The Legal Status of Zombies & Relations Concerning
Pursuant to numerous requests for information regarding the legal status of Zombie Affected Persons
(ZAPs) and the removal of them, I have arrived at some interesting conclusions. For the sake of this
argument & research paper, Zombies are considered legally alive. While this may not prove to be the
case in the event of an outbreak, it is a possibility that should be considered and prepared for.
Zombie Affective Disorder would be classified as a medical condition, and ZAPs thereby entitled to the
full rights of the law under such premises. Because zombies would still be alive and residents of the US,
they (and their estates), do have the right to seek redress in a civil/criminal court if harmed. While
justifiable homicide might be viewed as a plausible defense, little to no case history exists to provide
guidance for our purposes.
In consultation with attorneys and medical practitioners who specialize in this area, ZAPs past the initial
stages of the disease generally lack the Mens Rea (Criminal Culpability) for their actions. While criminal
culpability generally does not factor into capitol crimes such as homicide or rape, it does offer ZAPs
protection for their other actions. These crimes are known as strict liability cases, and must involve such
physical or bodily harm.
A good example would be that a mentally challenged person breaking into your home can still be met
with lethal force by you to protect your dwelling (castle doctrine). However, if said challenged person is
detained by law enforcement authorities and charged with a crime, their crime/sentence could be
reduced or dismissed entirely.
One case on point is case of California v. Campbell (2009) in which a mentally challenged person was
convicted of 2nd degree homicide in the death of a police officer. While he was convicted of this crime,
the sentence was on par with someone found not guilty by reason of mental defect or disorder, and he
was remanded to a state run medical facility for the rest of his life.
Also on point is the 2002 Supreme Court decision Atkins v. Virginia. In this case a mentally challenged
person was also found guilty of murder, and sentenced to execution. However, the Supreme Court
stayed that decision and again, remanded the offender to a state run medical facility. This decision was
based on the fact that there was no criminal culpability, but still required imprisonment, albeit in
hospital environment. This case is important because it in theory allows to the use of force to protect
oneself during an attack, but if a ZAP is caught and detained, it would then be unlawful to summarily
execute the individual.
All of this is moot however in a high level zombie outbreak. Although no standardized system exists for
categorizing levels of outbreaks, once a state of emergency is declared by civil authorities, these legal
nuances are likely to be dismissed for the overall benefit of society. A reasonable measurement has
been discussed at 10% outbreak. Models predict that with nominal infection rates (8-10 hours before
primary symptoms,) once 10% of the population in a given area has been affected, martial law and lethal
force without secondary justification would probably be authorized, if not de facto enacted.
It is suggested that one familiarize themselves with the United States federal laws and regulations for
control of communicable diseases. While it is noted above that zombies would enjoy the full rights and
privileges afforded to persons residing within the United States, cases of medical emergencies have
been known to supersede these rights. Such quarantine can only be enacted through the administrative
processes internal to the CDC, which is subject to congressional and judicial oversight.
The Division of Global Migration and Quarantine is part of CDC's National Center for Emerging and
Zoonotic Infectious Diseases and is headquartered in Atlanta. Quarantine stations are located in
Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, El Paso, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami,
Minneapolis, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle, and
Under its delegated authority, the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine is empowered to detain,
medically examine, or conditionally release individuals and wildlife suspected of carrying a
The list of quarantinable diseases is contained in an Executive Order by the President of the United
States and includes cholera, diphtheria, infectious tuberculosis, plague, smallpox, yellow fever, viral
hemorrhagic fevers (such as Marburg, Ebola, and Congo-Crimean), and SARS. An amendment to the
Executive Order of the President was added in 2005 to include influenza that is causing or has the
potential to cause a pandemic. It is possible that Zombie Affective Disorder could fall into the category
of hemorrhagic fever or influenza, thereby speeding up a quarantine process.
United States Code
The United States Code is a consolidation and codification by subject matter of the general and
permanent laws of the United States. Sections 264-272 of the following portion of the code apply: Title
42 - The Public Health andWelfare, Chapter 6A - Public Health Service, Subchapter II - General Powers
and Duties, Part G - Quarantine and Inspection.
42 USC Part G - Quarantine and Inspection
· Sec. 264. Regulations to control communicable diseases
· Sec. 265. Suspension of entries and imports from designated places to prevent spread of communicable diseases
· Sec. 266. Special quarantine powers in time of war
· Sec. 267. Quarantine stations, grounds, and anchorages
· Sec. 268. Quarantine duties of consular and other officers
· Sec. 269. Bills of health
· Sec. 270. Quarantine regulations governing civil air navigation and civil aircraft
· Sec. 271. Penalties for violation of quarantine laws
· Sec. 272. Administration of oaths by quarantine officers
Code of Federal Regulations
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules published
in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is
divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. Parts 70 and 71 of the
following portion of the CFR apply: Title 42 - Public Health, Chapter 1 - Public Health Service,
Department of Health and Human Services.