I thought murder included "premeditated". Getting mad a punching
somebody as described by the press doesn't seem consistent with
premeditated. It was a tragic situation. But intending to murder? Probably not.
Adult or minor, it still sounds more like manslaughter than murder to me. It
sounds like the victim's family is more forgiving than the judicial system.
After thinking about this for a while, it occurs to me that it may not have been
conclusively established, at least in the media, that the assault was the direct
cause of death.A dentist with an overweight patient with
hypertension treated her will all due diligence to avoid complications, but she
died in the chair. The family filed a massive lawsuit against the dentist for
"killing" their grandmother. It turned out that the old lady had an
aneurysm in the brain that could have ruptured at any time, and just
coincidentally ruptured while she was in the dental chair.That's why we have due process -- something the media cannot provice.
@ G L W8I went to law school (many years ago) and have practiced law
for over 25 years, so I understand the context in which law students might be
told, "there is no right, there is no wrong, there is only the law."That said, I don't recommend it as a creed. There
surely is right and there surely is wrong and while the justice system will work
within the law (as it should), none of us should ever equate the law with what
is right or what is wrong. Btw, the young man can certainly
apologize, if he chooses to do so, without tainting any legal proceedings.
The first thing my daughter was taught in law school: "There is no right,
there is no wrong, there is only the law." This case is a complex legal
issue, and all the weaknesses of the law will come out. Neither justice nor
mercy can totally be satisfied, the law will reign supreme--and the families and
the community at large will have to live with it.Of course the father
removed the boy: for the boy's own protection from further incident and the
hounding of the media--that may have been the smart thing to do. Of course the
boy cannot apologize himself; that may taint his case. Of course the judgments
from the public sector have no legal bearing on this case, including these
present comments. Right or wrong, the law will run its course. In the meantime,
we look for a wiser judge, who with more justice and mercy than we humans can
exercise, can and will resolve this issue with the families and us. We are
incapable of doing it ourselves.
Another look:Perhaps the father took the boy home in order to avoid
any more altercations?Sports fans also have a reputation for
throwing temper tantrums and in such a situation, is it not possible that
further violence might have erupted?
In this particular case, the law seems to be functioning. That is rare in my
neck of the woods for incidents of this sort. It is reassuring to know that the
entire world has not gone mad. The family of the killer did apologize to the
vicitm.Where I live, in such a case, the killer would plead "not
guilty," and the family would have a mass protest in front of the
victim's home 24/7 for months, and all the "community organizers"
would show up and and do their imitation of WWF trash talk for the cameras.
The boy probably didn't apologize because he is locked up and has no access
to the media. His sister apologized on his behalf. A teenager's
prefrontal cortex (the logical reasoning part of the brain)is not fully
developed. That's why teens think they're "10 feet tall and
bulletproof." A 17-year-old boy is full of testosterone. Did he know that
hitting was wrong? Of course he did. Did he realize that a punch to the head
could kill a man? I seriously doubt it. Will he ever get over what he did? I
seriously doubt it. This wasn't some gang-banger involved in criminal
activity. It was a kid overreacting in a fit of temper. Apologies won't
bring back the ref; neither will over-prosecuting the young offender. Some time
in "juvie" and court-ordered counseling may help the young man learn to
control himself and make something of himself.
If he were to be tried as an adult, the commentors here would make an
interesting jury pool.
When ever I read or hear that a juvenile has been charged and the prosecution is
seeking to have said defendant tried as an adult, there is only one reason -
because they want to make sure that the maximum amount of punishment is meted
out as possible.Juveniles are not adults; researched has already
noted that their brains are not capable of making adult level decisions, and yet
as a society we are determined to incarcerate as many of our citizens as
possible for the sake of revenge, in most cases.No, saying
'sorry' won't change what happened, but hopefully feeling truly
sorry will prevent it from happening again. We are quick to throw stones, until
someone else has reasonable cause to throw them back.
I agree that there certainly is a right thing to do. Although the teen did not
mean to kill a person, he did deliberately hit the referee and did intend to
cause much harm, judging by how and where he punched him.From the
free dictionary website is found the following definition of manslaughter:"The unjustifiable, inexcusable, and intentional killing of a human
being without deliberation, premeditation, and malice. The unlawful killing of a
human being without any deliberation, which may be involuntary, in the
commission of a lawful act without due caution and circumspection.Manslaughter is a distinct crime and is not considered a lesser degree of
murder. The essential distinction between the two offenses is that malice
aforethought must be present for murder, whereas it must be absent for
manslaughter. Manslaughter is not as serious a crime as murder. On the other
hand, it is not a justifiable or excusable killing for which little or no
punishment is imposed."In what way is this not considered
manslaughter? People can choose their actions, but are not free to choose the
consequences. All the apologies in the world will not undo what he did.
BYU Joe- harm was intended. That's why the punch was strong enough to
kill.Being seventeen is no more of an excuse than being thirty.
I've known many seventeen year olds who wouldn't have thrown that kind
of punch.Has this teen offered an apology, or shown remorse? Did he
offer help,or an apology after the punch, or just ran off?
