Rogue is one of the X-Men’s most powerful and famous characters, with the ability to absorb the memories and life force of anyone she touches and even absorb and use the powers of other mutants. If she touches someone long enough, she could even kill them. So what legal problems could Rogue’s powers present? Here’s how San Diego criminal lawyer Peter M. Liss thinks things could turn out.
Memory and Power Absorption
While viewing someone else’s memories without permission could be considered a serious violation of privacy, it is not technically a crime because there has been no reason for the legislature to ban such behavior in the past. Similarly, taking the powers of other mutants could be made a crime in order to protect other mutants in a world where people Rogue exist, but for right now, it’s certainly not a crime. So as much as others might be bothered by these two powers, there’s not much the law could do to stop it as is. Her ability to take the life force from someone she touches on the other hand is a serious issue.
Absorbing the Life Force of Others
First off, it’s worth noting that because Rogue cannot stop her powers, she can’t be charged with a crime if she merely bumps against someone, even if it harms them. Similarly, if someone forces her to touch another person whether by physically restraining her or threatening her life or the life of another person, she would not be legally responsible for what happens, even if she kills the other person.
In the comics and the movies though, Rogue generally tries hard not to unintentionally touch others, choosing to wear gloves and body suits in order to limit her exposed skin. So most of the people she touches, she touches by choice. Because her touch physically harms those she makes contact with, merely touching someone could open her up to assault and battery charges. Even threatening to touch someone without actually doing so could result in assault charges.
Self Defense and the Defense of Others
The good news is that Rogue is a hero and generally only chooses to touch others in order to save herself or others, frequently acting in order to save the world as a whole. Any San Diego assault and battery attorney could argue that she was acting in self defense in these situations and could not be held legally responsible.
But self defense is limited to the minimum amount of force necessary to stop the threat. If she touched someone longer than necessary to incapacitate them then she could still be charged with a crime. If someone died due to her touch, she would have to prove that she genuinely believed that releasing them even once subdued would still present a threat to herself or the other person or persons she was acting to save. Her San Diego violent crimes lawyer might end up being able to present an imperfect self defense argument, which means that while a normal person might not believe deadly force was necessary, she legitimately believed she was facing a deadly threat and the only way to protect herself or others was through the use of deadly force. However a successful imperfect self defense argument does not mean the charges against someone will be dropped, but only that the murder charge will be reduced to a voluntary manslaughter charge, resulting in a drastically shorter criminal sentence, but still resulting in a conviction and usually with some period of incarceration.
And of course, self defense and even imperfect self defense arguments only work if the person believes they are defending themselves or someone else from immediate danger. If Rogue used her powers for revenge or to get information to blackmail someone, she could even be charged with torture.
In fact, it seems that while Rogue tries hard to keep her powers under wraps, they could be even more legally challenging than trying to get an irritated Wolverine through airport security or defending the damage Spider-Man does by swinging around on webs attached to historical buildings.
While it’s safe to assume anyone reading this doesn’t have superpowers, it is still possible for us non-mutants to be accused of assault, battery, murder and even torture and anyone facing these charges should call San Diego criminal attorney Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024.