Fanboy Thoughts on Agents of SHIELD and Captain Mar-Vell

I normally stick to the law and having fun with the shows I love, but I have had an idea about Agents of SHIELD that connects Inhumans, Captain Marvel, and to a degree, Guardians of the Galaxy.

AgentsofSHIELD_CaptainMarvel_TheoryThe Inhumans movie is not out until November 2018. That is a lot of world building for an Agents of SHIELD tie-in starting in 2014.

Here are some theories after seeing the Diviner and Skye’s forever young mother:

Skye’s mother is an Eternal. Sort of a long shot given the all of the Inhumans teasing, but would explain the lack of aging from 1945 to 1989. Moreover, as the Eternals were the product of the Celestials experimenting on humans before the Kree created the Inhumans through genetic experiments, it would make sense an Eternal could touch the Diviner without death.

Once Director Coulson and SHIELD find Attilan and unlock the city with the Diviner, the Kree are alerted (if aliens built an advanced city at the dawn of humanity, you think it would have an alarm if someone entered it). The Kree Empire responds by sending Captain Mar-Vell to investigate whether Earth is now a threat to the Kree Empire. As Mar-Vell was originally spying on Earth in the comics, this would fit well in a SHIELD storyline with Coulson and Mar-Vell facing off in interplanetary spycraft.

The Kree sending an expeditionary force out to Earth could also be a means to give Star-Lord (if not all of the Guardians of the Galaxy) a cameo in Agents of SHIELD and not necessarily on Earth.

If the Kree Captain Mar-Vell is introduced in Agents of SHIELD, and ultimately dies heroically defending Earth, or from cancer after saving humanity, or is lost in the Negative Zone, this could clear the complex back story for Carol Danver’s Captain Marvel film in July 2018.

As I said before, I am just a lawyer who happened to love Marvel space comics from the 1960s and 1970s. However, given the amount of time before the Inhumans and Captain Marvel movies in 2018, Agents of SHIELD could cover the Kree back story of Captain Mar-Vell, without it being a distraction from Captain Marvel, which should focus solely on Carol Danvers as the main character.


Flash’s Liability for Breaking Windows

The Flash is the fastest man alive. What happens when the Flash runs so fast that he shatters windows on cars and houses from his super speed?

The answer is the Flash could be sued in small claims court on a theory of Res Ipsa Loquitur.

BarryAllen_LiabilityLong ago, before the first Crisis on Infinite Earths, a person in New York sued Air France for a total of $127.20 ($333.09 in 2014 adjusted for inflation) for breaking windows on the house from an overflight in small claims court. Faby v Air France, 113 Misc 2d 840, 846 [Civ Ct, Bronx County 1982].

There are cases that impose liability for aircraft exceeding the speed of sound, thus creating a sonic boom, which is a “mechanical phenomenon of the air that consists of pressure and sound waves generated by an object moving through the air at speed equal to or exceeding that of sound.” Faby at *842-843, citing 8 Am Jur 2d, Aviation, § 125, at pp 509-510.

Air France argued that since they were flying below the speed of sound, liability could not be imposed. The Court disagreed, explaining that in negligence the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur (or the thing speaks for itself, for those who do not know Latin) had been applied “frequently in aircraft accident litigation. Faby at *843.

Applying the doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquituri to the Flash, we can see the same logic would hold the Flash responsible for the property damage for his high speed running, with or without exceeding the speed of sound:

(1) Exclusive control and management of Speed Force. Barry Allen can control how fast he runs and where he runs.

(2) Damage would not have occurred in the absence of the negligent operation of the Flash running in Central City. The Flash running around the residential areas of Central City and parked cars results in windows breaking. If the Flash was not running around the cars and homes, there would be no broken glass. Moreover, red light camera footage should be able to capture a “flash” around the breaking windows.

(3) Defendant had superior knowledge or means of information as to the cause of the injury. The Flash would know his high speed running is the cause of window damage around Central City.

(4) The occurrence is not fully explained by the evidence. In explaining and filling the gap between the breaking windows and the Flash’s running, “reliance must be bridged, through use of circumstantial evidence, or through a res ipsa loquitur inference.”

(5) Burden of rebutting inference. There is no evidence the Flash could offer to show some other event was causing windows to explode the same time he was running past the aforementioned property.

