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People v. Duffy

New York Court of Appeals
79 N.Y.2d 611 (1992)


Facts

Jason Schuhle was a 17-year-old boy who was extremely distraught and suicidal following a break-up with his girlfriend when he met Duffy (defendant) on a street in the middle of the night. At Duffy’s invitation, Schuhle, who had already been drinking heavily, went to Duffy’s apartment. Schuhle continued to express suicidal thoughts while Duffy gave him more alcohol and encouraged him to jump off a roof. Duffy eventually told Schuhle that he had a gun in the apartment and that Schuhle should use it to kill himself. Duffy retrieved the gun and bullets and gave them to Schuhle and urged him to commit suicide. Schuhle loaded the gun, pointed it at himself, and pulled the trigger, and later died from his injuries. Duffy was indicted for second-degree manslaughter under two different charges: the first count allegedly that he had intentionally caused or aided Schuhle in committing suicide; the second charge alleged that he had recklessly caused Schuhle’s death. Duffy was acquitted on the first count but was convicted of recklessly causing Schuhle’s death. Upon Duffy’s appeal, the appeals court reversed the conviction and dismissed the indictment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Titone, J.)

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