Time travel

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Time travel

Doctor Who?
Consider this hypothetical situation - A man who commits an act considered a crime by today's standards, who is captured, tried and convicted, but manages to escape and time travel to the future where the act is not considered a crime. If caught, do you think they are still guilty and thus should they have to serve out their time?
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Re: Time travel

Tom-O
Ah yes, the old Alan Turing* question.

Or...
When is a Law not a Law.

Fortunately, legislators and Jurists have long known about such dilemmas, hence one of the long-established principles of Law-making is that a 'decent' law must first be workable. One of the effects of this is to make it impossible to outlaw some act that is practised by the vast majority of a population.
A case in point being The Volstead Act **; which was both short-lived and caused many more problems than it could ever have solved.
As can be seen in the cases of Alan Turing and one Ronnie Biggs*** we already have an imperfect 'time machine'. In the first instance the chap died before his exoneration, and the other chap just bided his time and was imprisoned in any case.

To answer your question...
In societies that have matured beyond Absolute Monarchy, like the UK and the US, for any Law to be workable/enforceable it must have the support of the public, so it is likely that your time-traveller would escape prison for his original crime. His fleeing from justice is a whole other criminal matter altogether...

*
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing

**
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volstead_Act

***
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronnie_Biggs
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Re: Time travel

OldMan_in_WV
In reply to this post by Doctor Who?
Consider the reverse scenario. A law abiding man in the mid-19th century is traveling back to his farm after shopping in a nearby town. He and the two others with him in his carriage are suddenly snapped into the early 21st century. The man soon finds himself in a myriad of legal difficulties even though he has receipts for the slaves that accompanied him and also for the pound and a half of cocaine that he had just purchased at the town’s department store.
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Re: Time travel

Hank Kepanke
In reply to this post by Doctor Who?
I think a law of time travel should be that you are responsible for your actions in the time you are in or travel to. If you are a smart enough person to know how to move forward or backward in time, it stands to reason you should be smart enough to adjust your behavior for the when you plan to visit.

Ignorance of the law has never been an excuse and I doubt it ever will be :)
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Re: Time travel

Tom-O
In reply to this post by OldMan_in_WV
Oh well, if I must OM...

As happened here a number of years ago...
A chap travelling through the UK from Israel was found to have a hand-gun in his luggage and charged accordingly. At court he was discharged because his behaviour was accepted as 'normal' where he hailed from.
So, this would take care of the Cocaine.

As far as having possession of slaves goes...
Certainly if this were to occur here in the UK, the fellow would be 'quids-in'. For at the time of the abolition of slavery here in the UK slave owners were richly rewarded (err...I mean...) 'compensated' for their loss.

And to add to all of this...there is an old sci-fi tale about a chap who went on safari to the Jurassic period, by means of (then) common time-travel. He was instructed about which animal to kill, and when. Plus he was told NOT to stray from the path laid out, unfortunately he stepped to one side and trod upon a butterfly...
...only to discover upon his return that his 'present' day was by then ruled by an authoritarian fascist regime.
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Re: Time travel

OldMan_in_WV
“to have a hand-gun in his luggage and charged accordingly”

Charged accordingly???  Oh, that’s right, this happened in the UK where the government either so fears the people or considers them to be so incompetent that they’re not allowed possession of firearms.

“the fellow would be 'quids-in'”

This expression is not understood.

“old sci-fi tale”

I believe you’re referring to the movie, “A Sound of Thunder”. The premise was good. The movie itself was awful.
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Re: Time travel

Tom-O
OM, are you missing some medication?

'quid', is a fairly well known term for a unit of currency, even in the US.

I've not seen the film...

A Sound of Thunder

This article is about the short story by Ray Bradbury...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Sound_of_Thunder
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Re: Time travel

Doctor Who?
In reply to this post by OldMan_in_WV
“the fellow would be 'quids-in'” = 'Rolling in the Benjamins"  :)
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Re: Time travel

Taffy
In reply to this post by Doctor Who?
Doctor Who? wrote
Consider this hypothetical situation - A man who commits an act considered a crime by today's standards, who is captured, tried and convicted, but manages to escape and time travel to the future where the act is not considered a crime. If caught, do you think they are still guilty and thus should they have to serve out their time?
Not guilty. No he shouldn't serve. and btw, THAT fact that once an act was a crime and then it is not anymore is enough proof that it is not something obvious and therefore is more likely to be an awful law. what i mean is. To hurt/kill/torture someone is pretty obvious it is a  crime and there must be a law against peple hurting each other, any time anywhere.
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