[Res Ipsa Loquitur analysis from Faby, at *844-845].

The Flash would have a large number of home and car owners seeking damages from him for broken glass in small claims court. Granted, these parties would have a difficult time with service or process, and likely would need to serve the Flash by publication.


No Going Back for Grant Ward Now

Grant Ward did not just kill his brother; Ward killed a [fictional] United States Senator.

Grant Ward already has a huge list of victims that would be a series of long murder and treason trials. Kidnapping and murdering a United States Senator has its own enhanced punishments in Federal Court. Federal law states that anyone who kidnaps and kills a United States Senator (or member of Congress or the Executive Branch) shall be punished by death or imprisonment up to life. 18 USCS § 351(b)(2).

Grant Ward beat Senator Ward, killed at least two guards, and tortured the Senator with the forced digging up of a buried well, followed by threats to throw the Senator down the well.

Federal Prosecutors could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Grant Ward killed his brother with malice aforethought that included kidnapping and torture. 18 USCS § 1111.

There is very little a defense attorney could do for Grant Ward, other than try plea-bargaining for life in prison over the death penalty. Given the number of people Ward killed (at least five SHIELD Agents, four soldiers, two guards, and a Senator) plus the charges for treason by working with HYDRA, it is hard to imagine a Prosecutor even entertaining the idea of a plea; the literal bodies of evidence should end a trial with the death penalty for Grant Ward.

Can DA’s Flip Coins? The Ethics of Harvey Dent

Harvey Dent. The District Attorney who will one day be the villain Two-Face. This lawyer and future super-villain is a case study of prosecutorial responsibilities and attorney ethics on Gotham.

Coin-CourthouseHere are the relevant facts: Jim Gordon took Selina Kyle into protective custody as a witness in the Wayne murder. Gordon attempted to keep Kyle off the grid and away from dirty cops, who would leak her whereabouts, thus sequestered her in “stately” Wayne Manor.

Jim Gordon met Harvey Dent outside the courthouse where Dent elected not to prosecute a minor based on a coin toss and a promise to stay out of trouble. During the closed-door meeting, Dent shared his theory on a possible suspect in the Wayne murder, an extremely wealthy (and corrupt) businessman named Dick Lovecraft with an army of lawyers.

Dent’s plan was to leak there was a witness linking Lovecraft to the “secret witness” with no evidence. No charges were to be filed and no names were to be made public, but using the threat of a witness to force confessions or shake out the real party involved in the Wayne murder.

Duties of a Prosecutor

In New York state, since Gotham City looks a lot like New York City in a pre-Rudy Giuliani nightmare, a prosecutor “shall not institute, cause to be instituted or maintain a criminal charge” when they know there is no probable cause to support a charge against someone. NY CLS Jud Appx R 3.8.

The ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 3.6 also provide limitations on what lawyers can say to the press (provided the state incorporated the model rules). Lawyers shall NOT “make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.” ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 3.6(a).

Lawyers can disclose to the press information that is public record, or the matter is in progress, plus information such as whether the accused was arrested, the time of arrest, investigating officers, and length of the investigation. ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 3.6(b).

District Attorneys also have “prosecutorial discretion” in “determining when and in what manner to prosecute a suspected offender” People v. Harper, 186 Misc. 2d 750, 755 (N.Y. City Ct.2000), citing People v Di Falco, 44 NY2d 482, 486. Moreover, “almost invariably it is the prosecutor who decides whether a case is to be pressed or dropped and what the nature of the specific offense or offenses to be lodged against a defendant is to be” Harper, at *755, citing People v Zimmer, 51 NY2d 390, 394; see also, Matter of Bytner v Greenberg, 214 AD2d 931).

Did Harvey Dent Violate His Duties as a Prosecutor?

Some lawyers will have to flip a coin on whether Dent violated his duty as a prosecutor. Others see the issues with moral clarity.

It was within Dent’s prosecutorial discretion to not press charges against the youth outside the courthouse. While the Mayor did bring back the 19th century practice of arresting children for being orphans or vagrants to be interned in “orphan asylum,” there is nothing that said such prosecutions were required to put children in protective custody. (See People ex rel. Horton v Fuller, 41 AD 404, 404 [2nd Dept 1899] and People ex rel. Van Heck v. New York Catholic Protectory, 101 N.Y. 195, 200(N.Y.1886)).

