Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

State v. Pelham

Supreme Court of New Jersey
824 A.2d 1082 (2003)


Pelham (defendant) was involved in a car accident with Patrick, who was paralyzed in the accident. Pelham was drunk when the accident occurred, having a BAC of .22. Patrick’s condition worsened in the hospital, and he was placed on a respirator due to his inability to breathe on his own. After months of his condition worsening, Patrick’s family decided to take him off the respirator, and Patrick died two hours afterwards. Pelham was charged with first-degree aggravated manslaughter. At trial, the judge instructed the jury to convict Pelham if the accident caused Patrick’s injuries and subsequent death. In these instructions, the judge stated that the removal of life support was not a sufficient intervening cause to break the chain of causation between Pelham’s actions and Patrick’s death. The jury acquitted Pelham of aggravated manslaughter, but convicted him of second-degree vehicular homicide, a lesser offense. Pelham appeals his conviction, claiming that the removal of life support could have been an intervening cause that broke the chain of causation, and that the jury instruction stating otherwise was incorrect, requiring a new trial.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (LaVecchia, J.)

Dissent (Albin, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 497,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 497,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial