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I'm needing opinions right now.

This is probably one of the stupidest topics (in my opinion) that we've discussed on our debate team, but the argument sparked between the teacher and I. We were talking about people bringing pills to school, and there was one case somewhere in which a student left a pill on his desk, and another student took it and swallowed it without knowing what it was. He died.

The teacher said that upon bringing a pill to school, and leaving it out so that another person can take it is "accidental homicide," therefore the student that brought the pill could be sentenced with murder. That just sounds stupid to me. So I struck back with, "no, it's called suicide. If the idiot was dumb enough to a take a pill like that, then he is responsible for his own actions."

We didn't stay long on this, but it made me mad that the teacher would basically ignore everything I said, refusing to debate, and told me that it was homicide, the end.

So I want some opinions, if anyone has any to spare. Is it murder or is it suicide?

It's neither. This was an accidental death. Both the student who left the pill on his desk and the student who swallowed it were negligent. But I doubt if either student could be indicted for murder. Suicide, by definition, is intentional, and your report of the situation doesn't indicate intentionality.

It's neither. Don't argue with a teacher.

I agree with the above posts, that it was an accidental death, possibly (if anything) leaning towards suicide. More likely, its just a case of stupidity on both parts. Also, I'm annoyed by your teachers response; if this was a debate coach, he/she could have taken the opportunity to explore the issue, ask some other student's opinions, etc. That's definatly what we would do in my debate club. Maybe take a moment to point this out to your teacher - his/her response was definatly unfair, and not in the spirit of debate, that is, expression of differences in opinions!

Even in all that, murder has to be done with "malice aforethought." So there's no way it even could be murder.

(For a better explanation of what that means, check out )

It could be considered manslaughter falling under the category of involuntary manslaughter. I'm no legal expert and I doubt a prosecutor would really pull for that in most situations. I don't even know if it really DOES fall under that. But it seems like it could.


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