Harvey Dent’s coin toss was merely an act to encourage the youth to go back on the straight and narrow path. Moreover, given the fact the coin had two heads, the odds were in Dent’s favor the youth would act as Dent predicted. Non-conventional, but it does not seem to violate Dent’s duties as a prosecutor.

The same cannot be said for threatening Dick Lovecraft with criminal prosecution. Harvey Dent did not have any probable cause to bring Lovecraft in for questioning, let alone attempting to get him to sign a confession. Furthermore, Dent snapping in rage would have been assault, followed by battery when Dent placed his hands on Lovecraft.

Dent would be pushing his luck with publishing anything beyond there was a witness in the Wayne murder and the investigation was ongoing. Other than that, Dent’s ability to use the press would be limited, without committing defamation on those without any probable cause to suspect them of a crime.

Hit Me With a Bagel and You Can Kiss Me

There are 12-year-old males who would practice throwing bagels (and other Danishes) at targets for a kiss from a girl. While Selina Kyle made an oral contractual offer requiring the condition precedent of Bruce Wayne successfully throwing a bagel at her for a kiss, such a performance contract would be unenforceable and against public policy. Yes, consideration for a contract can be a bagel just as much as it could be a peppercorn, but we just cannot have food fights for kisses that go to court seeking specific performance as a remedy for assault with a bagel.

Sorry guys.

Now, anyone want to place bets whether Sean Pertwee will throw someone over his shoulder like his father used to on Doctor Who?

Who You Gonna Call? 1-800-LawRocks

Lawyers have the best ads. Seriously. And I’m not even talking about the William Shatner ads (although Captain Kirk’s connections to the legal profession are impressive). On a quiet, snowy Friday evening (such as this one), it is a ton of fun to cruise YouTube looking for excellent examples of legal advertising (do I know how to party or what?). And so I decided to share some of my favorites with you, with a brief discussion of a Supreme Court case and a few model rules thrown in to make it look like I’m actually working here.

Before I discuss the Supreme Court’s view on legal advertising, let me share with you one creative lawyer’s ad:

Yep, that’s a real ad for a real attorney.  Possibly one of the most famous legal ads around.  And in 1977 the Supreme Court upheld his right to make it.  In Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, the Supreme Court held that lawyer advertising was entitled to protection under the First Amendment as commercial speech. Prior to that (at least in the 20th century), it was generally believed that lawyers shouldn’t advertise, although there was some advertising in the 1800s.

Now let’s take a break for a singing commercial…

Most, if not all, states have rules governing these types of communications regarding lawyers’ services.  The ABA has provided model rules on these issues that have been used by some states.

The ABA’s Rule 7.1 (Communications concerning a lawyer’s services) says that: A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services. A communication is false or misleading if it contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading.

And now here’s a lawyer who’s giving you the blunt truth on family law:

ABA Rule 7.2 says that advertising, so long as it complies with  the other rules, is okay through written, recorded, or electronic communication, including public media.

So, thanks to the Supreme Court and the state rules, these lawyers can help make the rest of us look as cool on the outside as we feel on the inside!

Stealing Corpses and Obstruction of Justice

Was Skye correct in the Agents of SHIELD episode “The Writing on the Wall,” when she said they broke fourteen laws breaking into the home of a victim? Skye might be right. Let’s count.

AgentsofSHIELD-CountingCrimesDirector Coulson and Agent Skye entered the first victim’s upstate New York apartment, which was a crime scene. The act of knowingly entering unlawfully the home would be a trespass. NY CLS Penal § 140.05. However, if they entered the property with the intent to take an item, Skye and Coulson would have committed burglary. NY CLS Penal § 140.25.

If Coulson and Skye took the victim’s artwork any other property, they would have committed burglary. There is no question the act of entering the property was a trespass.

The victim’s home was also a crime scene. The purpose of a crime scene is to maintain evidence. Taking evidence from the crime scene arguably is the obstruction of justice, because it “obstructs, impairs, or prevents” the administration of law enforcement. NY CLS Penal § 195.05.

Mack and Fitz acted under Director Coulson’s instructions and stole the body of the first victim from the morgue. It possible an autopsy had been performed by law enforcement, but that was highly unlikely.

The act of taking the corpse could be trespass into the county morgue and obstruction of justice for taking the victim’s body, because it deprived the police of evidence (in this case, the body with ritualistic markings).

