Article Title

A Radical Community of Aid: A Rejoinder to Opponents of Affirmative Duties to Help Strangers

Publication Title

Washington University Law Quarterly


Part One sets forth and criticizes the law of criminal omissions, and considers why bystanders often "omit"; that is, fail to intervene on behalf of strangers. Viewing the problem through a well-publicized barroom rape, Part Two presents the minority states' provisions. Part Two also discusses the results of my letter survey of supervising prosecutors in the jurisdictions that have duty-to-aid and duty-to-rescue laws' and analyzes the few cases which have been litigated under these statutes. Part Three attempts to demonstrate that the prevailing law of omissions no longer achieves a desirable balance between the two coveted values of autonomy and security.