Fans of the Netflix series Jessica Jones are equally enthralled and horrified by the actions of Kilgrave, who has the ability to get people to unquestioningly follow his every command. By using this ability, Kilgrave made women sleep with him and even made people commit murder. While the villain explains that he has never killed someone himself and never forced anyone to give him money or sex, that defense wouldn’t go over so well in court. San Diego criminal lawyer Peter M. Liss explains why.
First, let’s review the rape charges, which are a little more cut and dry in this case. Under California law, a person must be competent to give consent to sexual activities in order for the acts to be legal. This is the same reason that it’s not legal to have intercourse with someone who is drunk or passed out.
If Kilgrave knowingly has the ability to control another person with his words (which he does), he would be removing their ability to give willing and competent consent to sexual acts whenever he told them to have sex with him. In fact, in order for him to not rape someone, his San Diego criminal defense attorney would advise that he very carefully choose his words and ask his partner to do whatever he or she wanted to do or to phrase everything in the form of a question rather than a direct command. It may be a frustrating way to make dirty talk, but it’s substantially better than facing a rape charge and the potential penalties of being labeled a sex offender.
When it comes to ordering people to murder others, Kilgrave may be able to justify the acts to himself by explaining that he never pulled the trigger, but that defense wouldn’t hold up well in court. That’s because in California, you don’t have to be the person who actually committed a murder to be charged with murder. In fact, plenty of people have been convicted of first-degree murder after they hired someone else to kill their victims. Given that Kilgrave’s orders cannot be ignored by those under their influence, his actions are akin to hiring an assassin without offering any form of compensation.
Of course, because they were not operating in their own right minds and under their own free will, Kilgrave’s actual assassins would almost certainly be found innocent, although it would be up to their San Diego homicide defense lawyers to show that they were, in fact, under Kilgrave’s influence when they committed the crime.
Of course, in the real world, powers like Kilgraves are unheard of, but there are still plenty of criminal cases involving sexual acts performed without adequate consent, murder-for-hire schemes and people acting without full control of their mental faculties. If you are involved with any of these scenarios, San Diego criminal attorney Peter M. Liss can help. Please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule your free initial consultation.