“Legally Dead Man Sentenced to Be Actually Dead”

Recall that legally dead man who wasn’t actually dead, but was only dead legally?

Well, that whole judicial issue has shown up again in Lowering the Bar:Legally Dead Man Sentenced to Be Actually Dead – Lowering the Bar.

Here’s how Kevin Underhill begins this story (I bolded my fave sentence):

After I reported on the case of Donald Miller, the Ohio man who failed to convince a judge he should not be considered legally dead (“‘No, You’re Still Deceased,’ Judge Tells Dead Man” (Oct. 10, 2013)), several people wrote in to ask what would happen if, for example, Miller was asked to pay taxes or charged with a crime. While the statute in question does say that a legal death is presumed to have occurred “for all purposes under the law of this state,” my guess was that the state would not have much trouble ignoring such language in appropriate circumstances.

I was right.

Miller himself, to my knowledge, has not yet needed to assert a death-based immunity. The federal government has insisted that his daughters pay back the death benefits it paid them, even though their father is just as dead now as he was then, but at the moment that’s still their problem. We might have an answer, though, to the criminal-defense question.

And the answer is that not only is death no defense, if you kill someone else while dead you can still get the death penalty.


This entry was posted in Law, suits and order and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.