Monday, June 15, 2009

Pushing Daisies: Swimming With the Fishes (Almost)

Pushing Daisies: Kerplunk
(originally aired June 13, 2009)

Shane Trickle is having an affair with his sister-in-law Coral Ramona, who is one half of the Aquadolls---a synchronized swimming sister duo. After Shane arranges for Bubba the Shark to eat Coral's sister, Coral's bitter rivals---the Darling Mermaid Darlings---take her place as the headlining show. Shane is not pleased that Coral is not getting her moment in the water and, after a speech confessing to the initial murder and expressing his desire to kill the Darling Mermaid Darlings, Shane throws a wired microphone into the tank where the Darling Mermaid Darlings are swimming. But before the microphone hits the water, Olive catches the microphone in a net and saves the day.

Issue: Aside from murder, did Shane commit a crime?

Law: Murder is the intentional killing of another person. Attempted murder is an act that is a substantial step toward completing an underlying offense, with the intent to commit the underlying offense.

Analysis: Shane likely committed attempted murder. From his speech, Shane had the requisite intent to murder the Darling Sisters Darling. His substantial step was throwing the microphone into the water, believing it would electrocute (and kill) the swimming sisters. Because Shane had the intent to commit the underlying crime of murder and he took a substantial step toward committing that murder, he is likely guilty of attempted murder (even though Olive thwarted his efforts at the very last minute).

Bonus: For purposes of this analysis, I assumed the microphone in the water would produce a sufficient electrical current to kill the sisters. But what if the microphone was not that powerful or, unknown to Shane, was turned off? He'd still likely be guilty of attempted murder because he had the specific intent to murder at the time he took the step of throwing the microphone into the water.