Being dead : What rights do you have and what laws apply to you?

Rouxenator

Dank meme lord
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While having lunch I came up with an interesting concept and I can't seem to get concrete answers on many of the points raised. The question here is what laws apply to someone that is dead and also what rights do they have?

For example, if you are dead and you have no rights is it then possible for other people to infringe on your right? Like if they make a racist remark to a corpse, is that really a crime?

I know that there are statutory laws that apply to living people with regard to what they can't do with dead people. A good point is necrophilia, that is against the law but only applies to the living person. The dead person has, I assume, no rights or obligations with regards to that law.

On the other hand, is it possible for a dead person to break the law? Like can they be prosecuted if they drive to fast, for example, or maybe even point a gun at someone?

Perhaps some of you can share some worthwhile views on this topic.
 

IzZzy

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You've been smoking the Stellenbosch air a bit too much. Dead people have no rights. The only "rights" are those of the estate a dead person leaves behind, which must be wound up (if possible). It isn't possible to wind up certain estates, such as music artists, who continue to receive royalties after their death.
 

Jola

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You still have to pay your SABC TV licence.
 

LazyLion

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11. Right of burial
(1) No person shall acquire any right including a right of burial in any ground or grave in a cemetery owned by the City, other than such rights or interests as may be obtainable under this By-law.
(2) The determination of the identity of the holder of existing rights to further burials in existing graves shall be determined with reference to the register of the City.
(3) On application in terms of section 3 and on payment of the prescribed fee, a person may acquire the right of burial in a public grave.
(4) On application in terms of section 3 and on payment of the prescribed fee, a person may acquire the exclusive right to subsequent burials in the same grave provided that this right will lapse on the exhumation of the corpse buried in such grave.
(5) The right to subsequent burials shall not be transferable to a third party other than on the death of the holder of the right, in which event the right shall be transferred to his or her next of kin.
(6) Where the next of kin of the deceased person buried in the grave to which the right to subsequent burial relates is not a holder of the right, in the event that the next of kin objects to a subsequent burial in that grave, the consent of the next of kin shall be required prior to any subsequent burial being permitted.
(7) The right to subsequent burials referred to in subsection (4) is conditional on the suitability of the grave for additional burials as determined by the City.
(8) The next of kin or other closest surviving relative of a deceased person who is buried in a public or private grave may, in writing, forfeit such public or private grave to the City, and thereby grant consent for the exhumation of the remains of the deceased person buried in that grave, and the burial therein of an unrelated person or persons.
(9) In the case of a private grave, where the holder of the right acquired in terms of subsection (11)(4) is not the next of kin or other closest surviving relative of the deceased, the joint consent of both the holder of the right and the next of kin or other closest surviving relative of the deceased, must be obtained before a grave is forfeited in accordance with subsection 8.

http://openbylaws.org.za/za-cpt/act/by-law/2011/cemeteries-crematoria-funeral-undertakers/
 

Rouxenator

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So you can call a dead person insulting and other remarks without fear of being prosecuted?
 

joeyhza

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You've been smoking the Stellenbosch air a bit too much. Dead people have no rights. The only "rights" are those of the estate a dead person leaves behind, which must be wound up (if possible). It isn't possible to wind up certain estates, such as music artists, who continue to receive royalties after their death.
I laughed so much at that. It conveyed a sense of sheer confusion.
 

Rouxenator

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Cool! OK, and if a dead person is driving a car and breaking the the speed limit, then technically there is no crime?
 

IzZzy

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So you can call a dead person insulting and other remarks without fear of being prosecuted?
Crimen injuria exists as a stand-alone criminal offence. I am not sure how it applies where the 'victim' is dead, but the same does not apply to delictual defamation. It can become quite murkey, with many grey areas but the principle stands - a delictual person cannot be insulted as they have no fama / dignity.

The 'rights' quoted by Gary are really restrictions. A dead person cannot exercise them.
 

IzZzy

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Cool! OK, and if a dead person is driving a car and breaking the the speed limit, then technically there is no crime?
What would the punishment be? Death sentence? A crime can only be committed by a human being, who is legally competent (i.e. has the necessary mental capacity).
 

Rouxenator

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The point is not what the punishment would be, obviously that is of little concern to the dead person, the point is if there was any crime at all. Because you are dead you are not longer bound by the laws so therefore it is not a crime.

What I am trying to do is to get people to talk about and under stand the rights of the dead. A lot of time and awareness is spent on women's rights and other causes, but the fact is that 100% of us will die. Therefore death rights is a concern for all of us, as opposed women's rights who only applies to a few (those being female).
 

IzZzy

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What?!? You're dead at that point!

To be a crime, the offender needs to be alive. Unless you use a corpse to purposely evade a crime.
 

Rouxenator

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If they can't prove beyond reasonable doubt that a living person manipulated a dead person to commit a crime then there is no crime. However as a dead person you have no human rights so when you being called "a stiff" or perhaps "a lazy pale face" it can't be seen as being racist or discriminatory.

A more realistic example could be someone being denied a burial sight for whatever reason, that is not discriminatory because the corpse has no human rights?
 

Rouxenator

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Another good example; if you were a homosexual and you die are you still homosexual? Can you expect conservatives to still discriminate against you despite you being dead?
 

yebocan

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The point is not what the punishment would be, obviously that is of little concern to the dead person, the point is if there was any crime at all. Because you are dead you are not longer bound by the laws so therefore it is not a crime.

What I am trying to do is to get people to talk about and under stand the rights of the dead. A lot of time and awareness is spent on women's rights and other causes, but the fact is that 100% of us will die. Therefore death rights is a concern for all of us, as opposed women's rights who only applies to a few (those being female).
Wayyyyy too much time on your hands. The dead do not care about anything.
 
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