Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,400+ case briefs...

United States v. Hamilton

United States District Court for the District of Columbia
182 F. Supp. 548 (D.D.C. 1960)


Hamilton (defendant) engaged in a fight with another man outside a pool hall. During the altercation, Hamilton knocked the other man down, jumped on his face, and kicked him in the head. The victim, bleeding, violent, and in shock, was taken to a hospital, where tubes were inserted into his nose and trachea to allow him to breathe. Because of his violent behavior, the victim was placed in handcuffs, which were subsequently removed when his bed clothes were changed and his violence subsided. After having a convulsion the next morning, the victim pulled out the tubes and died shortly thereafter. Hamilton was charged with homicide and tried in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia before a judge without a jury. Two expert witnesses testified that the victim died from asphyxiation caused by the inhalation of blood. Hamilton argued that he could not be convicted of homicide because the victim caused his own death by pulling out the tubes. [The decision discussed below was rendered by the trial judge. There is no record of an appeal.]

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Holtzoff, 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. 18,400 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