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post #502 of Old 08-07-2013
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Re: Mutiny at Dawn - Transpac Race 2013

Originally Posted by mstern View Post
I have way too much work to do today, but this needs a whole lot more research before I am convinced that the laws of mutiny (as quoted before) are applicable. The statutes quoted above apply to "crew" on "vessels of the United States", or vessels in the territorial waters of the United States. Since the "mutiny" occured well beyond the 12 mile limit, the operative terms here are "crew" and "vessels of the United States". The first thing I would check (and I am a lawyer and do this for a living) is the applicable definitions section of the statute to see if either or both of those terms are defined. If its not, I would then check any court or administrative decisions that construed the law to see if any court or other agency had looked at these or similar questions before. You can also review whatever legislative history there is to see what Congress discussed (or put in the written record) before passing the law in question.

I haven't read the case cited in the earlier post concerning the applicability of the term "seaman" under the Jones Act, but it may be inapplicable. The Jones Act concerned better working conditions for seamen on American flagged vessels. The concept of who was a "seaman" for purposes of the Jones Act may have dealt only with who was entitled to the benefits of better pay, working conditions and the ability to sue their employer, not who counts as "crew" for purposes of determining who can be convicted of mutiny. Like I said, I didn't read the case (nor is it likely that I will); I just caution all of you again that the quality of the legal analysis that I read on the internet is worth about the price that you paid to read it. Most of it wouldn't cut the mustard in a first year law school class.

Regardless of whether Jake or RD counts as "crew" or the Aquarius as a "vessel of the United States" as defined in the statute, as a former prosecutor (at both the state and federal levels), I find it very hard to believe that any US Attorney's office would waste their time with this.
and the fact that there was no actual mutiny. Perhaps insubordination, but not mutiny.
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