Friday, November 15, 2013

People v. Young case brief

People v. Young case brief summary
183 N.E.2d 319 (1962)

Appellant challenged order of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the First Judicial Department (New York), which reversed respondent's assault convictions arising from his intervention in a struggle between a police officer in civilian dress and a third person.

The issue before the court was whether respondent, who in good faith aggressively intervened in a struggle between another person and a police officer in civilian dress attempting to effect the lawful arrest of the other person, could be properly convicted of assault in the third degree.

  • The court refuted the minority rule in other states that one who intervened in a struggle between strangers under the mistaken but reasonable belief that he was protecting another whom he assumed was being unlawfully beaten was exonerated from criminal liability. 
  • The court, holding that a person who went to the aid of a third person did so at his own peril, reversed the court's order. 
  • The information against respondent was ordered reinstated.

Decision reversed and information reinstated because respondent was lawfully convicted of assault when he mistakenly intervened in the struggle.

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