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What are the legal ramifications of murder in space?

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posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 02:54 AM
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I read about this somewhere before. Lets say Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were up on the moon. Let's say Buzz decided he was tired of tired of Neil stealing the spotlight so he decided to "whack" him. Could he be tried for murder back on Earth? Nobody owns the moon, at least not then they didnt.

What about evidence? How could they collect any? What if he had decided he wasnt coming home? How long could he have survived?

Then to bring this up to modern speed, what if it was the shuttle? Say 2 astronauts were doing a space walk, and one guy just cracked the face sheild or something. Technically, hes not any country or government property, so has he broken the law? If so, who's ?




posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 02:59 AM
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They're still subject to US laws. The Apollo would still be considered US territory, and if it happened on the moon, they would still be subject to US laws, and would still stand trial in the US when they returned. Collecting evidence would be a bit of a problem, and would probably require a mission just to get it.



posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 03:02 AM
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Ya, you would think it would be that easy. But I don't. First off...no body. Just tell them he floated off or something. Secondly, no evidence. Would they really want to spend all the money again?

[edit on 4-1-2006 by spliff4020]

[edit on 4-1-2006 by spliff4020]



posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 03:23 AM
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yeah, he would be tried by US laws.

I just dont think it would really be possible. Even if say 2 were on a space walk, and one lost it, and got annoyed by the other one for whatever reason, and decided to cut him loose and push him out into space away from the shuttle or space station, he would be watched, not only by other people there but several different camera angles. So the second they landed on terra firma, he wouldn't recieve his paycheck, & would go directly to jail.




posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 03:29 AM
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Well the US would have jurisdiction to try him should he return. As far as investigating lets say Buzz kicks Neil out the door and then just takes off. I believe Neil would be able to tell NASA what happened because of his headset and even back then NASA still could detect your vital signs. So they would have a fair idea of how and when Neil died I guess. And if their on the moon he wouldn't float very far. Maybe a few meters but that about it. Hopefully Law & Order will still be running 15yrs from now so we can all find out how this will go down.



posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 03:44 AM
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But say Buzz just picks up a rock and cracks Neils face sheild. Poof! Instant. He could say he tripped on a rock or something.



posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 06:51 AM
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Maybe there is something in Maritime laws for this situation. A murder takes place in international waters and the weighted body is tossed overboard and sinks to the bottom. no body, no witnesses. You know this has had to have happened before.

How was it handled?



posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 07:13 AM
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Originally posted by spliff4020
But say Buzz just picks up a rock and cracks Neils face sheild. Poof! Instant. He could say he tripped on a rock or something.


It's all on video though. Getting away with murder on a NASA sponsored mission would be nigh on impossible to get away with due to the amount of telemetry that goes back to mission control. When Private Space Flight takes off expect the first murder shortly after and we'll see what happens. It will probably similiar to martime law IMO.

[edit on 4-1-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 09:04 AM
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I would suppose that murder in space would be like murder on the high seas. If I am correct, there are no real laws on the sea except in territorial waters. That would be my guess if I am right. It seems that it would make sense in space where no one entity or govt. owns anything other than the objects put there (satillites) by any one nation.???



posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 09:18 AM
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In strict legal theory UK Courts have universal jurisdiction, unless the laws are explicitly limited in themselves. It would be political madness to prosecute, say, a Chinaman for Chinese acts in China in a UK Court where they had no bearing on UK matters, but theoretically consistent to do so.

This is how a UK court can issue an injunction contra omnes (against the whole world), such as it has done in some recent cases.

But, this is just a theoretical stance. Other legal systems may also operate under this theory but I don't know.

Cheers.

Rob.

[edit on 4-1-2006 by d60944]



posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 10:17 AM
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Originally posted by d60944
In strict legal theory UK Courts have universal jurisdiction,

Huh?



posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan

Originally posted by d60944
In strict legal theory UK Courts have universal jurisdiction,

Huh?


