As I was perusing Jon Carroll's column in the San Francisco Chronicle over my cereal this morning, I came across this tale of a highly inventive criminal law exam, which reader Rita Charles e-mailed to Carroll in response to his Oct. 17 column about Hansel and Gretel:
I went to John F. Kennedy University School of Law in Orinda. Back in 1976, Judge Norman Spellberg (now retired) was my instructor in Criminal Law. For our final exam we were given three Golden Books: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; Jack and the Beanstalk; Hansel and Gretel. We were told to list all the crimes and defenses. That was the final. . . . I especially liked Snow White -- she co-habited with seven dwarves, and at the end she was kidnapped by a guy on a horse, who had probable unlawful intercourse with her. But I think the most crimes were in Hansel and Gretel. Such adorable children, but they were murderers!"
Perhaps Carroll's column will inspire other criminal law professors to employ this method of examination! There are certainly plenty of other crime-laden children's stories to choose from, including "Rapunzel," "The Robber Bridegroom," and "The Three Little Pigs."