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The Strange Case of the Fatal $5 Punch

 
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 May, 2011 12:51 pm
After giving this more thought, I think the party goers have some level of criminal culpability. Occasionally we see the story of some sex game that goes wrong and one of the people dies. This is similar in that although all the players are adults and gave consent, it is the responsibility of the person in control (in this case, the woman doing the hitting) to exercise some degree of control so that no one is severely injured.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 May, 2011 01:27 pm
@engineer,
Quote:
After giving this more thought, I think the party goers have some level of criminal culpability.


Normally you do, E, but in this case, it doesn't seem like you are.

First, you weren't there. You seem to be making the assumption that everyone was out in front pumping for this event to take place.

Let's just assume for a moment that everyone was gung ho on this event taking place. How would they differ from the fans at a boxing match, from the people who go to see these "no holds barred" ultimate fights.

These are pay per view events? In the event of a death should everyone who paid be culpable? What of those who paid but then missed watching it?
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 May, 2011 08:56 pm
@Irishk,
Irishk wrote:

I agree. Those responsible for the delay in getting help for the injured man are just as guilty of 'reckless' behavior as the woman who accidentally killed him.
You have to trust that the jury has more sense to it than the law... They don't need an excuse to find some one not guilty, or guilty for that matter... The defense just needs a Jerry Spense sort who can prove that the dead man once kicked a dog... Everyone loves dogs... Except Setanta... He kicks dogs...
0 Replies
 
BDV
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 05:21 am
This is a stupid waste of money and peoples time, it was an accident! so what if they delayed phoning 911, the guy was dead, hes not gonna get any more dead. The guy would probably be very embarrassed if he lived anyway. How he burst an artery in his neck from a facial punch god only knows, damage probably done when he hit the ground.
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 07:39 am
I dont believe you do have an obligation to call in an emergency for a dead person . The matter could have been handled by a call to the local Police at the duty desk . It all depends on what a court would find is a reasonable time to make that call .

You are obligated not to hurt someone whether it is consensual or not...otherwise we would have murders everywhere with the killer claiming the victim agreed .

The delay in reporting is made more serious because it was done to allow other illegal activity, but the only serious issue here is manslaughter .
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 07:48 am
@BDV,
BDV wrote:
it was an accident! so what if they delayed phoning 911, the guy was dead, hes not gonna get any more dead.


he didn't die til after he was taken to hospital. With the information we have here, we don't know if he might have survived if he'd been taken to hospital earlier.

So, indeed, he did get "more dead".

The delay in calling emergency services could have been a factor in his current "more dead" state.
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 08:12 am
@ehBeth,
Quote:
he didn't die til after he was taken to hospital.
Where did you get that information ? I wonder if they assumed he was just knocked out .

Quote:
we don't know if he might have survived if he'd been taken to hospital earlier.
Blood leaking into the brain is about as bad as it gets for a bleed . You need expert surgery within minutes to prevent brain damage . It is unusual for people to survive a large blood vessel bursting in the brain .

You do have a legal obligation to do something for an injured person . As of some years ago, no one had ever been charged because they incompetently tried to help someone, that's here at least . So the law definitely wants people to do something .
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 08:12 am
@Ionus,
Ionus wrote:

Quote:
he didn't die til after he was taken to hospital.
Where did you get that information ?


It was in the original post.
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 08:21 am
@ehBeth,
Thanks . Missed it the first time round .
Quote:
at Provena St. Joseph's Medical Center in Joliet
Perhaps he was simply declared dead at the hospital.... he didnt have long once the original injury occurred.... that injury could have happened in the emergency room and they still might not have been able to save him . But if he had a pulse they most certainly should not have delayed phoning the emergency number .

I wonder if she did hit him square in the face ...perhaps most of the force was skidded off into behind his ear...
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 08:30 am
@JTT,
I disagree this is the same as a boxing match where the contestants are aware of the risk. I think there was knowledge on one side of what was going to happen and not the other. Why would they pull the hired stranger into this game? Because they knew what was coming was going to be severe? I wasn't there, so it could be they told the guy that he was going to get a very hard punch or they could have suckered him into what he thought was a simple game. That would be a question for the court, but I think the analogy to a sex game is more appropriate. The "victim" consents to a certain amount of pain with the understanding that it is all fun and games and no one is going to get seriously hurt. I do see the corollary to boxing, but I doubt this guy understood the risk he was taking like a boxer would.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 09:31 am
@joefromchicago,
@ Ionus

joefromchicago wrote:
Quote:
The impact of the punch ruptured an artery in Powell's neck, causing blood to pool around his brain and leading to his death soon after at Provena St. Joseph's Medical Center in Joliet, said Will County Coroner Patrick O'Neil.


If he was pronounced dead at hospital, the wording by the coroner would have been just that. Died, and pronounced dead, have different meanings here. Coroners need to be careful how they say these things.
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 09:59 am
So bizarre. It's curious that there's no mention of how much time elapsed between the man's collapse and help finally arriving. All we know is they apparently took whatever time was needed to get the underage drinkers out and concoct what they felt was a more acceptable version of actual events (he tripped and fell...he hit his head while performing, from another newspaper report). Do cell phone videos have date and time stamps?
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 05:19 pm
@ehBeth,
Quote:
If he was pronounced dead at hospital, the wording by the coroner would have been just that. Died, and pronounced dead, have different meanings here. Coroners need to be careful how they say these things.
Newspapers dont . I have seen several reports that were very sloppily written . In some famous cases, I believe the reporter actually made things up .

I remember the First Gulf War where a female reporter actually drove into Kuwait whilst a male reporter, too scared to do the same, released his report saying he was in Kuwait when he was actually at the border under armed escort .
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 05:54 pm
@Mame,
Mame wrote:

It was not intentional. She was young, inexperienced in hitting (one supposes) so therefore thought it was just a punch, and was goaded into it, was she not?

Well, not precisely. The defendant, Tiffany Startz, was actually something of a serial puncher. From the link in my second post:
Quote:

While they have argued she was an untrained fighter whose fatal punch was a freak accident, Guy said she believes the point of the game was to demonstrate how well Startz, who had punched men at other parties, could hit.

"Do you think if she did that at a party yesterday and she hurt her hand, do you think she would've done it again?" Guy said. "She knew what she was doing."


Her history of hitting guys at parties may be a strike against her, but then it also bolsters her argument that she didn't realize that she could kill someone just by punching them. After all, she had punched other guys before and none of them had died.
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 May, 2011 05:57 pm
@joefromchicago,
We have had an ad campaign here to highlight "One punch can kill" after several incidents in which young men were killed by one punch . I think most of those were from impact with a hard floor though .
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Oct, 2011 11:35 am
CHARGES IN FATAL PARTY PUNCH DISMISSED

A Will County judge this morning dismissed charges against a woman whose party-game punch killed a man who had accepted $5 to be struck once in the face.

Tiffany Startz, 22, had been on trial charged with reckless conduct and battery, accused of punching John Powell, 25, in the face at a Crest Hill party last fall. The house party was held to celebrate the life of a woman who had committed suicide.

Today Judge Edward Burmila dismissed the case, saying that Startz was negligent but not reckless.

Burmila also found, citing expert witness testimony, that the force of the punch, which did not leave a bruise, had not killed Powell. He said the "impulse" or change in momentum, caused an artery in his neck to burst....
0 Replies
 
 

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