The Sleeping Duty

The news report says that an Australian judge fell asleep repeatedly during retrial of alleged drug traffickers. He snored and the periods of sleep became longer as the trial progressed. Reportedly he was suffering from severe ‘obstructive sleep apnea’. The members of jury were distracted. There is no report on whether they were disturbed from their sleep! But the jury cannot afford the liberty to take a nap, they all sit together. I mean there are, after all, something called etiquettes.

It was the hearing of an appeal. If the judge were to acquit the two persons convicted of importing ‘ecstacy’, it would have been a ‘dream justice’ for them. We reliably learn that many prisoners on trial are dreaming of such justice. You would have heard of social justice, distributive justice but have you ever heard of dream justice?

Now we are not suggesting anything about anyone here, but just look at what the wikipedia article says on obstructive sleep apnea. ‘Temporary spells of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome may also occur in individuals who are under the influence of a drug (such as alcohol) that may relax their body tone excessively and interfere with normal arousal from sleep mechanisms.’

Did the judge commit any offence? They would say in the instant case that ‘there is no mens rea’. The latin maxim is “actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea,” which means that the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind is also guilty.

Well, My Lord, you be the judge….zzzzzzzzZZZZZZ…zzzZZZZ!!

Labels: , , , ,