In the Saw franchise it has be said by Jigsaw/John Kramer himself and by others that "he has never actually killed anyone" and that everyone "has a chance to survive". Consider a basic 'test' where a man is chained to a basement by his ankle with a hacksaw next to him. His options are to remove his own foot to escape and survive, or stay there and eventually starve to death. In both of those possible outcomes the victim made the choice to stay and die or to mutilate himself.

My question is: if the above facts were proved, what offences would be made out (besides the kidnapping and wrongful imprisonment commiting in getting the victim there in the first place)?

  • 2
    No, his option is to use the hacksaw to cut the chain. Hacksaws are for cutting metal.
    – Dale M
    Commented Oct 13, 2023 at 1:37
  • 3
    @DaleM The scene OP refers to has a Dr. Gordon and a bonesaw that looks a lot like a hacksaw but isn't one - and for some reason that didn't cut the shackle (nonsense!)
    – Trish
    Commented Oct 13, 2023 at 8:03
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    Do they imply that this is a sensible defense? It isn't. I know it's just a movie, but I really hope people don't take that idea seriously. If you put a bomb in someone's house and label it "bomb: do not open" and they open it and die, you are definitely responsible. The idea that 'you gave them a chance' is a defense is sovereign-citizen-level nonsense.
    – JimmyJames
    Commented Oct 13, 2023 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


but all jurisdictions will have similar offenses.


Or attempted murder - we can take the attempt as given from now on.

Murder shall be taken to have been committed where the act of the accused, or thing by him or her omitted to be done, causing the death charged, was done or omitted with reckless indifference to human life, or with intent to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm upon some person, or done in an attempt to commit, or during or immediately after the commission, by the accused, or some accomplice with him or her, of a crime punishable by imprisonment for life or for 25 years.

All three preconditions are met here.

Causing grievous bodily harm

Whosoever by any unlawful or negligent act, or omission, causes grievous bodily harm to any person, shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.

Aggravated Kidnapping

A person who takes or detains a person, without the person’s consent— (a) with the intention of holding the person to ransom, or (a1) with the intention of committing a serious indictable offence, or (b) with the intention of obtaining any other advantage, is liable to imprisonment for 14 years.

  • Australia tag? Or does this answer cover all jurisdictions everywhere?
    – Richard
    Commented Oct 13, 2023 at 17:07
  • @Richard, the punishments and names are Australia-specific, but the crimes are fairly consistent across common-law jurisdictions.
    – Mark
    Commented Oct 13, 2023 at 21:08

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