Should the teens witnessing the Salem beating be charged with a crime? [POLL, VIOLENT VIDEO]]
You probably felt as I did that the moral fabric of society had broken down upon watching the beating sustained by Catherine Ferreira of Salem at the hands of Latia Harris – with a group of young “adults” standing around doing nothing.
However, she may not be the only one on the hook here.
Questions have been raised as to the application of New Jersey's Good Samaritan Act and whether or not it needs to be stricter.
Funny how nobody in law enforcement has mentioned the Good Samaritan law, so I’ll post it here:
Good Samaritan Act - NJSA 2A:62A-1
Any Good Samaritan rendering care (in good faith and without thought of consideration) at the scene of an accident or emergency or while transporting the victim for further treatment; in a health care facility if your actual duty, including on call duty, doesn’t require a response to a patient emergency situation.
Immunity is granted from liability for failure to inform when emergent situation necessitates action in absence of the ability to properly inform the patient or an authorized representative.
Not immune from liability are acts or omissions by you in such situations which are determined to involve gross negligence, recklessness or willful misconduct.
It’s that last line that has me puzzled, because while I feel there’s a moral obligation to come to the aid of someone in distress, there’s also a legal obligation.
However we may be confusing the Good Samaritan Law with the Duty to Rescue Law.
According to this piece written by one Bruce Carton on law.com: there are ten states that have imposed a statutory “Duty to Rescue” Law.
Alas, New Jersey isn’t one of them.
Hence as much as we hate to admit it, no crime by the bystanders has been committed – at least as far as I can tell. Morally they're bankrupt, but legally, in my opinion, there's no crime here.
Unless of course, you're steeped in the law and can better explain it than I just did!
Do you feel the bystanders of the Salem beating of one woman by another should be charged with a crime?