Sunday, June 26, 2016

How Will The Government Handle Zombies?

One of the most important question about a future Zombie apocalypse is 

How will the government handle a Zombie crisis?

US Capitol at Dusk - Photo By Martin Falbisoner (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The government and major medical institutions will likely not handle a Zombie crisis well.  We can look towards the government handling of three issues:  illegal immigration, mental illness, and fleeing felons.

The illegal immigration crisis is currently being handled in a way that requires intense judicial involvement.  Every illegal immigrant is entitled to a judicial hearing and case before being deported.  In the initial phases of a Zombie crisis, the government may be similarly concerned with the civil rights of Zombies. 

The government is not totally free to confine the mentally ill.  In the landmark case O'Connor v. Donaldson in 1975, the Supreme Court "ruled that a state cannot constitutionally confine a non-dangerous individual who is capable of surviving safely in freedom by themselves or with the help of willing and responsible family members or friends."  I'm no lawyer, but I take this to mean that Zombies can't be confined for long without judicial proceedings to show that they are dangerous.  

Finally, we can't expect the police to roll into a neighborhood like the cavalry and simply shoot all the Zombies. In the 1985 case, Tennessee v. Garner the supreme court struck down laws allowing police to shoot at fleeing felons.  This landmark ruling held that police can't simply execute people suspected of felonies for simply running away.  While is a great protection for all Americans in terms of civil rights, it also means that the police will be very unlikely to summarily shoot Zombies.  Instead, the government may seek to round up the dead in hopes of finding a cure.  Finally, depending on the political persuasion of political leaders, the politicians may also threaten to prosecute citizens who use lethal force or firearms to shoot Zombies and looters.  Even in "Stand Your Ground" states, citizens may have to show that the Zombie was a direct threat.

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