Jones v. United States, 308 F.2d 307 (D.C. Cir. 1962). Chapter 4, Page 87-89.
Issues: Did the trial court fail to instruct the jury that it must find beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant was under legal contract to feed the victim. Which in this case was a child left to his care?
Holding: Yes. The judgment was overturned. The act is only punishable if duties were neglected is a legal duty and not a moral requirement.
Reasoning: The court reasoning for its decision derive from four situations where failure to fulfill one duty can be considered a breach of legal duties. The first one is if a statute imposes a duty to care. For example, if a child is at the hospital it is the doctors duty to provide care for that child. Next, is when two parties have entered into a contract. For example, when a parent leaves a child to the care of a daycare, that place is obligated to care for that child. Another one is a status relationship. This is can be explained as a relationship between a mother and child. The mother has a responsibility to provide for that child. Finally, when a person voluntarily takes responsibility for a person care but refuse to allow others to provide care for that person. An example of this, if a wife takes custody of her ailing husband but refuses to let the other members of the husband family another to keeps them from providing care to the husband. In this case, the Appellate court found that the jury was not instructed that they must find beyond a reasonable doubt that Jones had a legal duty to care. The duty care must be legal duty, and not a moral obligation.
Disposition: The court agreed with the appellant. Reversed and Remanded.