American Bystander Rule Essay

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Jason Keough
Criminal Law
Mr. Cunningham
American Bystander Rule
The American Bystander Rule (ABR) is a legal term that says a person who witnesses someone in danger has no obligation to find that person aid unless they are related to the person or work with them. Also if a person is a medical professional or CPR/First Aid then that person has taken an oath so they are obligated to help if it doesn’t puts themselves in danger.
I researched the topic and found a fairly recent store where the ABR played a key role in the decision. In 1998 Bonnie Kuntz and her long time boyfriend Warren Becker got into a fight. Becker came at Kuntz and Kuntz pushed him away then went outside for a minute then came back in to find Becker laying on the ground bleeding. Kuntz didn’t alert 911 instead she took Becker’s car and went to a friend’s house and called her mother. Kuntz claims she rolled Becker over to check on him but he was unresponsive. The ambulance was called about an hour after the incident by Kuntz’s sister-in-law. Kuntz’s case eventually went to trial and it was found that she did in fact have legal duty to call EMS due to a common law exemption. Kuntz and Becker lived together for six years.
There are several other cases along the same guidelines. In the state v Mally, Micheal Mally was accused of manslaughter because his wife had fell and broke body parts and he just layed her in bed for the night and didn’t call doctor. On top of the Mally’s wife had a failing kidney and liver. He was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
In my opinion this rule is a joke. I mean it is good in the way that it is holding people accountable for their actions but everyone should help everyone as long as they are in no danger. It is called common courtesy and I think that should be a law were every citizen has to help no matter who the other oerson is as long as they are safe.

Works Cited:
"State v. Kuntz." Department of Sociology : University of Minnesota. 2001....

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