The New York Criminal Law Blog

UPDATES: Looting Okay, Maybe; Pizza Delivery Rapist Indicted

Our stellar news and information often leaves our readers wanting more. It’s understandable. Many times, you’ll read a post and wonder “what happened next?”

Well friends, today is the day for those updates.

It’s cold outside. Many in Gotham have no electricity or heat. We reported earlier this week that looting had already begun before the waters had drained from the streets. It’s generally understood that looting is illegal and immoral. But, are there cases where it is legally perfectly acceptable?

The Daily Mail interviewed a NYPD officer, who shocked them by stating “Looting, to me, is acceptable if you’re looting for your baby or your family.” A cop advocating breaking the law? Consider us all shocked.

Except, isn’t this kind of obvious? A long-standing criminal defense (even dating back to the days of Ye Olde England) is the defense of necessity. One is privileged to trespass, “loot”, and commit other crimes if their life, or a loved one’s life, is in danger. Of course, the crime can’t put someone else’s life in danger, such as stealing an elderly neighbor’s generator and heater. Consider this the official “lesser of two evils” argument.

On another depressing note, the pizza delivery burglar-rapist, Caesar Lucas, was officially indicted yesterday, reports the Daily News. His previously reported confession was included in the indictment, and it reflects a whole lot of stupidity.

In his confession, Lucas switches back and forth between first and third person (seemingly using the latter to distance himself from the distasteful deeds) and stated that the victim was “drunk,” became “horny,” and had a full conversation with him after the assault. Her side of the story differs significantly on these points, but there is one matter uncontested by either party: he held her down and sexually assaulted her.

Good luck in prison, Mr. Lucas. Confessions (unless there is evidence of coercion which would keep them away from a jury) are powerful pieces of evidence that all but ensure a conviction, whether it was written in the first person, third person, or in Faulkner-esque stream of consciousness narrative. Plus, the prosecution has audio and video confessions.

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