two 11 year old girls fight, one dies, coroner rules it homicide.

chinto

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Two girls had a fight after school, one died after the fight. No indication in the article of any martial arts training on either girls part. Autopsy results are that it is Homicide! So if you fight, you may indeed die. But do you think that this is a freak event, or something to think about when teaching younger students perhaps?

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/2...rom-injuries-in-school-fight/?test=latestnews

oops typo in title, they were 10 not 11 and I miss typed that and did not notice. my apologias!
 

Dirty Dog

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It's a freak accident, I think. Reports are that there were no weapons involved and neither girl even got knocked down. The coroner lists the cause of death as blunt force trauma. For her to have died from this implies, to me, that she likely had some sort of anamoly that led to her being particularly succeptible to head injuries.
 

Jason Striker II

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It's a freak accident, I think. Reports are that there were no weapons involved and neither girl even got knocked down. The coroner lists the cause of death as blunt force trauma. For her to have died from this implies, to me, that she likely had some sort of anamoly that led to her being particularly succeptible to head injuries.

I felt the same about this. Shocking though, no matter how you cut it.
 

Tez3

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Could it be put down to involuntary homicide? Where death occurred through the 'illegal' or knowingly careless actions of one person who intended to maybe wound but not kill.
 

Dirty Dog

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Could it be put down to involuntary homicide? Where death occurred through the 'illegal' or knowingly careless actions of one person who intended to maybe wound but not kill.

It's called "manslaughter" in the US.
 

Bill Mattocks

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When a coroner (or other medical professional) uses the term 'homicide', it is a different term than when it is used in criminal charge; they are not the same. I realize this can be confusing. In the US, 'homicide' just means a person was killed by one or more other persons. It does not mean a crime has been committed.

A coroner rules a death a homicide when the proximate cause of death was another person. That says nothing about whether or not the killing was justified, avoidable, or if anyone is at fault criminally. It is merely a medical diagnosis that says "This person is dead, and the cause of death is another person."

In other countries, coroners are an important part of the law enforcement team; they can perform investigations and in some countries, bring charges. Not in the USA. Here, a coroner is a medical professional only. They do not determine whether or not a crime has been committed and they do not recommend charges.
 

jks9199

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It was a homicide. Homicide is the killing of a human by a human. Whether or not the girl will be charged, and with what, is a decision for the prosecutor.

As to the events... it's definitely something to cover with students. If you cause the injury that leads to death -- you can be arrested. As to junior high kids fighting... Yep, gone on for years, will go on for years to come. Though we have seen a newish trend of "fight clubs" where kids are getting together for multiple fights, rather than the old "Johnny & Timmy are going to meet after school and fight!"
 

Carol

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When a coroner (or other medical professional) uses the term 'homicide', it is a different term than when it is used in criminal charge; they are not the same. I realize this can be confusing. In the US, 'homicide' just means a person was killed by one or more other persons. It does not mean a crime has been committed.

A coroner rules a death a homicide when the proximate cause of death was another person. That says nothing about whether or not the killing was justified, avoidable, or if anyone is at fault criminally. It is merely a medical diagnosis that says "This person is dead, and the cause of death is another person."

In other countries, coroners are an important part of the law enforcement team; they can perform investigations and in some countries, bring charges. Not in the USA. Here, a coroner is a medical professional only. They do not determine whether or not a crime has been committed and they do not recommend charges.

Actually the US is a big mix in terms of directing an autopsy. The 6 New England states, for example, have no coroners. We all have state medical examiners who are pathologists with a forensic science background. In other states, the coroner is not necessarily a medical professional, they are the (elected or appointed) politician that heads up the office that oversees the autopsies.

The medical examiner doesn't specifically say "this is a crime" -- they provide evidence to the DA who makes a determine to prosecute, such as documenting that the cause of death of a person was by a violent means - they are an important part of the law enforcement process. However, they are not exclusively LE as not all of the autopsies a medical examiner perform are connected to law enforcement matters. Certainly an examiner may report that a subject died due violent means (ie: strangulation), but medical examiners are also summoned when there are concerns that a person may have succumbed to preventable means (e.g. heroin overdose) or a threat to public health, such as meningitis or TB.

All these things I'm learning now that I'm more in the public safety spheres :lol:
 

Cougar

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Have instructed my students for years regarding the legal ramifications of defending themselves, use of force, force continuim and so on. Regardless of circumstances, whether charges are brought or not, it all comes down to whether or not it gets adjudicated in a court of law.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Actually the US is a big mix in terms of directing an autopsy. The 6 New England states, for example, have no coroners. We all have state medical examiners who are pathologists with a forensic science background. In other states, the coroner is not necessarily a medical professional, they are the (elected or appointed) politician that heads up the office that oversees the autopsies.

The medical examiner doesn't specifically say "this is a crime" -- they provide evidence to the DA who makes a determine to prosecute, such as documenting that the cause of death of a person was by a violent means - they are an important part of the law enforcement process. However, they are not exclusively LE as not all of the autopsies a medical examiner perform are connected to law enforcement matters. Certainly an examiner may report that a subject died due violent means (ie: strangulation), but medical examiners are also summoned when there are concerns that a person may have succumbed to preventable means (e.g. heroin overdose) or a threat to public health, such as meningitis or TB.

All these things I'm learning now that I'm more in the public safety spheres :lol:

Right you are, and thanks. I guess what I was trying to say is simply that 'homicide' as a ruling does not mean a crime has been committed (or that one hasn't been committed).

