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Reasonable Person Standard


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Peter,

The reasonable person standard is bedrock to the law, especially as your tag suggests to tort law.

Courts, which have made most of tort law, are accustomed to applying the standard in cases involving allegations of negligence.

One formulation of the standard is to ask whether a reasonable person could have foreseen the consequences of his or her act, an act leading to injury to a third party.

The language you quote indicates correctly that a higher standard of care is expected of certain persons. For example, a public transportation company is held to a higher-than-ordinary standard of care in transporting members of the public.

A big arena of the reasonable person standard is the medical malpractice arena, in which medical experts are often called to opine as to whether a defendant physician acted reasonably.

I'm curious, though, as to the point of your diary here. If it is to ask whether Humes, Boswell, and Finck acted reasonably in conducting the autopsy of JFK. I believe the answer is clear: they did not.

Edited by Jon G. Tidd
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Peter,

The reasonable person standard is bedrock to the law, especially as your tag suggests to tort law.

Courts, which have made most of tort law, are accustomed to applying the standard in cases involving allegations of negligence.

One formulation of the standard is to ask whether a reasonable person could have foreseen the consequences of his or her act, an act leading to injury to a third party.

The language you quote indicates correctly that a higher standard of care is expected of certain persons. For example, a public transportation company is held to a higher-than-ordinary standard of care in transporting members of the public.

A big arena of the reasonable person standard is the medical malpractice arena, in which medical experts are often called to opine as to whether a defendant physician acted reasonably.

I'm curious, though, as to the point of your diary here. If it is to ask whether Humes, Boswell, and Finck acted reasonably in conducting the autopsy of JFK. I believe the answer is clear: they did not.

Jon...

How does "reasonable standard" apply to military orders on penalty of court-martial?

Does this standard apply to a Military trial?

The need to have a MILITARY autopsy becomes painfully obvious... the Govt could not legally interfere with Rose's autopsy as it should have been performed, could they?

Mr. KELLERMAN. This I can't truly answer. However, I should say that, as for the casket being brought into the hospital, another gentleman came into this little doctor's room, his name I don't recall, but he represented himself to be from the Health Department or commission, some form. He said to me, he said, "There has been a homicide here, you won't be able to remove the body. We will have to take it down there to the mortuary and have an autopsy." I said, "No, we are not." And he said, "We have a law here whereby you have to comply with it."

With that Dr. Burkley walked in, and I said Doctor, this man is from some health unit in town. He tells me we can't remove this body." The Doctor became a little enraged; he said, "We are removing it." He said, "This is the President of the United States and there should be some consideration in an event like this." And I told this gentleman, I said, "You are going to have to come up with something a little stronger than you to give me the law that this body can't be removed."

So, he frantically called everybody he could think of and he hasn't got an answer; nobody is home. Shortly he leaves this little room and it seems like a few minutes he is back and he has another gentleman with him, and he said, "This is"--the name escapes me he said, "He is a judge here in Dallas," and he said, "He will tell you whether you can remove this body or not." I said, "It doesn't make any difference. We are going to move it," and I said, "Judge, do you know who I am?"

And he said, "Yes," and I said, "There must be something in your thinking here that we don't have to go through this agony; the family doesn't have to go through this. We will take care of the matter when we get back to Washington." The poor man looked at me and he said, "I know who you are," and he said, "I can't help you out." I said. "All right, sir." But then I happened to look to the right and I can see the casket coming on rollers, and I just left the room and let it out through the emergency entrance and we got to the ambulance and put it in, shut the door after Mrs. Kennedy and General McHugh and Clinton Hill in the rear part of this ambulance.

I am looking around for Mr. Greer and I don't spot him directly because I want to get out of here in a hurry, and I recognize Agent Berger and I said, "Berger, you get in the front seat and drive and, Mr. Stout, you get in the middle and I will get on this side," and as we are leaving--Mr. Lawson, I should say, was in a police car that led us away from Parkland Memorial Hospital. As we are leaving a gentleman taps on the driver's window and they roll it down and he says, "I will meet you at the mortuary." "Yes, sir." We went to the airport, gentlemen.

Mr. SPECTER - What do your current duties involve?

Commander HUMES - My current title is Director of Laboratories of the Naval Medical School at Naval Medical Center at Bethesda. I am charged with the responsibility of the overall supervision of all of the laboratory operations in the Naval medical center, two broad areas, one in the field of anatomic pathology which comprises examining surgical specimens and postmortem examinations and then the rather large field of clinical pathology which takes in examination of the blood and various body fluids.

Mr. SPECTER - Have you been certified by the American Board of Pathology?

Commander HUMES - Yes, sir; both in anatomic pathology and in clinical pathology in 1955.

Mr. SPECTER - What was your specific function in connection with that autopsy?

Commander HUMES - As the senior pathologist assigned to the Naval Medical Center, I was called to the Center by my superiors and informed that the President's body would be brought to our laboratories for an examination, and I was charged with the responsibility of conducting and supervising this examination; told to also call upon anyone whom I wished as assistant in this matter, that I deemed necessary to be present.

noun: pathology
  1. the science of the causes and effects of diseases, especially the branch of medicine that deals with the laboratory examination of samples of body tissue for diagnostic or forensic purposes.

Humes was perhaps the least qualified person in that hospital to perform an Autopsy. FINCK, from Walter Reed and the only Dr in the room qualified to do a decent autopsy, was very unhappy about the entire process when he arrived. His notes were stolen and he was marginalized for the rest of his life - thankfully he spilled some beans at the Shaw trial.

Colonel FINCK - From 1955 to 1958 I performed approximately 200 autopsies, many of them pertaining to trauma including missile wounds, stationed at Frankfort, Germany as pathologist of the. United States Army Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany.

