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Law & Society - Important Cases.

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Social Science
SOSC 1375
Olena Kobzar

SOSC 1375 – INTRO TO SOCIO-LEGAL STUDIES MIDTERM REVIEW COURT CASES Dobson vs. Dobson Case  Ms. Dobson was driving behind husband, she was pregnant, got into an accident, the child that was born was physically challenged, many years later, the grandfather brought the case to the Supreme Court, wanting the insurance company to pay for all the expenses of Ron (the child) for the rest of his life  It's a difficult case because it was the mother who ran the car into the other car, so if it was anyone else, they could have immediately sued, and got the money from insurance  According to the law, a fetus is not a 'person', so the mother did not have responsibility  Does the mother own the fetus any responsibility? The Supreme Court said no. Sue Rodriguez Case:  S. Rodriguez suffered from a disease, she found life unendurable, wanted a qualified physician to help her end her life  S. 241(b) of the Criminal Code – criminal offense to assist a person to commit suicide  Ms. Rodriquez argues that S.241(b) of CC. violates S. 7, 12, 15 of the Charter of Rights & Freedoms – everyone has the right to life, liberty and security  5-4 majority of the Supreme Court agreed that S. 241(b) did not violate the Charter  However, there are methods in other countries – other humane ways Clara Ford (1894) Early 30s , mulatto , seamstress , unmarried   Clara Ford shot and killed Frank Westwood (18 years old, from a well off white family)  She dressed like a man, ate raw meat, jumped street cars – very masculine, African blood  Social norms - certain ideas of what it means to be a woman at that time  Because she is African, they assumed that she is promiscuous  Her motive: he did not treat her respectably  The narratology of her lawyer – he changed the story  The lawyer said that if a woman was interrogated for 7 hrs, of course she would confess  The lawyer claimed that it was a false confession  This case is based more on facts/ knowledge  Clara Ford‟ legal consciousness is that the authority is unreliable – the police would not help African people Carrie Davies (1915)  18 year old woman from England, servant in the Massey home  Young, white, British, innocent, hardworking, dutiful, dressed in dowdy clothing  Bert Massey - liked fast cars and had a reputation for womanizing o He gave her a ring – “pressured” her  She killed him because she was scared – went to her family beforehand, told about him  Medicalization insanity – at first, they thought she was crazy, but proved that she wasn‟t  Although she murdered the man, she got off the hook because they assumed she dressed dowdy, so she was a virgin – she had something to „protect‟  She was dating a military man – he is a hero, she is most likely pure and innocent  P. 172: the prosecution‟s opening remarks: showed sympathy  She had overpowered her master the first time he forced himself on her; how come she wasn‟t able to overpower him a second time? - This information omitted to help her image of the pure, innocent woman - Her story: she had no choice, must protect purity R. v. Daviault (1994)  Henri Daviault - chronic alcoholic was asked to get alcohol for the friend of his wife  The friend - semi paralyzed , 65 year old on wheelchair  H. Daviault bought a 400z bottle of brandy, the woman drank half a glass and passed out, he finished the rest, then sexually assaulted the woman  At trial, he argued that he drank 7 beer at the bar, prior the visit ; after finishing the bottle, went into a blackout and couldn‟t remember anything until he found himself naked in her bed Argued that he was in automatism - like state brought on by intoxication  - Argued that he wasn‟t in the right state of mind – claims he has no responsibility  Therefore: couldn‟t form "general intent"  Can such a defense be used? - The intent of the crime is important - the mens rea - He should still be punished - he knew he is an alcoholic - Even though he has the mens rea to drink, he did not have the mens rea to kill her R. v. Stone (1999)  In 1993, Bert Stone married Donna Stone – had a difficult relationship  1994: trip to Vancouver, had a conflict, he drove to an abandoned parking lot  The wife provokes him  At this point, he claim her v
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