Jones v. United States

308 F.2d 307 (1962)


Jones (D) entered a contract with Green to care for Green's child. D was paid for only five months. Green had another child, Anthony, who had a mild case of jaundice. Anthony was released from the hospital into D's custody. Green lived with D for 2-3 weeks, then went home, leaving D in custody of Green's two children. There was no monetary agreement between D and Green covering the children's support. Anthony was in bad health and was taken to a doctor on several occasions for jaundice, a bronchial condition, and diarrhea. The doctor told D that the child should be taken to the hospital, but D never took the child there. Several months later, the police seized the children and took them to the hospital after being informed by gas company employees that the children were living in cribs stained with feces and covered with roaches. Anthony suffered from severe malnutrition and had lesions over his body. Anthony would have survived the ordeal had he been given food. He died. D was tried and convicted for involuntary manslaughter; she failed to perform her legal duty to care for Anthony. D appealed: the court failed to instruct the jury that D must have been found to have the legal duty to care for Anthony before finding her guilty of involuntary manslaughter.