Friday, November 17, 2006

Paraphilia Phriday 11

What makes a good story?
To quote The Princess Bride,
Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles!
(the book adds, inter alia, Bad men... Beasts of all natures and descriptions... Death...Passion.)

What makes a good paraphilia phriday?
Sex...Life...Death...Paraphilia...Epistemology...Wisconsin...Public Defenders...

Today's paraphiliac (news article here) was NOT caught having sex with a deer, but was caught having sex with a deer carcass.
There's an important legal difference - having sex with an animal would be illegal in Wisconsin - but are dead animals legally animals? Fredric Anderson, Bryan Hathaway's Public Defender (brief here) says no, and the DA helps to explain why the PD's right.
If, for purposes of the bestiality law, 'animal' includes dead animals, where does a dead animal stop being an animal? when its decomposed? (how much decomposition?) when its temperature reaches the ambient temperature? when its not recognizable as an animal?
Or is it as simple as the DA pointed out in argument, that (at least for pet dogs) once dead "It stays a dog for some time." How's that for void for vagueness?
Hathaway's PD points out that the only sensible rule is the bright-line rule - death. Anything else leads to absurd results: "When does a turkey cease to be an animal? When it is dead? When it is wrapped in plastic packaging in the freezer? When it is served, fully cooked?"

There's a lot of helpful analogous law out there - rape does not include dead people, so we have necrophilia laws. You can't have assault and battery on a dead person, its charged as violating the dead. On the other end of life, (depending on your jurisdiction) you don't have a "person" for purposes of being a murder victim unless one is "born alive" i.e. taking one's own breath and sustaining one's own circulation.

To carry on the good story analogy, one place there Hathway's case and story run into problems is that this is a sequel. He pled nolo last year to killing a horse - so he could have sex with it.

And the Wisconsin angle? The winners from Paraphilia Phriday 10 are Cheddarheads, as was this platonic necrophiliac.

Oh - and what's up with the Princess Bride theme? Its because of one of the cites in Anderson's brief:
As Billy Crystal noted in The Princess Bride (1987), "There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead."



UPDATE: The ruling is out, and some of my analysis here.


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