murder? Additionally, how can you prove the fact that they knowingly assisted in the murder and didn't just accidentally assisted? Their mens rea.

    So in conclusion, if you commit a crime, you're pretty much boned (unless you get off like OJ). The only abstentions would be when you're accused of a crime by association (like 3rd degree murder).

    So how does this German dude play into all of this? A major field of study in Deontology is the work of German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Kantian ethics centralize around three significant formulations of the Categorical Imperative.

    "Act only according to that maxim by which you can also will that it would become a universal law."

    Kant is basically saying actions are only moral if everyone in the world could commit them and the world would still maintain a decent sense of stability. Apply it to this situation: If everyone tried to eat other people, the world would likely go to hell. Half of our population would be cannibals focused on trying to eat other people while the other half is fearing being eaten.

    "Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end."

    Pretty simple. Always treat human life as something to uphold and never use human life to achieve some petty thing like pleasure. Apply it to this situation: the guy basically destroyed someone's life to simply please himself when he could simlpy go out and just watch some girl-on-girl porn.

    That's my justification of why murder is bad.
     
  16. Wazzz

    Wazzz

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    Without a doubt murder is bad. But the question is whether or not this was truly murder.

    After all, if we're talking about American law, there are at least some states which still have the death penalty. Killing someone on death row is within the law, even though it's a group of men knowingly taking the life of another person (which is what one could say is the definition a murder).

    So, these people on death row are an exception to the law against murder because... the person they're killing did something really bad? In any case, they have permission from the state and while I agree that the death penalty is good for reducing prison overcrowding and ultimately making sure the world's most evil people don't see the light of day again, I don't see the difference between this and murder other than justification.

    So, if the law is truly carried out disregarding circumstance and saying that you're not allowed to break the law under any condition, then the men who carry out these death penalties should surely be arrested for murder, too. But they're not, indicating that circumstance does come into play.

    Now, what if someone wants to die? Assisted suicide is treated differently to murder on account of the victim wanting to die and the assailant possibly feeling emotionly compelled to put the person 'out of their misery'. That is in the circumstance of someone who is dying a drawn out and painful death, anyway.

    In the circumstance of someone wanting to die, it's a bit different, but nonetheless is still essentially the same principle. Someone wants to die, they can't do it themself, so they get assistance. But who has the right to do that?

    Getting back to Armin Meiwes, he had a willing candidate who actually wanted to be cooked and eaten. No joke, this guy wanted it. Now, if there was no contract in the question, then of course Armin should be arrested for manslaughter under the reasons of commiting assisted suicide. As for murder, that goes into a slightly different discussion of whether or not assisted suicide is truly murder.

    What I believe, however, is that if there was indeed a written contract between the two men involved stating that the 'victim' was, in fact, not a victim and participating on his own free will, then that would be circumstantially different. That would be within the law (much like the executioners who take the lives of criminals on death row).

    So, if there was a contract involved, what would the worst that Armin could have truly been convicted with? I believe he'd get off with no charge whatsoever, but there may be some way for him to be convicted.

    As for if there was no contract whatsoever, I believe manslaughter is the best you can put him away for, as the crime he commited was assisted suicide and it wasn't operated under the law. As for murder, however, that wouldn't quite be the charge.
     
  17. En_Fuego

    En_Fuego

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    Murder on death row isn't against the law, so why would it break any law?

    That's not the law at all...The law is interpreted as 3rd degree murder. IE helping someone kill someone.

    Exactly, it's still the same principle. No one citizen has the right to kill another citizen.

    Contracts don't matter lol. I have never even heard of someone signing a contract for this type of matter. Do you have any evidence of this?

    How do you know it wasn't forged though? (I'm going to ask again: has this ever happened?)

    edit: IN the case of the contract, I forgot about Dr.Kovarik. SO yes, it has happened. However, euthanasia is completely different than what's happening here.
     
  18. Wazzz

    Wazzz

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    You seem to miss the point with the 'death row' comparison. The fact is that, regardless of whether it's within the law or not, they are taking a life. This isn't murder as the definition goes that murder is the unlawful killing of someone else, but it is a completely different context when someone wants to die and gets assistance.

    Which brings me to your point of stating that's 'third degree murder'? I don't get it, if it was going to be murder wouldn't the person be in 'first degree murder'? You know, as he's directly doing the killing.

    Do I have evidence of what? That a contract would mean something? I never said they actually had a written contract, I wanted to know if a contract would mean something. Just because you've never heard of someone signing a contract involving their death doesn't mean it wouldn't happen. You seem to be ignoring the fact that the 'victim' here wanted to be cooked and eaten. Signing a contract for this to be legal (if indeed that would make it legal) would not be that far beyond him.

    There was a case of a contract being signed? I wouldn't say euthanasia is completely different, if different at all. After all, it is the same principle in that a person wants to die, so they seek assistance. So, if a contract is signed, then that would technically make it legal (providing contracts make anything legal).

    Now, if there was no contract involved, then I agree, murder would be the charge, as I have recently read the definition of 'murder' and the keyword there is 'unlawful'. No contract means it's definitely illegal.

    Now, if we look at the defintion of a contract:

    'An agreement between two or more parties, especially one that is written and enforceable by law.'

    My source for this was: click here

    So, a contract is enforceable by the law. Which, as far as I can tell, means that it will legalise pretty much anything so long as it's signed.

    As for the forgery idea, that is a good point, although if it were a written contract, they would be able to look through former signatures of the signer. However, if you want better proof (as the person is signing their own death warrant, they're not likely to be around to say that they signed it in the case of an investigation), they could have just as easily done a verbal agreement. On the video tape the police found.

    If anything, this video tape could just well be the binding contract. Then again, it could not. I have not seen this video, nor am I overly keen for looking it up (as fascinating as gore is to me, some of the 'sexual content' within it is a wee bit off-putting).

    Now, let's say hypothetically that there was a contract found within the video tape. Despite how strongly one might be opposed to allowing this man free for cannibalism, this would make this circumstance legal. Which, as absurd as it may sound to willingly create a contract saying 'I hereby allow this man to cook and eat me', it would not be beyond this 'victim' as he did want to be cooked and eaten in the first place.
     
  19. The_Silent

    The_Silent

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    Am I wrong when I say that contracts of certain matter need at least two independent witnesses with no ties to either part to be legally binding? This would prevent forgery, but well, would very much like the add for that xD
     
  20. Wazzz

    Wazzz

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    Hmm... this may be true for written contracts. I'm not too sure, but I think you may be correct.

    However, if it were a contract via video, it would be easier to tell if it were a forgery. Just call in the tech-experts and have them analyse the video. Sort of like how some people put their will on video.