Rugby Player Guilty Of Manslaughter After On-Field Hit

A high school rugby player in Canada was convicted of manslaughter after he engaged in some "extracurriculars" as they like to say—or "a brutal unprovoked attack" depending on your point of view—that accidentally killed an opposing player. Should the fact that they were playing rugby make any difference?

What basically happened is that the player (who was unnamed since he was a minor at the time), got in a fight away from the game action with another kid named Manny Castillo. Some witnesses said Castillo was choking the kid, others say it wasn't serious and he had easily broken away from the chokehold. The accused then picked up Castillo and dropped him—or pile-drived him—head-first into the ground and Castillo died.

The accused argued self-defense and that rugby is a violent, adrenaline-fueled sport, so these things happen. The judge didn't buy that argument, saying that a playing field is not a "criminal law-free zone."

Justice Bruce Duncan ruled the convicted athlete had no exemption to use deadly force simply because he was participating in a sport known for its testosterone-fuelled aggression....

"The defendant intentionally applied force that was outside the rules of the game or any standard by which the game is played ... Nothing suggests that the sort of conduct found here would be within accepted standards of play. Accordingly, there could be no implied consent (by Castillo)."

The consent means "consent to get hit hard by other players," which is basically the point of rugby, but death was not exactly what Castillo signed up for. The kid, who is now 18, faces up to three years in prison. So lay off the pile drivers, kids.

Sports Fields Not Law-Free Zones, Judge Says In Convicting Rugby Player In Death [City News]