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Commonwealth v. Atencio

Law Dictionary
CASE BRIEFS

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Criminal Law Keyed to Kadish

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 22 Ill.345 Mass. 627, 189 N.E.2d 223 (1963)

Brief Fact Summary. The Defendants, Atencio and another individual (Defendants), were convicted of manslaughter arising out of the death of their companion who fatally shot himself in the head during a game of “Russian roulette.”ť

Synopsis of Rule of Law. A person is criminally liable for the death of another where he cooperates in a reckless activity that brings about the death of another participant.


Facts. The decedent was killed when he put a gun to his head and fired during a game of “Russian roulette”ť with the Defendants. Prior to Defendants’ fatal action, both Defendants had themselves pulled the trigger of the gun against their own heads, but were not harmed because the single bullet in the gun had not been in the chamber.

Issue. Is a defendant criminally liable for the death of another person merely as a result of participating in a reckless activity in concert with the decedent?
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