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Criminal Law Keyed to Weaver
Regina v. Dudley & Stephens
Citation:14 Q.B.D. 273 (1884)
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
The three men and the boy were cast to sea by a storm and forced into another boat. The only food that they had was 2 pounds of turnips in tins. The turnips lasted three days. They caught a turtle on the 4th day and that lasted a few days. This is the only food they had until the 20th day. Dudley and Stephens consulted Brooks as to what to do and that someone should be sacrificed to save the others, to which Brooks said that would not happen. Dudley stated on the 19th day that if there was no ship in sight by tomorrow than he would kill the boy in order to eat his remains and survive, to which Brooks said no. The next day with no vessel in sight, Dudley told Brooks to go get some sleep, and gave the sign to Stephens. Dudley offered prayers and then went up to the boy, who was extremely weak and famished, with the assent of Stephens and killed the boy with a knife. The three men ate the boy’s remains and were rescued four days after the killing. It was stated that without killing there boy it was probable that the men would not have survived, and the boy was likely to have died before the men.
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