Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Failure To Commit Suicide No Longer A Felony.

I have argued before that would be suicides should not be punished when they fail. Finally, the NYS Court of Appeals has rendered a right decision on this matter. Larry Feingold tried to gas himself in Manhattan in 2003 by blowing out the pilot lights of his stove. A spark from his refrigerator caused an explosion which damaged Feingold’s apartment and several others. Feingold was hurt but no one else.

Feingold was convicted of a felony--reckless endangerment. The Court of Appeals reduced the charge to a misdemeanor because Feingold did not show depraved indifference.

We’ve come a long ways from the days when failed suicides were given the death penalty.


  • Yesterday another New Yorker appears to have attempted suicide by turning on the gas. Again there was an explosion and a number of people were hurt. The would be suicide survived. This case appears to be different than Feingold's. In Feingold's case, the explosion was an accident.

    It looks like this other guy might have not only been trying to kill himself but to destroy the building. He had gone through a bitter divorce and the building was awarded to his wife. He may face felony charges. If he was attempting to blow up the building along with himself, then he deserves to be charged with a crime.

    By Blogger Dan Weaver, at 12:38 AM  

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