Law_Student t1_je3d2o9 wrote

Renewables get more expensive the more of them you use, because you need to start investing seriously in storage if you actually rely on them to keep the lights and heat on as opposed to just using them to replace some natural gas use, and storage is ruinously expensive. Even four hours of storage puts renewables above the cost of nuclear.


Law_Student t1_jbbgsof wrote

Such a rule would make courts places where everybody shouted at everybody else and nothing got done. One of the first things people discovered about courts is that the procedure is required in order for the whole process to proceed in a way that gives everybody a chance to speak and be heard. Courts heavily regulate speech to make everything work.


Law_Student t1_jb0kk0l wrote

I suppose I can make two arguments on behalf of the way things are done.

First, the jury's role is to establish whether or not the defendant is guilty of the criminal act as defined by the statute. Did the defendant commit the crime, yes or no? Someone's reasons, in a case like this, don't really change whether they did the crime or not. They're superfluous to the limited question at hand.

Sentencing is the part where we worry about how much someone deserves to be punished for committing the crime, so mitigating factors are relevant there.

Second, it might be dangerous to the justice system's impartiality and effectiveness to allow a jury to consider other factors when they come to a decision about guilt. The laws are supposed to apply equally to everyone. If juries start carving out unpredictable exceptions based on how sympathetic they feel a particular defendant is, then the application of justice might become very unequal. For example, young black men stereotyped as hoodlums might be treated much more harshly than young, attractive white women who have different, more positive stereotypes. (Indeed, that sort of bias is already a problem even with the current system.)


Law_Student t1_jb0hn3q wrote

It will come up in sentencing. The judge is allowed to take it into account then. The jury can't, though, when deciding on guilt.

In this particular case the defendants essentially committed a crime against the court when they were ordered not to bring up the reason in the "are you guilty or not?" phase of the trial, and then did it anyway.


Law_Student t1_jb0g0vb wrote

I think it's about trying to ensure that the law is applied evenly, without prejudice. Most criminals will probably have some rationalization for why they did something. If we get into judging their guilt based on such things, that could open the door to the law only applying to some people at some times, and as a society we want everyone to be subject to the law equally. So instead we take into account the entirety of the circumstances when deciding how much punishment is deserved and necessary, but someone is still guilty if they committed the act.


Law_Student t1_jb0dd8m wrote

Some crimes do have intent requirements. First degree murder must be willful, deliberate, and premeditated, for example. So if you trip and accidentally stab someone with a knife you're holding and they die, that's not murder because it doesn't fit any of the intent requirements, and testimony about intent would be relevant.

But even with intent crimes, the ultimate reason for the intent isn't usually relevant. It's more about "did you mean to do X". The law won't punish someone for an involuntary action or an accident, only if someone chose to do something is punishment justified. But the reason for the choice rarely matters. If you intentionally walk into the road when the crosswalk sign is red then you're jaywalking and it doesn't really matter why. That sort of thing.

Voluntary manslaughter is a rare exception that gives an imperfect defense to murder for certain kinds of provocation, so we actually do need to examine the why there.


Law_Student t1_jayskqz wrote

This is one of those situations where the way the law works doesn't always make sense to someone who isn't immersed in it.

The critical issue here is that "I broke the law to bring attention to climate change" isn't a legally recognized defense. It was the judge's job here to exclude it as an irrelevant attempt to influence the jury with emotion rather than a legal or factual argument. That's because the way the system is set up, the jury is supposed to consider only the narrow issue of whether the accused committed all the elements of the crime or not.

The law is set up the way it is; it doesn't care why someone did something in a case like this, only whether or not they did it. The judge's job is to follow the law. The judge had no choice but to exclude.

You might think that's wrong, and reasonable people can argue that point. But that's a question for the legislature. The judge doesn't have the freedom to make that call without exceeding their authority.


Law_Student t1_jaxy6bt wrote

That's like saying that X cigarette company has done more to reduce the chance of lung cancer than any other. You're kind of missing the fundamental issue that huge satellite constellations are bad for all ground-based astronomy. The best thing for astronomy would be not to have an enormous number of satellites in low orbit.


Law_Student t1_j9243nw wrote

You might be misunderstanding just how limited the mes rea requirement is. All that's necessary is intent to engage in the criminal act, not the intent to knowingly commit a crime. That's what the jury instructions will say, too.

So unless she can argue that she somehow didn't mean to cut off the foot and it just happened by accident, mes rea is met here. Yes, it's a very low hurdle. People can commit crimes even if they don't believe what they're doing is a crime, and they can be punished for it.

And mens rea isn't even necessary in many situations where someone has a special duty of care for a specific person. Here, a medical professional may well have a sufficiently elevated duty of care for a patient that even a failure to act could give rise to criminal liability.


Law_Student t1_j1cfjh0 wrote

Space debris is generally moving at such absurd speeds relative to anything it hits that no type of solar panel would stand up to it. If you're worried about taking hits it would be better to just bring more solar panel area than you need so that you can live without some of it if necessary.