My husband and 12 year old son both ref soccer games, sometimes putting in four
games in a day. Have they blown calls? Of course. What ref hasn't? But the
idea that they could be killed for a call someone didn't like is
terrifying. They are reffing so that all kids can play the game. If there's
no ref, there's no game, which is disappointing for the kids who have
prepared and practiced. My 2 cents: Are you serious? That is the most
insulting thing I've ever heard to a ref or a ref's family. Last
thought: Why didn't the boy apologize? How long will he hide behind his
family and his lawyer?
Three comments. One to "my2cents" You are out to lunch with your
"accident theory". Anger and punching is not an accident. It is
assault. Nothing less. In this case it was an assault that caused a tragic
death. Yes forgiveness is a wonderful thing and can greatly help, but
accountability and justice also come into play here. Secondly, The
defense attorney is also out to lunch. I believe he recommended to release the
young man to his family. Well, of course, except the father may have played a
role in the accused leave the scene of the crime initially. Will the same thing
happen again? Good idea defense attorney!In addition to his sister
speaking out, I would also like to see an apology from the young man himself.
My2Centsyou make an absolutely terrible argument. so the
referee's death is his own fault, for taking a "risk" by reffing a
soccer game??? unbelievable. im not sure what sporting events you attend where
this would be considered an accident, but where i'm from-this is an assault
with intent to harm, plain and simple. why else would you sucker punch someone?
so you can inflict damage without the other person having a chance to defend
themself. the referee did absolutely nothing wrong. this is a terrible tragedy
for all involved, but to insist that mr. portillo had fault in his own death is
It bothers me that the family apologized, not the young man. I think that is a
lot of the problem with the youth today. When they act badly, no one holds them
responsible. This young man had learned that when you get a penalty in soccer
you hit the coach. What other situation will make him explode and hit. Not for
a minute do I believe that prison or juvenile detention will help this young
man. But he has to pay for this man's death. How tragic!
He should be charged with felony manslaughter as an adult. In most states, 17 is
not a juvenile. He had received a yellow card and then things escalated. From
that standpoint, it would appear premeditated. He ran which is a sign of guilt.
In addition, look at where he hit the referee. It is stated that it was in the
"rear jaw area". Who hits someone in the rear jaw area without
intending to do grave bodily harm? That is a sign of someone who really knew
where to hit and hurt. By certifying him as an adult, the judge will have
leeway in sentencing and the incident will be on his record. I believe that an
extensive background check is in order. His defense attorney is painting him as
I will never understand how someone could kill another because on a penalty in a
"Game". In five years no one would have even remembered this boy
played,games are taken to seriously. In the end these are just games, this boy
is about to receive a dose of reality.
I feel to differ with OnlyInUtah on the lack of a "right" thing to do.
The right thing to do id being done, in court. A man died, as a result of an
action taken by another person. The end, a death, may not have been anticipated
from the act taken but the act taken was outside the rules of the game and this
society.While the families will have to deal with the events
privately, our society must deal with the event in public and according to the
law. It is not a perfect system but to ignore a man's death at the the
hand of another person cannot be tolerated if we expect a sense of justice to
prevail.I also believe that the assailant should be held in custody,
and that he is a flight risk. Such a case demands open court proceedings so the
public can know what happened by testimony and what punishment is decreed by
With apologies made and accepted by both families the state should move on and
forget about prosecuting this teen for the referee's "accidental"
death. There was no intent to harm or hurt beyond established playing accepted
game risk by all players and referee's on the field.The greater
risk was taken by the referee who knowingly with knowledge of medical and health
risk entered the game at his own risk and should bear total accountability for
his unwise choices. I don't think the referee would want this teen be
jailed or imprisoned for his mistakes in his judgement of choices. The referee
knew the risk and any player at any time could have collided with the referee
and would have resulted in the same tragedy.Prosecutors should be
challenging the game rules, not the players when accidents or common body
butting exhibitions cause injuries.They say basketball is a non
contact sport but its more dangerous for players than jocks playing hardcore
contact football and no one is prosecuted in those sports. And what about
accidental killing by law enforcement in times of hyper adrenalin rushes making
high risk judgement calls that end up with unnecessary deaths?
Do apologizes bring dead people back to life? It's great that
this family apologized. But I'm sorry, the murderer needs to pay his dues.
Maybe those in the future will think long and hard before committing senseless
The right thing is simple. You charge the young man with Manslaughter as a
Juvenile. He in no way wanted to kill the man. He never intended it and never
thought it could happen. You allow the juvenile system to make sure he is
rehabilitated. What you don't do is let this horrific outcome, of a
punch, create a multitude of tragedies. I take nothing away from
this family. It is terrible to lose your father, I know I lost mine, but
hurting this young man beyond this is just the DA showing itself to be tough on
crime when what they should be is focused on mercy and understanding. Just
because you can charge him as an adult in this political age does not mean you
should.Allow these families to heal and find peace in what truly is
Two families suffering a loss because of thoughtless actions generated through
emotional rage. There is no "right" thing to do in a case like this and
I can only pray for both families to be able to heal and be able to deal with
these tragic results.