Application of Justification Defense Under Art 35 of NY Penal Law Term Paper

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¶ … Legal Briefs


For the purposes of providing a hypothetical case against which to apply the standards of Articles 35 and 20 of New York's Penal Law, the following scenario is presented, in short summary: Popeye, in defending the honor of Olive Oyl, and after being encouraged by her to take physical action against Bluto, finds himself being beaten to death by Bluto. Ultimately, Olive Oyl, in an effort to save Popeye's life, kills Bluto. Therefore, there are several important questions to consider in regard to these laws and actual precedent. With this in mind, this paper will answer these questions in an effort to better understand these laws and how they apply in theoretical, and actual cases.

Olive's Most Serious Crimes from the Viewpoint of a Juror

From the viewpoint of a New York juror, there are legal implications that must be taken into consideration when evaluating Olive Oyl's most serious crimes in the incident that led to the death of Bluto. First, in prompting Popeye to physically confront Bluto, Olive has specifically violated Section 20.00 of the New York Penal Code, which states the following:

When one person engages in conduct which constitutes an offense, another-person is criminally liab1e for such conduct when, acting with the mental culpability required for the commission thereof, he solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or intentionally aids such person to engage in such conduct (State Of New York, n.d.) "

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Given the wording of the Code as stated above, Olive wandered into criminality when compelling Popeye to take action, and in possessing the mental capacity to rationally request such action, has implicated herself. At least in theory, both Olive and Popeye possessed not only the mental faculties to reasonably ignore the rude and provocative comments of Bluto, but were required by the letter of the law to do so. Olive's suggestion of physical action, and Popeye's compliance in taking that action, compounded to create a legal and human tragedy.

Availability of Justification Defense Under Article 35 of New York Penal Law

TOPIC: Term Paper on Application of Justification Defense Under Art 35 of NY Penal Law Assignment

Olive Oyl's seeming criminality under Article 20 of New York Penal law, while damning, is not the absolute final word in the case; conversely to the accusation of her guilt, there exists a justification defense under the Penal Law's Article 35.05, which provides the following under the heading "Defense of Justification":

Unless otherwise limited by the ensuing provisions of this article defining justifiable use of physical force, conduct. which would otherwise constitute an offense is justifiable and not criminal when:

I. Such conduct is required or authorized by law or by a judicial decree, or is performed by a public servant in the reasonable exercise of his official powers, duties or functions; or 2. Such conduct is necessary as an emergency measure to avoid an imminent public or private injury which is about to occur by reason of a situation occasioned or developed. through no fault of the actor, and. which is of such gravity that, according to ordinary standards of intelligence and. morality, the desirability and urgency of avoiding such injury clearly outweigh the desirability of avoiding the injury sought to be prevented by the statute defining the offense in issue" (State Of New York, n.d.).

In other words, Olive had legal justification in taking action against Bluto because of the overriding interest in saving the life of Popeye, due to the fact that he was in imminent danger of being killed by Bluto, no matter how the physical dispute began. When, in fact, Bluto took physical confrontation to the brink of murder, there existed a dire situation that required swift and decisive action to stop a true tragedy from happening.

Preceding all of the actions that began with Popeye and Bluto's physical fight and climaxing in the death of Bluto at the hands of Olive, under Code 20, lies the Duty of Retreat, which holds that when there was a possibility for a verbal argument to escalate… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Application of Justification Defense Under Art 35 of NY Penal Law.  (2006, December 10).  Retrieved July 27, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Application of Justification Defense Under Art 35 of NY Penal Law."  10 December 2006.  Web.  27 July 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Application of Justification Defense Under Art 35 of NY Penal Law."  December 10, 2006.  Accessed July 27, 2021.