Recently, Dorkly posted a comic about the issues facing Batman’s newest ward, while io9 ranked the Caped Crusader as #1 in their list of heroes who should be arrested for child endangerment. While the first one is obviously a joke, the io9 article makes a good case. So, is Batman guilty of child endangerment or other crimes when it comes to Robin? San Diego criminal lawyer Peter M. Liss explains.
Under California law, in order to be convicted of child endangerment, you must have either willfully caused or permitted any child to suffer physical pain or mental suffering or willfully caused or permitted any child to be placed in a situation where the child suffers physical pain or mental suffering. The first matter here would be if Robin was actually a child when he started assisting Batman. The answer is yes. While there have been five different incarnations of Robin throughout the years, all but one of them (Stephanie Brown) were under the age of 18 when they took on their roles. In fact, all but Stephanie were 13 or under when they started fighting crime, so there is no way a San Diego criminal attorney, or one from Gotham, could argue against that fact.
The next matter is whether or not the children ever suffered physical pain or mental suffering at the hands of Batman or were put in a situation by Batman where they could experience such traumas. Again, the answer is yes. Obviously, fighting as a superhero against some of the most deranged villains in the world could put the children in both physical and mental danger. In fact, of the four underage boys to take on the role of Robin, two have already died.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Batman has been known to slap Robin as well. Assuming the prosecution could get an accurate record and evidence of Batman and Robin’s exploits (and to prove that the defendant and victim were, indeed those crime fighters), it would be near impossible for a San Diego criminal lawyer to defend Batman from this angle.
In fact, when it comes to child endangerment charges, the only defense Batman’s criminal defense attorney would have would come from the word “willfully.” In order for child endangerment to have occurred, Batman must have “willfully caused or permitted” Robin to be put in harm’s way. While it’s easy to point at the adventures the Dynamic Duo have gone through, the bottom line is that Batman never recruits sidekicks. Instead, most of his charges have been young men dedicated to fighting crime regardless of the cost, whom Batman reluctantly assists in training to channel their anger and fight all forms of evil. In this way, a San Diego criminal lawyer could argue that Batman is actually protecting them from the danger they would otherwise put themselves in.
This would undoubtedly be a difficult defense, but given the amount of money Bruce Wayne has, that Dick Grayson eventually inherits, he would certainly have the best defense lawyers at his disposal, whether the were located in Gotham, San Diego or Tampa working on his behalf.
Of course, it’s unlikely that child endangerment would be the only charge Batman was facing. Possible other charges he could face would be child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Indeed, it would take a legion of the best criminal attorneys in San Diego, Gotham and everywhere else he could find them to successfully fight the charges.
While you probably don’t fight crime every night, you could still be charged with child endangerment just like Batman. If that happens, or if you have any questions about California’s legal system, please call San Diego criminal lawyer Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 OR (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Creative Commons Image by Mitch Hell