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State v. Petersen

Oregon Supreme Court
Oct 3, 1974
526 P.2d 1008 (Or. 1974)

Summary

adopting the dissenting opinion of an intermediate appellate court judge which reversed the defendant's conviction for manslaughter upon finding that the defendant's conduct did not cause the death of the victim, a passenger in the vehicle of the defendant's co-competitor in a drag race, because the victim was a "knowing and voluntary participant" in the reckless conduct

Summary of this case from State v. Farner

Opinion

Argued September 9, 1974

Reversed in part, affirmed in part October 3, 1974

On Review from Court of Appeals.

REVERSED IN PART; AFFIRMED IN PART.

R. Ryan Lawrence of Susak and Lawrence, Portland, argued the cause and filed a brief for petitioner. Thomas H. Denney, Assistant Attorney General, Salem, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Lee Johnson, Attorney General, and W. Michael Gillette, Solicitor General, Salem.

Before O'CONNELL, Chief Justice, and McALLISTER, HOLMAN, TONGUE, HOWELL and SLOPER, Justices.


Defendant was charged with recklessly causing the death of another human being (manslaughter), ORS 163.125, and with leaving the scene of an accident in which his car was involved without giving his name and address and rendering assistance to the survivor, ORS 483.602, 483.991 (12). He appealed to the Court of Appeals from a judgment of conviction. The judgment was affirmed (State v. Petersen, 17 Or. App. 478, 522 P.2d 912 (1974)), whereupon defendant filed a petition for review, which we granted.

The facts, which are fully set out in the Court of Appeals opinion, may be summarized as follows. Defendant and Richard Wille agreed to engage in a "drag race" on a street in Portland. Defendant had as his passenger Mike Barlow and Wille had as his passenger Daniel Warren. In the course of the race, Wille's vehicle was struck by a truck at an intersection and Warren was killed.

The Court of Appeals held that defendant's reckless conduct was both the factual and legal cause of Warren's death and fell within the purpose of the proscription in ORS 163.125. Chief Judge SCHWAB dissented, expressing the opinion that ORS 163.125 should not be interpreted to extend to those cases in which the victim is a knowing and voluntary participant in the course of reckless conduct. We agree with the reasoning in the dissenting opinion and adopt it as the opinion of this court.

The judgment is reversed as to the conviction for the crime of manslaughter, and affirmed as to the violation of ORS 483.602.

Reversed in part; affirmed in part.


Summaries of

State v. Petersen

Oregon Supreme Court
Oct 3, 1974
526 P.2d 1008 (Or. 1974)

adopting the dissenting opinion of an intermediate appellate court judge which reversed the defendant's conviction for manslaughter upon finding that the defendant's conduct did not cause the death of the victim, a passenger in the vehicle of the defendant's co-competitor in a drag race, because the victim was a "knowing and voluntary participant" in the reckless conduct

Summary of this case from State v. Farner

adopting the reasoning of the dissenting intermediate appellate judge that public policy opposes placing responsibility for a participant's death on the surviving racer when the survivor's only link to the death is participating in the mutually agreed upon race

Summary of this case from State V. Farner, E1999-00491-CCA-R3-CD

reversing manslaughter conviction but upholding conviction of leaving the scene of an accident when defendant was participant in a drag race during which the other participant drove through a stop sign and was struck by a truck

Summary of this case from State v. Goins

describing some factual details and incorporating those set forth in Court of Appeals opinion

Summary of this case from State v. Turnidge

In Petersen, the defendant's conduct — even if it was reckless — did not cause the victim's death; the defendant's contribution was limited to participation in the speed contest.

Summary of this case from State v. Murray

In Petersen, the defendant appealed his conviction for manslaughter arising out of his participation in a drag race between two vehicles on a residential street.

Summary of this case from State v. Ryun

In State v. Petersen, 270 Or. 166, 526 P.2d 1008 (1974), the Oregon intermediate appellate court had affirmed the drag race participant's conviction for manslaughter in the death of the passenger who was riding in the co-participant's vehicle.

Summary of this case from Goldring v. State

In Petersen the Supreme Court of Oregon adopted, as its opinion, a dissenting opinion of Chief Judge Schwab who, in the court of appeals, voted to reverse the manslaughter conviction.

Summary of this case from State v. Light

In Petersen, defendant was indicted for manslaughter. The charge arose from a speed contest which took place on a street in Portland.

Summary of this case from State v. Simmons
Case details for

State v. Petersen

Case Details

Full title:STATE OF OREGON, Respondent, v. TOBY EDWARD PETERSEN, Petitioner

Court:Oregon Supreme Court

Date published: Oct 3, 1974

Citations

526 P.2d 1008 (Or. 1974)
526 P.2d 1008

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