Question about real-life Produce Pelting:

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Produce Pelting

If some in the audience were throwing food someone on-stage had a life-threatening allergy to, and he/she died as a result, could they be collectively charged with manslaughter?

edited 2nd Jun '12 7:41:18 AM by HiddenFacedMatt

"The Daily Show has to be right 100% of the time; FOX News only has to be right once." - Jon Stewart
2 BestOf2nd Jun 2012 04:16:28 AM from Finland , Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
The OP could be improved with the addition of a short definition of Produce Pelting.
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
I don't think so because:

- the whole audience cannot be held accountable - collective punishment is illegal It's up to the poice to find the individuals who committed any offence. After all, some in the audience might have enjoyed the show!

- that's a really tenuous cause for a manslaughter charge, and the odds are staggeringly high - the wrong kind of produce would (presumably) have to enter the person's mouth, he'd have to swallow, and the guy would have to die despite almost certainly getting immediate medical attention, If you could get served for manslaughter over something like that there'd probably never, ever be accidental death rulings - it'd always be someone's fault.
4 Michael2nd Jun 2012 05:16:27 AM , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
So that's what this does
If the audience are warned of this allergy then such produce becomes a weapon and they could plausibly be refused entry with it or arrested if you have evidence that they were the ones throwing it.

For comparison, in the 90s a metal band stopped touring after a sharp object was thrown from the crowd and injured the singer. Nobody was arrested because all they knew was someone in the crowd threw it, not who.
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[up][up][up] It's available in the page I linked to.

[up][up] Actually, some allergies are severe enough that contact with skin can trigger them. Less severe allergies could still be triggered by a scratch or a puncture in the skin through which traces of the food could enter the bloodstream directly. (And remember, "traces" are enough that the food packaging can have warnings about them.)

Also, perhaps I didn't make myself clear enough. I agree that prosecution should be limited to the participating individuals, the group to which "they" was referring to.

[up] If they didn't know who threw the sharp object, shouldn't they have surrounded the area and questioned all the audience members? Otherwise, how much deterrent is there against using big concerts to get away with this sort of thing?

Also, I doubt most people who go on-stage start off with "in case anyone wants to throw stuff at me, bear in mind that I'm severely allergic to certain foods." If someone found out about the allergy otherwise, though, what's to stop them from pretending they didn't know?

And even if they genuinely didn't know about the allergy, would the risk that the food is one those on-stage would be allergic to still be grounds for a Reckless Endangerment charge?

edited 2nd Jun '12 7:48:04 AM by HiddenFacedMatt

"The Daily Show has to be right 100% of the time; FOX News only has to be right once." - Jon Stewart
6 Michael2nd Jun 2012 11:26:22 AM , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
So that's what this does
[up]Given it was a metal concert, I suspect any would-be witnesses were headbanging.

And given how many things you can be allergic to or not, to argue that throwing a lettuce leaf is assault with a deadly weapon is to argue that brushing past someone in a supermarket is assault with a deadly weapon. There has to be a threshold of likelihood at which it becomes not realistic you'll consider something a weapon.

edited 2nd Jun '12 11:45:09 AM by Michael

7 TamH702nd Jun 2012 03:50:52 PM , Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
Collective punishment is not illegal over here. If you are in a crowd that is responsible for a death, then if you get caught by the police immediately or not, they will come after you, charge you and you may even end up convicted.

I saw a piece to camera on the news a while ago, discussing an upcoming documentary, that was dealing with the case of a man that ended up with a murder conviction even though he was unconscious on the floor when someone got stabbed to death by a member of a group he was part of. That man is still in jail.

To answer the op more directly then, yep, if you are part of a group that tosses nuts at someone with the relevant allergy, and he or she dies, then you are pretty much screwed. You are still screwed even if they survive.
[up] Where do you live? Wikipediaing Collective Punishment I don't see anywhere it's legal or happens at all outside genocides, accusations and whatnot. You might get charged if you're in a group but I doubt you'd get punished for it unless they find proof of your individual culpability.

Unless I'm misunderstanding you, the idea that 'you're screwed' if you're in a crowd when someone else peanuts an allergy sufferer or for that matter shoots someone dead is insane. If that was the case during the JFK assassination, we'd have had about 10,000 people on Death Row from that event alone. Probably only Kim Jong Un could get away with that.
9 TamH702nd Jun 2012 04:51:54 PM , Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
Britain, dear chap. Where the double jeopardy rules no longer apply. For anything.
10 Morven2nd Jun 2012 04:52:57 PM from Seattle, WA, USA
Where except for European treaties there is no constitutional bar on government power, basically.
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11 TamH702nd Jun 2012 04:55:00 PM , Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
Exactly. Which is why there is no written constitution, and never will be in this country. Rights dear chap? Those are what the guilty people talk about. If you believe the press anyway.
12 Michael2nd Jun 2012 04:57:20 PM , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
So that's what this does
Care to cite the case you're giving as an example?
13 TamH702nd Jun 2012 05:02:15 PM , Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
[up]I would if I could remember the program. Like I said, all I caught was the trailer. And the interview with the mother of the guy that ended up in jail for murder even though he was lying unconscious on the floor at the time was part of it. I do know that it happened south of the Border, down England way, and the guy is as I said still in jail.
14 Michael2nd Jun 2012 05:05:14 PM , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
So that's what this does
Whose word did they give that he was unconscious at the time?
15 TamH702nd Jun 2012 05:29:44 PM , Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
His mother. And if I could find the court transcripts that would nail it I think. I would lay odds that information would be found on the case if you used and did a search for British results only.
Okay, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that Collective Punishment is indeed illegal in the UK, what with the fact that, well, it is. There's quite a lot of accusations of it happening in school though if Google is any judge (I think it happened to me about 30 years ago in primary school too. Even back then it felt collosally unfair and didn't achieve much other than create massive resentment).
17 Michael3rd Jun 2012 12:45:29 AM , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
So that's what this does
I am going to hazard a guess that the case we're all discussing is a case of Never Trust a Trailer. If it was as clear-cut as suggested it would have been in all the papers and still would be if he were still in prison.
Pretty sure you can be charged with assault for throwing food at someone, even if they don't end up being seriously injured by it.

So if you somehow managed to kill someone by throwing food at them, like say they were seriously allergic to what you threw, you assaulted them and then they died, so a manslaughter charge might be in the works.
19 Silasw3rd Jun 2012 08:03:39 AM from a handcart heading to Hell , Relationship Status: And they all lived happily ever after <3
A procrastination in of itself
I'm pretty sure that the UK does have collective punishment. I remember post the London riots they were interviewing kids and one of the issues that came up was some a form of collective punishment. But from what I remember it was more along the lines of a bunch of guys go out, one of them sets fire to something while his mates laugh and they are all held accountable for it. I can't remember exactly and I have a feeling that gang affiliation may have been in some way relegated.
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20 Michael3rd Jun 2012 08:38:41 AM , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
So that's what this does
I think you're thinking of Aiding and Abetting.
In which case each individual has done the same or a similar thing - participate in the crime or let it happen without reporting it to the police - aided and abetted. So that's not collective punishment, that's punishing each person for the crime he committed. That's why in cases where a gang has killed someone, only the ones who did the damage get done for murder while the others get lesser charges, instead of everyone getting charged for murder equally.

That said, it does blur the lines. For example, I don't know if someone in the group would be presumed guilty until proved innocent if he tried to say he was unconscious when the offence occurred, or similar.
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Total posts: 21