The Gotham episode “The Anvil or the Hammer,” taught us the following legal lessons in bad decision making:

The Gotham PD have not read the 4th Amendment. No one gets a search warrant for anything, like searching a suspect’s apartment;

Barbara Kean is either a) an accessory to three murders; b) insane c) both;

The Fox Club has the crimes Professor Whitebread said would NEVER be on a Bar Exam; and

Edward Nigma is a murder.

Riddle Me This: Who Needs a Search Warrant to Enter an Apartment?

Answer: The Police!

Detectives Gordon and Bullock entered the Ogre’s apartment after getting a tip from a prostitute the Ogre maimed nine years earlier. The goal was to save Barbara Kean from the suspected serial killer.

Did the police need to get a warrant? Calling the duty judge would take time in the 24-hour window since Kean’s abduction. The 4th Amendment requires a search warrant for the police to enter someone’s home, unless there are “exigent circumstances.” The threat to Kean’s life arguably was an imminent and ongoing danger to life, so Gordon and Bullock have a strong argument for violating the 4th Amendment.

Is Barbara Batty?

Barbara Kean telling the Ogre to kill her parents does not fall under the necessity defense. You cannot get other people killed to save yourself. That is exactly what Barbara did with her parricide (and butler-cide). There is no question she was the proximate cause of these three murders.

The Ogre was the one who did the actual killing, however, “but for” Barbara telling the Ogre to kill her parents, no murders would have taken place. Barbara’s actions take her from tortured hostage to accessory by the willful targeting of others for death.

Could Barbara argue insanity defense? That she lost her mind from fear? Maybe, but that likely will show she is not competent to stand trial and would spend her time in a state mental hospital.

What Does the Fox Say?

Way back while studying for the California Bar Exam, the great Criminal Law Professor Charles Whitebread said you would never see a bar exam question involving bestiality, buggery, or any other funky sex crime.

Gotham went there.

That will be one surreal arraignment.

FoxClub_Crimes_2081

The Riddler’s Odyssey

Murder does not win the heart of a girl. Edward Nigma laid in wait, confronted an off duty police officer, and stabbed him. Nigma then cut up the body with an ax, took it to the police station, melted it down, and then crushed the bones.

It does not take much of a riddle to see that is murder.

Wayne Enterprises

There is no question Wayne Enterprises is breaking a large number of Federal, state, and international laws. There is a good bet they are also violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, but we do not yet know enough about their business practices to know for sure.

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Josh Gilliland
Josh Gilliland is a California attorney who focuses his practice on eDiscovery. Josh is the co-creator of The Legal Geeks, which has made the ABA Journal Top Blawg 100 Blawg for 2013 to 2016, and was nominated for Best Podcast for the 2015 Geekie Awards. Josh has presented at legal conferences and comic book conventions across the United States. He also ties a mean bow tie.