There is a significant amount of case law on handling dead bodies, grave robbing, desecration of corpses, medical experimentation on dead bodies, and unauthorized autopsies.

So the question: can you steal a corpse? The short answer is literally yes, you can take a body, but things get funky fast.

Under common law, the great Lord Coke stated in the 17th Century that a “corpse has no value.” Colavito v. New York Organ Donor Network, Inc., 8 N.Y.3d 43, 50-51 (N.Y.2006). Moreover, “ancestors, ‘nor can [an heir] bring any civil action against such as indecently at least, if not impiously, violate and disturb their remains, when dead and buried.'” Id.

AgentsofSHIELD-BlindEyeNew York also has cases that address the proper treatment of corpses, specifically that those handling a corpse have a high standard of care “and that breach of the duty of care by one who undertakes to provide care of a corpse is prima facie negligence, and thus tantamount to strict liability.” Whack v. St. Mary’s Hosp. of Brooklyn, 2003 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 50, 10-11(N.Y. Civ. Ct.Jan. 22, 2003).

The classic case would be a hospital that had a freezer fail, allowing a corpse to rot. However, this is not the exact case with Mack and Fitz. There could be a claim against the morgue for letting the body “disappear,” but the victim did not have any living family members who would sue. Obstruction of justice would be the likely crime for stealing the corpse, followed by an unauthorized autopsy, and desecration of a corpse.

Simmons performed an unauthorized autopsy on the victim, not because she wasn’t a doctor, but because there is no color of law for her to perform an autopsy. Since Simmons knew the body was stolen and SHIELD is acting as vigilantes, albeit aligned with a US Senator in tracking down his brother, Simmons could not argue she performed the autopsy in good faith under the law. NY CLS Pub Health § 4210-b.

There are at least eight or nine charges that could be brought from initially trespassing in the victim’s apartment, depending on whether any art was taken, and the obstruction of justice from stealing a victim’s body from the morgue for an unauthorized autopsy.

A Judge Who Said “Succubus” in a Court Opinion

The Sleepy Hollow episode “Heartless” was a fun monster of the week story where our heroes battled a Succubus. The episode could have been called, “When Trying to Score Goes Horribly Wrong.” For those unfamiliar with Succubi, they are demons who appear as a beautiful woman to seduce men, often resulting in death.

SleepyHollow_Succubus_6139In Sleepy Hollow, the Succubus sucked out the soul of a man, followed by a woman, leaving their bodies burned out shells. It is an excellent warning on avoiding nightclubs and dating apps. Or if you do date, bring Holy Water with you, just in case.

Ironically, there is case law referencing Succubi, and you guessed it, both are from Texas.

The first case was in a dissenting opinion from 1988 in a murder case over the statutory construction imposing punishment in a law that was passed to apply to murder-for-hire cases. The Defendant had murdered her husband and buried his body on the property, which was not discovered for two years. The murder apparently was for life insurance money. The dissenting Judge expressed his thoughts on the Defendant as follows:

I don’t mean to be maudlin about this. Ms. Beets is evidently a greedy and insensitive killer, the kind of succubus who has managed to capture the romantic imagination of Americans in such modern cinematic classics as “Body Heat” and “Black Widow.” I have little sympathy for her, nor would it alarm me overly much if the Legislature had decided that all such criminals should be put to death. What I have difficulty believing is that the Legislature has already decided this in fact.

Beets v. State, 767 S.W.2d 711, 755 (Tex. Crim. App.1988)

The second case is from October 2014 and dealt with the admissibility of Internet search terms in a criminal case. The search terms included, “succubus demon,” plus others that would disturb most people. The Court admitted these Internet search terms over the objection of the Defendant on relevance and the prejudice of the evidence outweighed its prohibitive value. Chandler v. State, 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 10869(Tex. App. Austin Oct. 1, 2014).

There are plenty of dangerous people to date, whether you think an ex-girlfriend was a succubus or ex-boyfriend an incubus, but no Court will take judicial notice of the existence of such creatures. However, some well-read judges in mythology might use the term “succubus” to express their feelings about a case.

Missy’s Misadventures in Kidnapping and Defiling Graves

The Master has always set a high bar for being evil. I personally preferred the look of Roger Delgado or Anthony Ainley, but Michelle Gomez as an evil Mary Poppins really took cruelty to a new level as the Mistress. Plus she killed Osgood. No spoonful of sugar will make that go away, short of Santa Claus being a Time Lord.

