Lesser Evil Legal Definition

Again, the lesser harm defence is a justification defence. This means that even if the accused admits the crime, he will claim that he had the right to commit the crime. If the defence of lesser damage is successful, the prosecution will completely drop the charges against the accused. Thesis 65: „After the conduct of reason, of two things that are good, we will follow the greatest good, and of two evils we will follow the least.” There are many legal defences that can be invoked in response to criminal charges. For example, a person charged with a crime could prove: A justification defense is a legal defense that absolves an accused of criminal responsibility for an indictable act on the basis of his or her „justified” actions. In other words, the defendant would admit to having committed the crime, but the defendant would then claim that he had a compelling reason to commit the act that exempts him from criminal responsibility. The most common justification`s defenses include, but are not limited to: In 2012, Huffington Post columnist Sanford Jay Rosen said the idea had become common practice for left-wing voters in the United States because of his overwhelming disapproval of the U.S. government`s support for the Vietnam War. [3] Rosen explained: „Beginning with the 1968 presidential election, I often heard liberals say they could not vote for the lesser of two evils. Some said they would not vote; Some said they would vote for a third-party candidate. This mantra brought us to Richard Nixon in 1972, until Watergate lit it. And it was delivered to us by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in 2000 until their dismissal in 2009.

[3] The lesser harm defense may also be called a plea of necessity or a lesser evil defense, depending on your specific jurisdiction. The lesser damages defence is generally invoked when a defendant has committed a crime to prevent greater harm from occurring. The defense will argue that the defendant should have committed the crime as if he had not committed the act if the greatest harm had occurred. Therefore, in order to be able effectively to rely on the lesser damage plea, the defendant must prove that the greatest damage would probably have occurred if it had not intervened. In the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the parties` two leading candidates – Hillary Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R) – had rejection rates of nearly 60% in August 2016. [4] Green Party candidate Jill Stein invoked this idea in her campaign, saying, „Don`t vote for the lesser evil, fight for the greater good.” [5] „Between Scylla and Charybdis” is a phrase from Homer`s Odyssey. In the story, Odysseus chose to approach Scylla as the lesser evil. He lost six of his companions, but if he had approached Charybdis, they would all have been condemned. Because of these stories, navigation between the two dangers was ultimately used idiomatically. Another equivalent English maritime expression is „Between a rock and a hard place”. [10] The Latin line incidit in scyllam cupiens vitare charybdim („he meets Scylla, wants to avoid the charybdis”) had become proverbial earlier, with a meaning corresponding to jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

Erasmus wrote it as an old proverb in his Adagia, although the earliest known example is in Alexandreis, a 12th century Latin epic by Walter of Châtillon. [11] The principle of the lesser evil, also known as the principle of the lesser evil and the lesser evil, is the principle that, when choosing from two immoral options, the least immoral must be chosen. The principle is sometimes recalled in relation to binary political decisions in democratic elections in a two-party system. In his podcast DarkHorse, Bret Weinstein describes his 2020 Unity proposal for the 2020 presidential election as an option that, if unsuccessful, would not asymmetrically weaken the second-best choice of voters on only one political side, thus avoiding the lesser evil. [6] Therefore, if you have been charged with a crime, it is important to consult with an experienced defense attorney immediately. An experienced defense attorney will be able to assert all applicable legal defenses in your case and represent you in court if necessary. For an act to be considered a crime, it must be committed intentionally in violation of a law and without justification or defense. Therefore, a legal defense is an argument that can be used by a person accused of a crime to challenge the sufficiency of the prosecutor`s evidence. The maxim already existed in Platonic philosophy. [1] In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle writes: „For the lesser evil may be seen as good in comparison with the greatest evil, since this lesser evil is preferable to the greatest, and what is preferable is good.” The modern formulation was popularized by Thomas` devotional book to Kempis, The Imitation of Christ from the early 15th century.

As can be seen, it is customary to raise a legal defence in a criminal case and may result in the charges against an accused being reduced or dropped altogether. In order to defend any harm, a defendant must prove that he had to choose between two evils and chose the lesser evil. The lesser harm defence is often difficult to prove and requires a solid presentation of evidence in support of the defence`s claim. For example, there is no doubt that theft is a criminal act. However, if the accused stole food to feed his starving family, he can use the lesser harm defence to mitigate the charges against him. Another example is an accused who broke into his neighbors` house, caught fire to remove his neighbor`s animals from the house. Again, there is no doubt that burglary and trespassing is a crime, but if they had not done so, the animals could have perished. Travis received his J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 2017 and his B.A. with honors from the University of Texas in 2014. Travis has written on many legal topics, from articles that follow every Texas Supreme Court decision to the Virtual Reality Act. In his spare time from the legal world and the search for knowledge, this 3.

Black belt diploma and certified instructor after working with various charities focused on access to entertainment and games for all. The principle of „lesser of two evils” is sometimes jokingly changed to „the evil of two lesser evils”, as in the titles of these articles on the 1988 US presidential election[8] and 2016. [9] Again, there are many legal defenses that can be invoked if you have been charged with a crime. Therefore, it is important to consult your local laws regarding the crime(s) you have been charged with to determine whether a legal defense can be invoked. Coercion differs from the lesser damages defence because in the coercion defence, the defendant does not make a decision on the harm that will be inflicted. Instead, the accused finds himself in a situation where he has no choice at all and is forced to commit an act against his will. Again, it is up to the defendant to assert and prove the lesser harm defence in order to mitigate or drop the criminal charges against him. To justify the defense of lesser damages, a defendant must prove: In the United States, criminal charges are filed against individuals either by the state, the people, or the United States itself for federal crimes.