Thursday, 26 November 2009

Mens Rea

Hi, my name is Jonah and I just got out of jail. The reason I wanted to have my say today was because of something I read in an English paper recently. It was about a man who killed his wife and it’s a bit – just a little bit - like what happened to me.

Here goes: Husband and wife are sleeping in their motor home. They are tormented by a bunch of bad-ass teenagers making a racket outside. Police are nowhere to be seen, surprise surprise. Then the man dreams that the teenagers have broken in to the motor home and he is laying into one of them. But what he’s actually doing is he’s attacking his Missus. He wakes up and finds her dead.

So far, so good. He is arrested, charged and tried. But they let him go because he had a sleep disorder. It means that he kind of loses it, and loses himself in his dreams – not all the time, but some of the time. You see he didn’t mean to kill the Missus, and he couldn’t know that he was killing her either. As far as he was concerned, he was actually killing one of these teenagers. Fortunately he couldn’t be guilty of killing any of the teenagers, because there were no dead teenagers. Got that?

Anyway, I might sound like I’m not taking this totally seriously. But believe you me, I really am. And this is because I too had a little dream a few years ago. This one involved an antelope. Yep, an African antelope. I was roaming this game reserve one moment, and the next moment I was hacking at the thing with a very large machete. And I was slicing and slicing and slicing him until he was just like so many pieces of salami.

So far, so good. But this time, the cop guy turns up and when I told him that I was having a dream about being attacked by an antelope and I was only defending myself, you know what he said? Yes, sir, but how does that explain the fact that last night you slaughtered your neighbour and his entire family and you sliced up their dogs into lots of tiny little pieces? And, you know what? I couldn’t answer that and I had a really bad lawyer and so went to jail.

So my point is this: the law is a bit of a tart really. Doesn’t always do what you expect it to do. And it’s not what you know but who you know that counts. It’s not what happens, but the lawyer you happen to get that’s important - like so much in life. Mind you, life, like the law is full of all sorts of great surprises. My friend Jonno dreamt that he was murdering his wife and when he woke up, he discovered an intruder lying dead in the hall way! And he went to jail.

So I’m not sure which it is better to be nowadays: Good in your head and bad in what you do or bad in your head and good in what you do. I suppose, if I knew that I’d be running the darned country.
Posted by Jonah Wicki, of no fixed employment nor abode


  1. Yes, or maybe you wouldn't
    Or maybe you would...

  2. Is this supposed to be an illusion to government or something?
    Or law?

  3. Now then now then now then. The law is like the Ritz, open to everybody. Boom boom.

  4. Now then now then now then, the government is like the Ritz, open to everybody. Boom Boom

  5. Now zen now zen now zen. Colditz is like the Ritz. Open to... ev... not sure that works.

  6. The law is not that capricious. It stands to reason that every case has a unique set of circumstances and those circumstances always have to be appreciated for the law to operate effectively in any given instance. Otherwise you have a broad brush. Do you want that?

  7. Justice Justis, don't flatter yourself that you're that guided by the facts.
    Bank charges anyone?

  8. Arctic Monkey, allusion surely?

  9. That's a really cheery blog

  10. When are we going to get more blogs written by tarts?