Queen vs. Dudley and Stephens

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Regina v. Dudley and Stephens
There have been many criminal cases in the history, which brought controversy, whether murder could be justified under different circumstances. One of the famous cases tells a story of four shipwrecked men, which were lost in the high seas. The story was named "The Lifeboat Case", regarding the tragic and life-changing decision that was made in extreme circumstance. Four seamen, Thomas Dudley, Edward Stephens, Brooks and seventeen year old Richard Parker were in high seas and due to the storm that hit them very bad, they had to put themselves into an open boat. They did not have any supply of water and food, except 1 lb. tin of turnips. On the fourth day of this journey, they caught a small turtle and it …show more content…

As the ship started to sink, men barely managed to get into a lifeboat and by the time they were trying to save their lives, all of supplies of water and food were gone. Professor Teuber clarifies it, saying: “Unfortunately, the emergency supply of water that they had hastily thrown overboard next to the dinghy was swept away by the waves” ( Since Teuber acknowledged that Dudley was the captain of the ship, it might also be the reason of why all decisions were made by Dudley. He might have felt himself responsible for men’s life and tried to save as much as he could, by sacrificing one. One of the details Teuber mentioned was that the rest of seamen were rescued by a German boat, called “Montezuma”, which was heading home from South America. As soon as they delivered men to Falmouth and started questioning them, it was clear that they have committed a crime. However, Brook’s name wasn’t mentioned as one of the prisoners throughout the story. And Teuber reveals the reason, saying:”The upright Dudley immediately insisted that he was the ringleader and that Brooks was completely innocent” ( So that’s why Brooks played as a prosecution’s witness. The most remarkable situation in this case, was the peace between Dudley and the Richard’s brother Daniel Parker. He even came to court and shook Dudley’s hand. By the way, the initials C.J stand for Chief Justice Lord Coleridge who refused to recognize the prisoners’ case as necessity

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