The Law: Reasonable Cannibalism

The seven primitive tribesmen from Western Papua were haled into a Port Moresby court where they were charged with improperly and indecently interfering with a corpse. A fellow villager had been killed in a family feud, and they had volunteered to dispose of the remains. Their method: to cut up the body, cook it in a well-thickened stew, and eat it.

After due deliberation, Judge William Prentice ruled that cannibalism is a normal and reasonable behavior for some remote New Guinea villagers. Said the judge: "I do not consider that the legislature had in contemplation the banning of a method of disposal...

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