Commonwealth v. Barone

419 A.2d 457

 

RULE:

A motorist cannot be charged with involuntary manslaughter for mere negligence unless the negligence that caused death was done in a reckless or grossly negligent manner that shows a disregard of human life or an indifference to consequences.

FACTS:

A motorist was charged with vehicular homicide. She filed a demurrer to the case claiming the statute under which she was charged was unconstitutional, and there was not sufficient evidence to support her charge. The trial court granted the appellee’s demurrer and the commonwealth appealed.

ISSUE:

Is there sufficient evidence to support the appellee’s charge under the statute?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

The court held that the applicable statute allowed liability for traffic violations and negligent driving, but it did not allow criminal responsibility. Thus, the court affirmed the lower court’s ruling on the appellee’s demurrer. It further held that the evidence against the woman was not sufficient to prove her liability. The evidence showed that the woman acted a s a reasonable person would have in her situation. Finally, it dismissed the appellee’s claim of unconstitutionality, finding no merit in the claim.

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