I mean in theory the UK could pass a law saying something like "all Frenchmen in Marseille who stand on one leg in that city commit an offence under English law", and in theory attempt to enforce it. This is only theory though, as the politcal reality means that such a law would be contrary to the norm of international autonomy, peoples' human rights and the orthodox concept of the "rule of law" (i.e. that one must be able to know what laws apply to you in orderto behave accordingly). It just isn't done like that (although there was an injunction against the whole world issued by the judge in the Jamie Bulger murder case [Venables and Thompson v News Group Newspapers - protecting the identity of the killers once they were released] - the theory holds it but it is unlikely that UK courts would be able to do anything without political intervention should the injunction be breached outside of the UK).

Cheers.



posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 11:49 AM
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Hmmm... I need to find a way to get my ex-wife into space.......



... to enjoy the view....





posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by spliff4020
Hmmm... I need to find a way to get my ex-wife into space.......



... to enjoy the view....



I think the first sits are going for like $100,000 each. In the long run that's not to bad for pain and suffering



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 07:41 AM
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Originally posted by d60944
I mean in theory the UK could pass a law saying something like "all Frenchmen in Marseille who stand on one leg in that city commit an offence under English law", and in theory attempt to enforce it. This is only theory though, as the politcal reality means that such a law would be contrary to the norm of international autonomy, peoples' human rights and the orthodox concept of the "rule of law"[/'quote]
Is this something specific to the UK and not an option to most countries though, or are you saying that any country could theoretically do this on the same basis?

I ask because the UK is in an usual position of having controlled a 1/4 of the globe at one point, and even today has lots of countries within its greater commonwealth, and wonder if it stems from some archaism of colonial times.



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 09:12 AM
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It depends on the precise constituional underpinning to the legislature, but it's not something specific to the UK, nor something derived from former colonial days. I imagine that a lot of countries legal systems operate on the same legal theory, but I don't know offhand.

Cheers.



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 12:48 PM
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Pfew! I sooo wanna direct a courtroom drama flick on that!

Private detective Hercules Poirot, explaining possible scenarios in the front of a group of Houston engineers:

"Buzz secretly cuts Neil's air tube. Neil screaming in disgust as he notices the vacuum sucking his air, virtually unable to explain to Houston that Buzz just tried to assassinate him. Buzz then fakes a nervous explanation of the events, telling how Neil's tube broke while he was "dancing" in low gravity."

"Buzz pushing Neil into a crater, the latter falling exactly on a pointy rock, his visor breaking on the impact, thus vacuuming his oxygen and freezing his body to death. Buzz faking his description of the events, as having seen Neil fall into the crater as he was trying to "surf" down on it."

Commissionary Warren is put on the case, and the trial ends in an uneven and unconclusive manner as Buzz's version of the facts is retained as the one and only possible scenario, thanks mainly to the theory of a "magic handpush", brought by an official named "Arlen Spector".

Then about 30 years later the story is brought back into public eye as conspiracy theories develop on a NASA cover-up to hide the true circumstances by which Neil died, mainly by being pushed to his death by one of the Greys on the Moon...


Ok, sorry for the humour.



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 02:03 PM
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Oh come on, you know that somewhere out there is a lawyer who would take this case probono. I think laws may apply somehow, but I think you could easily get away with it.



posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 02:21 PM
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What if a moon alien comes by and claim the murder took place on their soil, and they have to be tried on the moon by their laws?

Now THERE is a legal ramification to have fun with



posted on Jan, 11 2006 @ 02:34 PM
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I think a murder on the Space shuttle, or during a moon mission would be easy enough to deal with, as those would both be US laws because they are from US missions. (Untill China makes thier first moon misison)

Now, if an American astronaut were to murder his Japaneese counterpart on the ISS, before coming home in a soyez capsule landing in Russia...

Law on the high seas tends to depend on which nation the ship in question is flagged under. So jumping on a private flight launching from and landing in the US would put you under US law.



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