Deadly consent: Bondage death raises legal issues

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    Oct 12, 2007 1:41 AM GMT
    CNN.comLYNN, Massachusetts (AP) -- Adrian Exley was wrapped tightly in heavy plastic, then bound with duct tape. A leather hood was put over his head with a thin plastic straw inserted so that he could breathe, and he was shut up in a closet.
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  • trebor965

    Posts: 200

    Oct 12, 2007 6:46 AM GMT
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    Oct 12, 2007 8:04 AM GMT
    We've had cases on S&M in the UK. (My first year legal knowledge is coming out now)

    In 1990 there was a case, R. v. Smith about a group homosexuals who got together to perform S&M, and I mean some nasty stuff (in my opinion), including fish hooks and nails etc.

    A lot of the wounds would have constituted as ABH (Actual Bodily Harm), and some would have verged on GBH (Grievous Bodily Harm). However no one in the group sought medical attention, or complained about any injuries suffered. Everything was fully consented to.

    Then one of the participants houses was raided by the Police (for an unrelated matter) and a video was found with footage of the events, this then brought the Crown Prosecution Service to bring charges against all the men involved.

    The judgment in short basically said that one couldn't consent to anything more than an assault and battery, therefore ABH and GBH were ruled out. However the judgment at large was very homophobic and it seemed like the House of Lords had already made their decision before listening to the argument.

    A contrasting case was one in which a husband during sexitime branded his wife as one does with cattle. She needed to seek medical attention and was in hospital for several days. This was deemed ok by the court.

    So at Common law, it seems to me that (heavy) S&M is illegal, and it would be up to Parliament to change that...but then again just don't get caught and don't film it!
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    Oct 12, 2007 3:06 PM GMT
    Seems some of the usual s&m protocol was ignored here and the "master" is responsible for the death of his "slave". Eesh.
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    Oct 12, 2007 3:19 PM GMT
    There is consent, but there is also recklessness, and in this case the top was reckless. You NEVER leave someone alone in a bondage situation! It is easy enough to create a situation where there is the illusion that a person is isolated (blindfold, hood, earplugs), but someone should be there all the time. It's hard to ignore that basic safety rules were set aside. I don't know if any other "substances" were involved, but i wouldn't be too surprised if they were.

    SMBD play is rather murky when it comes to the law. In MA, as long as it's private and consensual, it's okay. But the problem can be the "consensual" part. If I'm gagged and tied down, how can i tell someone to stop? Is it rape even though I consented at the beginning, then allowed myself to be put in a situation where I have no input, but at some point wanted it to stop?

    The mantra for responsible SMBD play has been "safe, sane & consensual". That means each person respecting each other, and establishing verbal and nonverbal signals to avoid dangerous situations.

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16461

    Oct 12, 2007 3:20 PM GMT
    The thought of the whole thing makes me want to vomit.
    I can understand reasonable fetishes... but I guess the question is, whats reasonable and to whom? Thats just way over......
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    Oct 12, 2007 10:44 PM GMT
    I think the answer to that is some people have addictive personalities and they need ever increasing stimulii