I am not a lawyer and know no more about law then what I have seen on crime serials and read in old P.I. novels. However because this topic is still an area of much discussion both in our modern culture and more importantly in this fandom I will try to keep my arguments within the confines of the rulebook that our justice system has labored to perfect for so long.
The question is of course "Is killing ever justified". It is a question that raises it's head at least ones in any serious debate started at this club. The act of murder weather it is committed by one character or another always has it's defenders and prosecutors and both have strong arguments for there respective sides.
During this article I'm going to take some of the most popular cases and using my limited understanding of the law (with the assistance of legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com) as well as my more extensive study of the OUAT debates and discussions on this topic and act as judge.
Case #1- Homicide of Graham, sheriff
Defendant held victim in captivity against his will for unknown years due to a breach of contract. Most likely due to Stockholm Syndrome both parties became emotionally involved. When victim attempted to break free defendant reacted to the perceived betrayal by killing him.
Grahams murder was a crime of passion done in the spur of the moment by a damaged and heartbroken woman who could not bear the thought of losing him and who obviously shows grief and remorse for what she felt she had to do.
Crime of Passion / Temporary Insanity
While the defendant may have loved the victim crimes of passion do not excuse murder it merely eliminates premeditation. (See: link
) However the forced imprisonment of victim leading up to the crime as well as other crimes perviously committed against the victim (assault, rape) do prove malice aforethought. (See: link
) It addition to all this defendants charge would automatically be bumped up to first degree for killing a police officer. (See: link
Guilty - First Degree Murder
Case #1- Homicide of Milah, wife
Victim (wife of defendant) committed adultery and abandoned her husband and son. When defendant learned of this betrayal he murdered her and assaulted her lover leaving him permanently crippled.
After suffering such injustices and humiliation at the hand of this woman the defendant asked her to explain herself and received only more insults. At that moment all the suffering she had put him and his child though welled up inside him and he snapped.
Honor Killing / Infidelity, Crime of Passion / Temporary Insanity
While honor killings as a result of infidelity may be an acceptable excuse for murder in countries where woman are viewed as property I would hope this fandom is above that sort of thinking. (See: link
) Once again crimes of passion do not excuse murder merely eliminates premeditation and infidelity at least in most civilized countries is not a capital offense. (See: link
Guilty - Second Degree Murder
Case #1- Homicide of Cora Mills
Defendant when of sound mind planned and coordinated the murder of the victim in order to avenge past crimes committed by the victim as well as prevent any future crimes. In a spur of the moment adaption to the plan defendant used the victims own daughter as a proxy to deliver the killing blow.
Snow already knew what Cora was capable of doing and had to stop her before she killed her and everyone she loved.
vigilante justice / self defense
Weather Cora deserved to die or not does not matter. Vigilante justice is not protected under the law. (See: link
)The only people allowed to dish out justice are those who were appointed to do so and only after all procedures are met. As the victim was not posing an immediate threat to her person the defendant can not plea self defense. The appropriate course of action would have been to leave the apprehension of the victim to someone without a conflict of interest that was qualified to administer justice in an appropriate manner. (See: link
The complexity of this crime proves that it was premeditated. The brutality of the plan also adds to it severity. (See: link
) The defendants clean record as well as her obvious remorse and eleventh hour attempt to stop the crime do work in her favor, however...
Guilty - First Degree Murder
Case #1- Homicide of Royal Guard
During a home invasion and attempted assassination/kidnapping defendant stabbed and killed the victim.
Charming was protecting himself and his family from someone that was threatening immediate bodily harm.
There is really only one acceptable excuse for taking someone life in the eyes of the law and that is when someone is attempting to kill or seriously injure you or someone else (See: link
). Self defense does not however excuse you from the emotional ramifications of taking a life which can be more unbearable then any justice a court can dish out.
Acquitted - Self Defense
I may have appointed myself judge but as most of you know it is not the judge that has the last word but the jury. i'd like to issue you all a summons and invite you to deliberate on these cases in the comments.
For your benefit I've compiled some of my research in an link