When a person is put to death by the state in a legal execution, the cause of death is 'homicide'. Some people either do not understand the meaning of that term, or they refuse to understand it intentionally; I've heard anti-death penalty people say "SEE? EVEN THE CORONER AGREES THAT THE DEATH PENALTY IS MURDER!!!" It gets old and boring. Homicide just means the person died by the agency of human being(s).
 
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chinto

chinto

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yes a homicide ruling is just that, "death at the hands of another". But in most states such a medical examiner/ coroner ruling is often the first step in charges.

It will be interesting to see what others think, also to hear what others do as far as their students and this incident.
 

Bill Mattocks

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yes a homicide ruling is just that, "death at the hands of another". But in most states such a medical examiner/ coroner ruling is often the first step in charges.

It will be interesting to see what others think, also to hear what others do as far as their students and this incident.

Anything could happen, and a lot depends on the DA, but I doubt any criminal charges will result. There was no mens rea, there was no weapon (AFAIK) involved, and it was mutual combat by two juveniles of the same age. It's a tragedy; not sure what else can be said. Kids fight. Fighting itself is age-old, not evil, and generally does not end like this. I feel badly for everyone involved.
 

jks9199

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Actually the US is a big mix in terms of directing an autopsy. The 6 New England states, for example, have no coroners. We all have state medical examiners who are pathologists with a forensic science background. In other states, the coroner is not necessarily a medical professional, they are the (elected or appointed) politician that heads up the office that oversees the autopsies.

The medical examiner doesn't specifically say "this is a crime" -- they provide evidence to the DA who makes a determine to prosecute, such as documenting that the cause of death of a person was by a violent means - they are an important part of the law enforcement process. However, they are not exclusively LE as not all of the autopsies a medical examiner perform are connected to law enforcement matters. Certainly an examiner may report that a subject died due violent means (ie: strangulation), but medical examiners are also summoned when there are concerns that a person may have succumbed to preventable means (e.g. heroin overdose) or a threat to public health, such as meningitis or TB.

All these things I'm learning now that I'm more in the public safety spheres :lol:

I really didn't even want to get into the differences in systems around the country. We have everything from "coroners" who are political appointees or elected officials who may or may not have medical training to Medical Examiners who are doctors who have specialized in forensic pathology as well as had extensive legal training -- often enough to practice law if they so chose. There are places where the coroner or ME has extensive investigative authority, and others where they have none. And that's before you even get into whether a particular ME's office exercises their authority...

As an example, here is the website for Virginia's Chief Medical Examiner's Office. This is what they have to say:
In Virginia, medical examiners conduct a medicolegal death investigation, serving as the principal case investigator in their locality for deaths falling within their jurisdiction and statutory authority. The OCME currently supports more than 230 local medical examiners, who receive the initial notification of death and determine if the death should come under the jurisdiction of the medical examiner. Local medical examiners may examine and sign the certificate of death on medical examiner cases or, using professionally established guidelines, refer certain classes of cases for more intensive death investigation and medicolegal autopsy.
Pursuant to 禮 32.1-283 of the Code of Virginia, all of the following deaths are investigated by the OCME:

  • any death from trauma, injury, violence, or poisoning attributable to accident, suicide or homicide;
  • sudden deaths to persons in apparent good health or deaths unattended by a physician;
  • deaths of persons in jail, prison, or another correctional institution, or in police custody (this includes deaths from legal intervention);
  • deaths of patients/residents of state mental health or mental retardation facilities;
  • the sudden death of any infant less than eighteen months of age whose death might be attributable to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome; and
  • any other suspicious, unusual, or unnatural death.
 

oftheherd1

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Duties of coroners or ME do indeed vary. In Colorado, the coroner is the only county official who can arrest the county sheriff.
 

Carol

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Two girls had a fight after school, one died after the fight. No indication in the article of any martial arts training on either girls part. Autopsy results are that it is Homicide! So if you fight, you may indeed die. But do you think that this is a freak event, or something to think about when teaching younger students perhaps?

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/2...rom-injuries-in-school-fight/?test=latestnews

oops typo in title, they were 10 not 11 and I miss typed that and did not notice. my apologias!

What do you think Chinto?

Do you have younger students? Would this be something you think about when teaching them?
 

Big Don

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When a coroner (or other medical professional) uses the term 'homicide', it is a different term than when it is used in criminal charge; they are not the same. I realize this can be confusing. In the US, 'homicide' just means a person was killed by one or more other persons. It does not mean a crime has been committed.

A coroner rules a death a homicide when the proximate cause of death was another person. That says nothing about whether or not the killing was justified, avoidable, or if anyone is at fault criminally. It is merely a medical diagnosis that says "This person is dead, and the cause of death is another person."

In other countries, coroners are an important part of the law enforcement team; they can perform investigations and in some countries, bring charges. Not in the USA. Here, a coroner is a medical professional only. They do not determine whether or not a crime has been committed and they do not recommend charges.

Interestingly, no one has died of old age in the US in decades. Old age is no longer a listed cause of death...
 

Big Don

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Freak things happen, once a year or so, someone will get hit in the chest with a baseball and die from it. IIRC, something about the timing of the heart's beating and the strike knocking it all kuffluey... That, or a broken rib and internal bleeding was what I thought when I first read the article.
 
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