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No this is not a frat brother dead after drinking too much on his 21st birthday but the level of stupidity is close.  John ‘Fatboy’ Powell dies after accepting $5 from Tiffany Startz to punch him in the face.  The resulting punch led to his death and now there’s a debate over whether or not it was a criminal act.  Clearly the intent was not to kill him and with all respect to John’s mother, I do not think she should be charged.  She did not walk up to him completely out of the blue and assault him.  There was no heated argument; if anything there was a business agreement.  She paid him five dollars to punch him in the face, something he agreed to.

I think that is an important distinction.  He agreed, and accepted money, allowing her to punch him in the face.

If I agree to play a softball game and I’m allergic to ants, but while playing the softball game, I’m bitten, go into anaphylactic shock and die, my family has no right to go after the person who asked me to play the game. Tiffany is not a professional fighter, so this would have been a lucky, or in his case unlucky shot.  She did not kick him in the groin or do anything I think is inappropriate.  She did not attack him.  It is a sad thing that he died, but it was a result of a stupid and thoughtless action he allowed and gave permission to happen.  It would be another matter entirely if they were playing pool, he cheated, and she decked him.  Unless there is proof she took martial arts or boxing lessons, something to prove she knew the damage she could do, then the guilt she is going to live with for the rest of her life is enough.

Let this be a warning to anyone accepting money to be punched in the face though.

Actually, come to think of it, the famous escape artist Houdini died in a similar manner.  He claimed to be invincible so a fan asked if he could punch Houdini in the stomach and days after he did, Houdini died from internal injuries resulting from the punch.  Does anyone know if the fan who punched him was charged?  That could be used as a precedent.

Source: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8355465/trial-begins-over-womans-fatal-party-punch and 1000 Ways to Die season 3.

What are your thoughts?

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