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Rex v. Russell

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Russell appealed a conviction of drowning his wife and two children when he failed to execute a legal duty to care for his wife and children.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A person cannot be found guilty of manslaughter when the individual has not committed an act unless the individual had a legal duty to act.

    Facts.

    Russell was convicted for murdering his wife and two children after standing idly by while they were drowning. Russell appealed a conviction of three counts of manslaughter.

    Issue.

    Whether a person can be found guilty of manslaughter when the individual has not committed an act?

    Held.

    Yes. The judgment against Russell is upheld. Russell acquiesced to the drowning by not acting when Russell had the duty to prevent the drowning.

    Discussion.

    A person cannot be found guilty of a crime when he has not committed an act unless the person has a legal duty to act. Without a legal duty to act, an individual cannot be found guilty of a crime if the individual fails to perform.


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