How much wood can a woodchuck chuck…Creation Care, Economics & Law, Intelligent Design — By Rachel Motte on December 12, 2008 at 1:08 am
… and how long before the Sierra Club stages a protest?
A group of environmentalists was appalled to find evidence of an illegal logging operation in a Polish nature reserve this fall. When the activists discovered a neat stack of twenty tree trunks they quickly alerted the police – hoping, no doubt, to save the remaining trees that were notched for felling.
As Barry Arrington points out,
Most crimes require the prosecution to prove a culpable mental state. For example, to prove murder the prosecutor must prove the defendant intended to kill the victim. On the other hand, to prove criminally negligent homicide, the prosecutor need only prove that the defendant was negligent.
Environmental laws are an exception to this rule and fall under the rubric of “strict liability.” To obtain a conviction for violation of an environmental law the prosecutor need only prove that the defendant engaged in the proscribed conduct (in this case, felling trees). His mental state is not relevant.
So, just to be clear, the culprits that started this illegal logging camp should be prosecuted no matter what their mental state. Motive is irrelevant here – the culprits belong in jail, right?
Because if we don’t keep those renegade beavers at bay, the Cows With Guns may come after us. And we can’t have that.
I echo Mr. Arrington’s query:
Now here’s my question for the materialists. Should the beavers be arrested and jailed for violating the environmental laws? It is no answer to say the beavers cannot form the requisite criminal intent. The crime is, after all, a strict liability crime and their mental state when they felled the trees is not relevant.
Materialists? What say you?