[ RadSafe ] xray WMD - Mere Intent and Voodoo Doll

roseb at gdls.com roseb at gdls.com
Fri Sep 4 11:29:17 CDT 2015

>Sticking up a bank with a fake gun is still a robbery with a victim.
Conspiring to commit a crime that is physically impossible is a different
matter.  Unlike the fake gun in a robbery, the "death ray" was never built
or deployed.  In my conception of justice, mere intent to commit mass
murder should not be enough to convict (a thought crime), there should also
be a credible chance of success.  Had this person been constructing a Vodoo
doll with which to commit mass murder, would he have been guilty of a
crime?  I think not.  If the law would say otherwise, then the law is an

Mere intent to commit mass murder should not be enough to convict (thought
crime) - the court found the intent to be active and credible based on the
evidence presented, and found the accused guilty under the law. It was
fortunately not necessary and sufficient for the thought crime to come to
realization as an actual physical crime as intended by the accused.

Use of voodoo dolls as opposed to other credible or not credible WMDs - it
is assumed that this example was offered to make a point using an extreme
ludicrous analogy.  This analogy is not so extreme or ludicrous; see

"Voodoo Doll Lynching” Race Discrimination Verdict Upheld

No one was "physically" injured or harmed by-proxy of the lynched doll,
however, the symbol and possibly even the intent (thought) behind the
symbol was initially found by and subsequently upheld by the court to have
created a hostile employment / work environment for employees for whom such
symbols historically and even currently have real and tangible
psychological and physical significance.

Also see

Impossibility, Subjective Probability, and Punishment for Attempts

Search on "voodoo doll" for discussion of case analogous to the voodoo doll
vs other wmd as a criminal act presented in this x-ray wmd thread. The
above linked discussion is not a "peer reviewed" discussion, but it does
make some interesting and entertaining points as to whether or not
impossible or unfeasible intent or attempts should be punishable under the


Boyd H. Rose, CM, CIH, CHMM, EI
Sr. Safety and Environmental Engineering Specialist
Corporate Radiation Safety Officer
General Dynamics Land Systems
38500 Mound Road
Mail Zone 436-10-80
Sterling Heights , MI 48310-3200
Tel: 586 825 4503
Fax: 586-939-4140
E-mail: roseb at gdls.com

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