Suh v. Delhomme

Here’s a question to help the new law students break in their analytical chops.  First, watch this video:

Question: Can Ndomukong Suh be prosecuted for the attempted murder of Jake Delhomme?

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12 Responses to “Suh v. Delhomme”

  1. Cam Says:

    Ah put a dress on him. If you don’t wanna get hit, get a better offensive line. SUHH!!! (Can you tell where I’m from?!)

    And no, Suh did not intend to kill the quarterback, only intended to either put him to the ground or wrench the ball from his hands. Attempted murder is a specific intent crime, and Suh lacked the intent.

  2. bl1y Says:

    Actual intent doesn’t matter, only what the jurors would perceive intent to be. They might look at things the same way as the announcer: “He gets inside the helmet and tries to take the head with him.”

    Sounds like attempted murder to me.

  3. evrenseven Says:

    Wrong BL.

    An inchoate crime requires two layers of intent: First that the perpetrator intended the physics of his act, and second that the act carry out the final consequence.

    Here, the prosecution would have to prove that Suh intended to slam Delhomme to the ground. That layer’s always pretty easy.

    Next, they would have to prove that Suh intended that the physical act of slamming Delhomme to the ground actually kill Delhomme. They would need to convince a jury, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Suh would rather spend the rest of his days in jail after intentionally killing a man with 6 or 7 HD cameras pointed at him than enjoy his multimillion dollar contract and endless supply of white bitches. He may have some white bitches with the other option, but they’re not as soft and don’t smell as nice.

  4. bl1y Says:

    People commit murder all the time knowing that a camera is watching; see: Every 7-11 shooting every.

    Also, Suh is such a giant that it’s hard to argue that him throwing around anyone that hard has any intention other than killing the person. In fact, he’s probably been trained to kill, and the only reason it hasn’t happened is that the pads and other equipment get in the way.

  5. Bad Monkey Says:

    Have to agree with evenseven, although only in part.

    It comes down to jurisdiction. In some places he could be charged with a form of attempted murder.

    In Florida he could be charged with attempted second degree murder. They allow such a charge, or they at least used to I’d have to see if they still do. And conviction only requires a finding of general intent.

    Michigan though does not allow such a styling. One cannot be convicted of attempted murder without demonstrating intent to kill, specific intent is required. And the game was played in Michigan.

    Ohio also has held that attempted murder is a specific intent crime. So even if it had been played in Ohio he probably couldn’t get convicted (well unless you got a really pissed off jury).

    It would be hard given his actions after throwing him to the ground that he intended to kill him. Yes, I guess he could be charged, but no, he wouldn’t be convicted.

  6. Don't Hide The Ball Says:

    From the original facts given, no crime was committed because there was a lack of mens rea for attempted murder. However, bl implies that the case somehow survived a motion for summary judgment and is before a jury.

    At this point, the defendant will claim a defense of mistake of law and has the burden to prove every element of that defense. The defendant will argue that the “physics” of what he did, a violent tackle in a professional football game, is not legally a crime in any jurisdiction.

    After both sides rest, the defendant will move for a directed verdict. Hopefully at this point, the judge will now do the right thing and grant the motion.

    If the motion is denied, and the case goes to the jury, then the defendant will win on appeal of any adverse decision by the jury.

  7. Debbie Says:

    This is dumb. Who cares about football?

  8. bl1y Says:

    Don’t Hide the Ball: Is there a jurisdiction that has adopted the Gridiron Affirmative Defense?

  9. Cam Says:

    Doesn’t matter what a jury would think–this wouldn’t survive a motion for a directed verdict. There is clearly at least a reasonable doubt that Suh was trying to tackle, not murder, the quarterback. Plus, the announcer was certainly speaking in hyperbole. C’mon. That tackle was awesome. If the QB still had the ball, it would be a highlight reel.

  10. bl1y Says:

    Good luck getting a directed verdict in favor of a minority defendant in a jurisdiction that elects judges.

  11. Bad Monkey Says:

    I wonder if you could get this into a federal court.

    Anyone know if there are any existing laws this could be pursued under.

  12. Don't Hide The Ball Says:

    The question has been answered more than sufficiently for this particular forum.

    Since none of us has bothered to cite authority, this really has been just an exercise in opinion and editorializing.

    So any 0L or 1L playing the game is advised to remember never pull “the law” out of your behind. If you do so, things will not go well for you in law school.

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