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Seattle University School of Law

Deodand

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Deodand, Brian L. Frye Apr 2021

Deodand, Brian L. Frye

Seattle University Law Review SUpra

Deodands are a delightful example of a common law doctrine that caused something to happen: the Crown was enabled to tax tortfeasors. But not in a way anyone expected at the time or anyone understands today. Look on their logic and despair. You’ll never figure it out, no matter how hard you try. And that’s what makes them so lyrical. The concept of the deodand is beautiful even though we can’t understand it. Or rather, it’s beautiful because we can’t understand it. If we understood deodands, surely they would be as prosaic as life insurance ...