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WonderCon: Law after the Apocalypse? Not guilty by Zombification

March 26, 2013

This coming Friday, March 29, at WonderCon in Anaheim, California, where there will be panel at 6:30pm featuring the lawyer-blogger-authors from Law and the Multiverse (James Daily, J.D. and Ryan Davidson, J.D.) — The panel is entitled:

Not Guilty by Reason of Zombification? Law and Forensic Psychiatry After the Zombie Apocalypse

The panel also includes forensic psychiatrists from Broadcast Thought (three medical doctors: H. Eric Bender, M.D., Praveen R. Kambam, M.D., and Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D.)

The premise of the panel is:

suppose the zombie apocalypse ended after eradication of the zombies or the discovery of a cure that rejoined the dead with the living. When society’s laws are restored, what would happen if humans, zombies, and former zombies alike stood trial for their actions?

Note some possible cures for zombies (and see also the new BBC show, In the Flesh), note that this metaphor could be potentially applied to any restoration of order after periods of crisis, anarchy, or even just opposition party (like when Clinton-era Democrats retook control of White House with Obama after 12 years of “zombie” control? How do you take over and shift the philosophy of a bureaucracy?) But this panel will look at “crimes like theft, breaking and entering, misuse of a corpse, murder, and cannibalism” – so maybe the metaphor is more apt to post-Katrina-natural-disasters or in establishing order in post-tribal Africa? The panel premise also sets up with almost an understanding that during the zombie apocalypse legal transgression is acceptable or necessary. This is an appropriate topic for the Law of Superheroes writers because superheros often need to transgress law in order to do justice (see Batman and James Bond and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

So at the WonderCon panel:

In a mock trial, the lawyers will be the prosecution and defense, the doctors will be the expert witnesses, and you will be the jury. Will the walking dead be found guilty, or will they walk free?

Sounds fun, wish I could be there.

Here’s to hoping there’s a podcast version and also it should come with a CLE credit– sounds like the segment could be used to teach practice skills related to expert witness testimony and no doubt a review of mens rea elements in criminal law.

Finally, recall the group interview of the ABA fun bloggers – “Blawg for Fun” that included both this blog and the Law and Multiverse blog.

From → Academics, criminal

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