Essay about The Case of R.V Machekequonabe

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The Case of R.V Machekequonabe
Machekequonabe is charged with shooting and killing his foster father.
The difficulty of this case revolves around the fact that his
particular pagan Indian tribe believed in the existence of evil spirit
wendigos which assume human form and pose a threat to their community.
On one hand, there are rules against killing other humans, and on the
other, Indian common law says that it is acceptable to kill wendigos
(which the defendant believed he was doing).

This essay will show how this conflict and ruling can be explained
completely by Dworkin's theory of law and judicial reasoning. To
provide the necessary background information, I will first explain the
facts surround the R.V. Machekequonabe case, followed by an
explanation of the questions that arise from the facts and how they
are used to decide the outcome. In order to show why Dworkin's theory
is better at explaining this case, I will also provide a series of
other legal theories and show where they are satisfactory and where
they fall short. At the end, I am confident that Dworkin's theory, in
contrast to the others makes a much better account of judicial

The facts concerning R.V.Machekequonabe are quite simple and straight
forward. The first fact I wish to discuss is the fact that
Machekequonabe was a member of a pagan Indian tribe. As a member of a
pagan Indian tribe, it gives reasons for why he shot his foster
father. Machekequonabe believed that what he was shooting at was a
wendigo. For the purpose of this case and this briefing I will quickly
explain what a wendigo is commonly believed to be. A wen...

... middle of paper ...

...d by agreement in the court of appeals. By
applying principles to the conflicting laws, the judge is able to make
the greatest social advancements by both punishing for actions causing
harm and also giving hint that his honest intentions did not go
unnoticed and such intentions should be upheld in society.

Looking at the case R.V.Machekequonabe, it is a prime example of
conflicting rules. It is always difficult to decide which rule should
be followed and which should be rejected, especially in cases where
cultural upbringing plays such a major role. However, after looking at
the facts, and the ruling, Dworkin's theory of law and judicial
reasoning provides us with the most satisfactory explanation, and also
shows that rulings, when applying social principles are meant to
enhance society and bring about social growth.

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