Sunday, 13 October 2013

The living dead

In the news today, an American man has turned up from almost 20 years of being missing has been told he cannot have a driving licence because he is still legally dead.  Donald Miller Jr vanished from Ohio in 1986 after he lost his job and turned to drink and he was officially declared as deceased eight years after going walkabouts.

Mr Miller explained that he just drifted from place to place whilst living his life out of a bottle.  After getting his life back on track and returning to his home town, Donald decided to apply for a driving licence through the court.

The law as it stands in Ohio states that there is a three year limit to reverse a ruling of death and given that Donald had been adrift from the world for almost twenty, the judge refused to overturn the ruling.  This basically means that Mr Miller is, despite being very much alive, officially dead.

The judge stated it to be a "strange, strange situation". With Donald Miller standing in front of him in the court, the judge explained that he had no idea where this left him because as far as the law is concerned he is deceased.   

Apart from the obvious issues this leaves regarding legal documents, there is the other side of the problem to being dead.  Will he be accountable for any of his actions, illegal or otherwise?  He really does give new meaning to the saying, ‘Dead man walking’.

Whatever the outcome of Mr Miller’s dilemma, this is confusing, is he in some kind of twilight zone, stuck between the afterlife and death.  Or has he reached a dead end in his life/death.  

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