TrueEvil_DoctorWhoOperation Mindcrime

Missy engaged in kidnapping human minds at the point of death to be stored in a Gallifreyan hard drive, later to be downloaded to corpses that had been upgraded to Cybermen. This unholy mix of Tron and the Matrix creates some strange legal issues.

Can you kidnap someone’s mind at death? “Kidnapping” at common law was “the crime of forcibly abducting a person from his or her own country and sending the person to another.” Westlaw Black’s 9th Law Dictionary App. Effectively, the crime was false imprisonment and taking the victim to another country. Id. 

Is uploading someone’s mind at the point of death kidnapping under common law? On one level “sort of.” Taking someone’s mind and uploading them to a hard drive sounds like a form of false imprisonment, just one we have never encountered. Perhaps is the Singularity Movement is successful, we could see courts or legislatures address “mind-napping.”

Missy potentially kidnapped the minds of dying human beings for as long as humans have believed in an afterlife. The number of victims could be in the billions, depending how long she was imprisoning the dead. They would mean anyone who died in the last 5,000 years could be downloaded into a Cyberman and weaponized against the living. Many would agree this is a crime, but not one fully addressed by the law.

Bring Out Your Dead

Missy’s conversion of dead bodies to Cybermen also meant she experimented on dead bodies and defiled graves. There are many laws that prohibit removing a corpse from a grave for medical or surgical study. See, State v. Glass, 27 Ohio App. 2d 214, 222-223 (Ohio Ct. App., Brown County 1971), discussing the Revised Statutes of 1880 as Section 7034. There had to be experiments done to convert corpses to Cyberman that would have violated such laws.

Cyberman-graveyardThere are other laws specifically designed to protect human remains from being “disturbed,” which means “the excavating, removing, exposing, defacing, mutilating, destroying, molesting, or desecrating in any way of human skeletal remains, unmarked graves, grave artifacts or grave markers.” W. Va. Code § 29-1-8a(6). Converting dead bodies to Cybermen would qualify as “mutilating, destroying, molesting, or desecrating” the dead. This would be an easier case to prove, because there is actual physical evidence, with human remains across the globe.

Now, was Cyber-Brigadier justified in shooting Missy? Yes. Clear and present danger to the entire human race. Good shot, thank you for your service to mankind.

On the Wings of Tie Fighters and Eminent Domain

The Star Wars Rebels episode “Fighter Flight” touched on two important legal issues: Eminent Domain and Reckless Flying. Let’s explore each.

StarWarsRebels_Farmers_JustCompWe Are No Longer Interested in Buying Your Farm

The Empire demanded a farmer sell his property to the Empire. The amount for the property is never disclosed. After refusing the Empire’s offer to buy the farm, the Empire destroyed the farmer’s house with an armed transport. The farmer and his family were then arrested for their failure to sell their property to the Empire.

In the United States, when the government takes private property for public use it is called “Eminent Domain.” The government “may acquire and hold real property in any state, whenever such property is needed for use of government in execution of any of its powers, and when it cannot be acquired by voluntary arrangement with owners, it may be taken in exercise of power of eminent domain.” Van Brocklin v Tennessee (1886) 117 US 151.

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution is intended to limit the power of the United States in taking property from its citizens for public use. United States v Lee (1882) 106 US 196, (superseded by statute as stated in Block v North Dakota (1983) 461 US 273).

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires that the government cannot take private property for public use without “just compensation” to the property owners.

In the case of the Empire, if a farmer refuses to sell his farm, he is charged with treason and arrested. These actions are more in line with Stalin’s Soviet Union than a Republic.

Let’s Go Fly a Tie

Zeb and Ezra stole a Tie Fighter while resisting arrest for attempting to steal fruit from the Empire. Zeb’s initial flight in the Tie Fighter included a low speed buzzing of a farmer’s market in a street fair, complete with firing the ship’s cannons at a fruit stand, resulting in its destruction.

Rebels-TieFighterOn Earth, and in the United States specifically, flying aircraft is a highly regulated activity, requiring licensing, controlled airspace, and minimum altitude requirements.

