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Zombies Can Get Away With Murder

So sue me! (A "zombie" who came to protest the government in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in February.)
Jure Makovec
AFP/Getty Images
So sue me! (A "zombie" who came to protest the government in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in February.)

Being one of the living dead would be a big advantage if you're charged with murder.

And you could probably trash your neighbor's property and not be successfully sued.

Ryan Davidson, a lawyer who also blogs about "superheroes, supervillains, and the law" at , tells The Huffington Post that "if zombies are effectively unconscious, then they would be incapable of performing voluntary actions and thus immune to criminal liability (or civil liability, for that matter)."

He'll be discussing that conclusion and "various legal aspects of being a zombie" on Friday at the WonderCon convention in Anaheim, Calif.

Now, on the flip side, zombies likely wouldn't have any legal rights, Davidson says. So they couldn't sue the living folks who've taken over their property.

Of course, this being the law, there is another way of looking at it.

If zombies aren't re-animated corpses, but are instead "living people infected with some kind of virus," Davidson says, then maybe they could be criminally and civilly liable for their actions.

But that may be a moot point. From what we've seen on The Walking Dead, it doesn't look like the living are all that concerned about zombies' rights anyway.

We've developed something of a zombie news beat here on The Two-Way, by the way:

-- Researchers: When Zombies Attack, Hit Them Hard & Fast — Or Else!

-- Canada To Zombies: Drop Dead, Eh

-- Can't A Zombie Get A Break? Now The CDC's On Their Case

-- 'Zombie Alert' Also Aired In Michigan; Hacking Traced To Overseas Source

-- Halloween Chicago-Style: 'Da Mayor And 'Da Zombies

-- To Some Runners, Zombies Are A Killer Motivator

-- Motorists Beware! Zombies Ahead!

And Monkey See has been on the zombie beat, too:

-- 10 Clues That The Zombie Outbreak Being Announced On Your Television Is Not A Hoax

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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