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Thread: Punishment for Killing During a Full Moon

  1. #1
    thegirloverhere
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    Punishment for Killing During a Full Moon

    Basically: Do you think that werewolves would be punished for killing (accidental or premeditated) during a full moon?

    I doubt that before the battle of Hogwarts there was a punishment, otherwise how would Greyback have gotten away with everything he did? But also, before the battle, the Ministry couldn't exactly catch criminals... But after the battle, wouldn't the Ministry want to make sure that there was never anyone like Greyback again?

    As for punishment, if there is one, what do you think it would be? For cutting Draco's arm, Buckbeak was sentenced to death - but Buckbeak was only an animal. When Hagrid was accused of accidentally killing a girl via Aragog, he had to drop out of Hogwarts and stop using magic. So, those are two examples of punishment for the handling of magical creatures and unintentional murder. Obviously with werewolves the situation is a bit different, as they are human but also turn into mindless, violent creatures once a month. I was thinking that since the invention of Wolfsbane potion, maybe there would be a punishment for not taking it, as that is what prevents killing (am I right here?).

    Any help is appreciated

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegirloverhere
    Basically: Do you think that werewolves would be punished for killing (accidental or premeditated) during a full moon?

    I doubt that before the battle of Hogwarts there was a punishment, otherwise how would Greyback have gotten away with everything he did? But also, before the battle, the Ministry couldn't exactly catch criminals... But after the battle, wouldn't the Ministry want to make sure that there was never anyone like Greyback again?

    As for punishment, if there is one, what do you think it would be? For cutting Draco's arm, Buckbeak was sentenced to death - but Buckbeak was only an animal. When Hagrid was accused of accidentally killing a girl via Aragog, he had to drop out of Hogwarts and stop using magic. So, those are two examples of punishment for the handling of magical creatures and unintentional murder. Obviously with werewolves the situation is a bit different, as they are human but also turn into mindless, violent creatures once a month. I was thinking that since the invention of Wolfsbane potion, maybe there would be a punishment for not taking it, as that is what prevents killing (am I right here?).

    Any help is appreciated
    I don't think there would be any set punishment for werewolves killing during transformations. Justice seems very arbitrary in the wizarding world (note Harry's hearing and Buckbeak's trial), so I think it is simply up to the mood of the Wizengamot to decide the werewolf's fate. If they were feeling nice, they might say that the person had no control over his/her body as a werewolf and could not suffer serious punishment. On the other hand, they might rule that the werewolf is a savage creature that must be put down.

    Under Kingsley's post-war government, there is the possibility that some actual laws and procedures were established, but it seems to me that justice in the Harry Potter books is very haphazard and incredibly variable.

    So, if the werewolf has a really good lawyer, then he/she'd probably get off...

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  3. #3
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    Another point might be that it is impossible to know for certain which werewolf commited a certain act. As far as I know, there is no CSI Hogwarts, and they can't take DNA samples or anything. People might speculate and even be quite certain of who did it (just the way Remus was), but without proof, there is very little they could do.

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  4. #4
    Inverarity
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    Actually, wizards probably could create very effective "CSI" teams if they were so inclined, considering the existence of Veritaserum, Pensieves, Prior Incantato, and probably various other spells that can reconstruct the past.

    That said, Tim is right that wizarding laws seems to be extremely arbitrary. Some people are apparently able to ignore rules with impunity, others (like Sirius) get sent to Azkaban for life with no trial and no appeal.

    A reasonable law, in a sane legal system, would probably require that werewolves take precautions to avoid hurting people. I.e., if you know you are a werewolf, you're expected to lock yourself up in a secure room before the night of the full moon, or at the very least, go to some remote, sparsely populated area where you're unlikely to encounter any people. (Wizards don't seem too concerned about the occasional Muggle who runs into magical creatures out in the wild.) If you took no precautions and allowed yourself to transform in the middle of an inhabited area, it's reasonable to hold you responsible for the predictable consequences.

    But that's how the law would work in a reasonable legal system. In the legal system we see in Harry Potter, it's more likely that whether or not a werewolf would be held responsible would be largely a function of whether s/he had any powerful, influential friends, and whether or not anyone s/he harmed had powerful, influential friends, and what the wizarding public's current state of anxiety regarding werewolves happens to be.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inverarity
    In the legal system we see in Harry Potter, it's more likely that whether or not a werewolf would be held responsible would be largely a function of whether s/he had any powerful, influential friends, and whether or not anyone s/he harmed had powerful, influential friends, and what the wizarding public's current state of anxiety regarding werewolves happens to be.
    I agree with the view that laws in the wizarding world are arbitrary. But in the case of werewolves, I don't see how they escape being imprisoned or given a death sentence in case of an attack or death. A werewolf is generally considered to be shunned by the society. Some werewolves are more ferocious than others but is that enough to scare the Ministry and hush the news down. These are beings people are afraid to be around. Yet, Greyback attacks Lupin and I should think at least some of his other victims would be public to an extent. He is not apprehended or anything.

    Lupin spends a whole year teaching at Hogwarts without anyone raising concerns over it. Where was Umbridge then? Surely there is a record of werewolves in a country. Is there no way that the news of who he was could have reached those people ready to publicly object it? Again, where was Rita Skeeter?

    Quote Originally Posted by thegirloverhere
    I was thinking that since the invention of Wolfsbane potion, maybe there would be a punishment for not taking it, as that is what prevents killing (am I right here?).
    But the question is of the availability of the potion, isn't it? It's not something you can buy off the counter at the local Potions shop, at least I don't think it was till the Second War. Then seeing as it was a pretty complex potion, it has to be expensive. Werewolves as we know are not employed or at least not in a job that pays sufficiently. So unless Ministry's offering a monthly ration on the Wolfsbane, I should think not.

    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    People might speculate and even be quite certain of who did it (just the way Remus was), but without proof, there is very little they could do.
    Then again, I'm inclined to think werewolves don't have access to good representation in wizarding court, nor the standing in the society - many would just love to use the savage beast excuse to imprison them. And yet, I'm really cofused here, the Ministry seems rather curiously actionless.

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