Can you go to jail for psychologically killing someone (leading them to suicide)?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Chicago, IL

There's a bullying case between a few high school students (3 vs 1) that leads to a fight. The lone one gets very badly injured (near death). Later, (a year or two later), that same person suicides.

3 questions:
- Could the three go to jail?
- If one of the three filmed that fight, could the sentence be higher?
- How common are scenarios like these among teenagers?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Joshua Sachs

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I take it this is the same situation about which there is another posting. Everybody involved in this business could face very serious criminal charges. Under the circumstances as you describe them, murder is probably not one of those charges. But an imaginative and aggressive prosecutor might figure out a way to give it a try. If that happens the charge must be taken very seriously, even if it seems like a stretch.

  2. Judy A. Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . This sad scenario is happening more and more in this age of the internet. Can the 3 go to jail? Maybe but unlikely. The person who filmed could be punished more harshly, but not necessarily. This scenarios getting more and more common because of Facebook.

    Bottom line: There is no good answer here, except that if someone close to you has participated, take down any posts immediately and if anyone comes around asking, get to a lawyer right away. Kids need to recognize that anyone on the net is basically out there forever.

  3. Raymond George Wigell


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Only an experienced criminal defense lawyer can properly advise the persons involved and answer your questions.

    Bullying is a hot topic in criminal law. Be aware and beware.

    Of course, every answer is based on the question asked and requires a more complete context. This answer should... more

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