It is a dark night in California. An apparently drunken driver fatally injures a woman standing by the side of the road. The victim, a Jehovah’s Witness, lived long enough to refuse blood transfusions, in keeping with her religious beliefs. She did not live.
Now, a jury in suburban Los Angeles must decide whether driver, Brent Birch, is guilty of second-degree murder or whether victim, Leah Russell, caused her own death by refusing transfusions. Some expert prosecution witnesses testified that the blood might have saved her although no witness could say for sure. His blood alcohol level the night Russell was hit was allegedly twice the legal limit. He faces 15 years to life if convicted.
Based on the readings and activities in this unit, how would you judge this case? Is this a case of murder? Manslaughter? Consider your options for labeling the crime.
Write a two-page paper analyzing and discussing the issues presented above. Although there is no required format for this assignment, please write complete sentences in paragraph form. However, you should cite to your source, such as the textbook, case law, etc.