States such as Wisconsin have specific laws prohibiting reckless flying:

No person may operate an aircraft in the air or on the ground or water in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another. In determining whether the operation was careless or reckless the court shall consider the standards for safe operation of aircraft prescribed by federal statutes or regulations governing aeronautics.

Wis. Stat. § 114.09.

In-flight activities that can endanger the lives of others include:

Any person who ‘buzzes’, dives on, or flies in close proximity to a farm, home, any structure, vehicle, vessel, or group of persons on the ground.

A pilot who engages in careless or reckless flying and who does not own the aircraft which he is flying unduly endangers the aircraft, the property of another.

The operation of aircraft at an insufficient altitude endangers persons or property on the surface or passengers within the aircraft. Such flight may also constitute a violation of 60.107.

Acrobatic Flight. No person shall engage in acrobatic flight:

Below an altitude of 1,500 feet above the surface.

Minimum Safe Altitudes. Except when necessary for take off or landing, no person shall operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

Anywhere. An altitude which will permit, in the event of the failure of a power unit, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

Globe Indem. Co. v. Hansen, 231 F.2d 895, 904 (8th Cir. Minn.1956).

Zeb’s flight down the street would technically be “buzzing” near structures (the buildings) and people on the ground (the merchant farmers). Moreover, as the Tie Fighter was the property of the Empire, this would be hijacking and endangering the aircraft in flight. Furthermore, the low altitude flight endangered people on the ground, specifically those near structures hit by the Tie Fighter, or those threatened by weapons fire.

The Empire has a totalitarian judicial system where any crime seems to be treason punishable by death. As such, while Zeb did commit a crime, the Empire is not exactly a model society predicated on freedom with proportional punishment.


Tie Fighter Photo by Judge Matthew Sciarrino from his collection.


Disbarring Henry Parish

Henry Parish on Sleepy Hollow is a bad lawyer. Not a bad lawyer in being incompetent to practice law, but bad in that he had a client unknowingly sign over his soul in blood, mailed crushed bone to turn a Marine into a Wendigo that fed on Marines and civilians, and working for a demon to bring about the Apocalypse. All or these actions demonstrate a total failing of having the “moral character” necessary to practice law.

Disbar-SleepyHollowThere has been no evidence that Henry Parish actually passed the Bar Exam in New York. However, we have seen that Parish has at least two clients held in a mental hospital. This implies either Parish a lawfully licensed attorney or practicing without a license.

Henry Parish has committed enough acts to warrant disbarment if he is an attorney. Will disbarment be enough to stop the end of the world? One only needs to see that Al Capone went to prison for tax evasion that there is more than one way to bring down a criminal enterprise specializing in domestic terrorism.

As one New York Judge said in 1908: An attorney is disbarred not only to rid the profession of an unworthy practitioner, but to warn other members of the profession. In re Clark (1908) 128 App Div 348, 112 NYS 777 (Emphasis added).

Henry Parish fraudulently having Frank Irving sign his soul over in blood would create a conflict of interest between lawyer and client, violating NY CLS Jud Appx R 1.7(a)(2), thus warranting disbarment for fraud in the representation of Frank Irving. This also would be an unlawful fee agreement to take a client’s soul.

New York law states that any attorney who is convicted of a felony shall cease to be an attorney or competent to practice law. NY CLS Jud § 90(4).

Henry Parish’s actions of mailing Joe Corbin crushed bone to turn Corbin into a murderous Wendigo would violate Federal law on mailing poisons and New York law for murder.

Federal law states that anyone who mails poison, hazardous materials, disease germs, and “and all other natural or artificial articles, compositions, or material which may kill or injure another,” are “nonmailable” items and that sending such items is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment if done with the intent to kill or harm another. 18 USCS § 1716(a) and (j)(2).

New York has recognized you can murder someone by mail for over a century. People v. Molineux, 26 Misc. 589, 589-590(N.Y. County Ct.1899).

Parish could be convicted for mailing a hazardous substance to a US serviceman overseas with the intent to kill others, by turning Joe Corbin into a flesh-eating demon. These actions would violate the prohibition from mailing dangerous substances with the intent to kill. Furthermore, turning Corbin into a Wendigo, whose transformation was triggered by blood, would make Parish at least responsible for second-degree murder for the indiscriminate killing of people in New York by the Wendigo. Upon conviction, Parish would be immediately disbarred.