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  • manslaughter

    We had a sad incident here. On a bridge, these 2 men got into an argument with another man about a fishing spot. Words were exchanged, fists flew and one man fell and hit his head. He died.
    The other 2 men were arrested for manslaughter. I saw them as they led them into court. They looked absolutely devastated as well they should. Now they will get years behind bars because they couldn't control their tempers. Sad.

  • #2
    Here in my state they wouldn't even get charged with manslaughter under the circumstances you described. We have a phrase in our law terminology called mutual combat. Its where two people willingly consent, judged by the actions leading up to it, to beat the crap out of one another. When this happens all crimes except disturbing the peace by fighting go out the window. We had a very similar case about nine years ago. Two guys are in a bar. For whatever reasons they get into it verbally and start spewing obscenities at one another. They square off to fight and start throwing punches. One guy has a glass jaw and goes down on the first punch, hits his head, and dies. After review it was decided the other guy could only be charged with disturbing the peace since the two had entered into mutual combat.

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    • #3
      Zamboni-

      Never heard of that - Where are you from?
      Stay Safe Everyone!

      Matthew Frank
      Owner, Code3 Response
      www.code3response.com

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      • #4
        I haven't read all the particulars of this case yet. It ould have been that the man who died didn'tt hrow a punch, I don't know. I just think it's stupid to let it get that far.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by slolightbar:
          Zamboni-

          Never heard of that - Where are you from?
          Idaho.

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          • #6
            So if I get into a fight with a guy in Idaho and its mutual combat I can intentionally beat him to death and not get a Murder charge?

            [ 11-28-2001: Message edited by: SpecOpsWarrior ]

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            • #7
              We had a similar display here a few years ago. There was a fight outside of a bar and one of the subjects struck his head on the rear bumper of a vehicle and died of a closed head injury. The other male subject was charged and convicted of manslaughter.

              And yet the man who shot my uncle in the back got off on self defense b/c there had been an "ongoing fued" between the 2 of them. (to be fair, that's the jury's fault, not the police department's)
              This post has been rated PG-13 for your viewing pleasure.

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              • #8
                I would suspect in Idaho that punching a guy which causes him to slip and hit his head would be okay, but jumping on a guy and feeding him punches till he's dead would not? Any insights?
                Graeme

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                • #9
                  Not sure about Idaho, but all the "mutual combat" clause does in NH is reduce a misdemeanor charge of assault to a violation. Anything beyond that is charged as it would be.

                  Never saw any case-study on it, but that is how I interpret it...

                  631:2-a Simple Assault. – I. A person is guilty of simple assault if he:
                  (a) Purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury or unprivileged physical contact to another; or

                  (b) Recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or

                  (c) Negligently causes bodily injury to another by means of a deadly weapon.

                  II. Simple assault is a misdemeanor unless committed in a fight entered into by mutual consent, in which case it is a violation.
                  Education is nothing without experience to back it up.

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                  • #10
                    In order to commit a battery here you have have to commit an unlawful and unwanted touching. Mutual combat comes in because the touching is not unwanted. They consented to hit one another basically. This isn't anything I learned in law week but our prosecutor has explained to us in training that the mutual combat extends all the way up the scale. So if it starts as a battery and a death results mutual combat still can apply. The touching may have been unlawful but it wasn't unwanted so no battery or more serious crime occurred. Maybe we just have a screwed up prosecutor but this is how he has been doing things for some time and no one has ever come in and challenged it.

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                    • #11
                      It seems to me that the charge of "involuntary manslaughter' would apply in the incident descibed.

                      Involuntary Manslaughter occurs when a death is caused by a violation of a non-felony, such as reckless driving. Or if a person is killed during the commission of another crime, where the intent was not to cause bodily injury or death.

                      Food for thought.

                      Retired
                      Retired

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