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David,

I'll do my best to respond using both a broad-brush and a fine-brush.

Broad-brush: The reasonableness standard runs through the law, including military law. In applying it, one asks whether an individual behaved reasonably under the circumstances. If the individual did not, he or she may be liable, either criminally or civilly, depending on the duty of care the individual failed to uphold. What's a duty of care? Example: The duty not to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

Acting unreasonably may or may not be a violation of the law, depending on whether the failure to act reasonably causes harm or otherwise offends the law. For example, violating the duty not to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated is a criminal act even if the operator causes no harm. On the other hand getting peaceably but unreasonably drunk in a bar is, all by itself, not an act the law sanctions in any way.

The military law arena is different from the civilian law arena: different procedures, different rules of law. What is reasonable in the civilian arena (e.g., wearing a beard or un-shined shoes) may be unreasonable in the military arena. And vice versa. For example, issuing an order that results in harm to life or property may be reasonable in the military arena but unreasonable in the civilian arena.

Reasonableness as a standard of conduct always depends on context.

Furthermore, individuals can act unreasonably and cause harm but incur no liability under the law. Cops and politicians are prime exhibits of individuals who sometimes act unreasonably, even recklessly. and suffer no consequences under the law.

Narrow-brush: Did Kellerman and Burkley act unreasonably in taking control of JFK's body so that Dr. Rose could not perform the autopsy required by Texas law? From Kellerman's perspective, no. Many here would say yes.

The real questions, if one considers the then law, are [a] whether Kellerman or Burkley could have been sanctioned by a Texas court for taking control of JFK's remains as they did, and perhaps whether there was some mechanism that could have been employed under Texas law, such as an injunction, that might have prevented them from doing what they did.

I don't know the answer to either of these questions.

Edited by Jon G. Tidd
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Thank you Jon...

The real questions, if one considers the then law, are [a] whether Kellerman or Burkley could have been sanctioned by a Texas court for taking control of JFK's remains as they did, and perhaps whether there was some mechanism that could have been employed under Texas law, such as an injunction, that might have prevented them from doing what they did.

So does Kellerman's actions constitute Reasonable Standard for the SS protection of the POTUS regardless of the actual and applicable law at the time? No state of emergency was declared and there was no vehicle for them to have invoked any rule under law that would allow them to take the body of a murder victum out of the state of Texas.... POTUS or Not. There would be no difference under the law if it was JFK or Oswald. Texas murder = Texas Autopsy.

Was Rose and Texas authority going to fight LBJ and the Secret Service? of course not. But imho they could have - I just don't know whether the circumstances can spercede the law, lawfully. If that makes sense.

IMO Kellerman, the SS, and since AF-1 is military, the military as well broke Texas law by taking the body of the dead president

I would assume that in court, "Reasonableness" could be argued... it becomes the judge's decision as to whether it affects the intent of the law?

DJ

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David,

The best way I can respond to your post #5 is to play Criminal Law professor.

Let's say Texas law defines a crime -- this is a hypothetical Texas statute, passed by the legislature and signed into law by the governor. The statute provides:

If one individual is killed by another individual, the coroner for the county where the individual who was killed shall conduct an autopsy of that individual's remains as soon as practicable following that individual's death. Failure to perform such an autopsy is a Class B felony. Any person who causes a failure to perform such an autopsy commits a Class B felony.

If this statute was in effect in Texas on 11-22-63, Kellerman violated it, apparently, and thereby committed a Class B felony.

Apologies -- I don't know how else to respond.

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David,

The best way I can respond to your post #5 is to play Criminal Law professor.

Let's say Texas law defines a crime -- this is a hypothetical Texas statute, passed by the legislature and signed into law by the governor. The statute provides:

If one individual is killed by another individual, the coroner for the county where the individual who was killed shall conduct an autopsy of that individual's remains as soon as practicable following that individual's death. Failure to perform such an autopsy is a Class B felony. Any person who causes a failure to perform such an autopsy commits a Class B felony.

If this statute was in effect in Texas on 11-22-63, Kellerman violated it, apparently, and thereby committed a Class B felony.

Apologies -- I don't know how else to respond.

Jon,

From my understanding there was no Federal law at the time which would supercede Texas law regarding the handling of a murder victim by changing jurisdictional control... A Texas murder resulted in Texas laws being followed.

And these are the Texas laws which apply....http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/CR/htm/CR.49.htm

Mr. KELLERMAN. This I can't truly answer. However, I should say that, as for the casket being brought into the hospital, another gentleman came into this little doctor's room, his name I don't recall, but he represented himself to be from the Health Department or commission, some form. He said to me, he said, "There has been a homicide here, you won't be able to remove the body. We will have to take it down there to the mortuary and have an autopsy."

I said, "No, we are not."

And he said, "We have a law here whereby you have to comply with it."

---

I said, "You are going to have to come up with something a little stronger than you to give me the law that this body can't be removed."

Kellerman (with Burkley's help) knowingly and purposefully broke the law.... one wonders on whose orders or what situation would result in the showing of teeth and weapons so that a qualified physician following the law is stopped from doing so. As Salandria put it, an innocent government simply does not behave this way.

DJ

Art. 49.04. DEATHS REQUIRING AN INQUEST.

(a) A justice of the peace shall conduct an inquest into the death of a person who dies in the county served by the justice if:

(1) the person dies in prison under circumstances other than those described by Section 501.055("B") - (Sec. 501.055. REPORT OF INMATE DEATH.), Government Code, or in jail;

(2) the person dies an unnatural death from a cause other than a legal execution;

(3) the body or a body part of a person is found, the cause or circumstances of death are unknown, and:

(A) the person is identified; or

("B") the person is unidentified;

(4) the circumstances of the death indicate that the death may have been caused by unlawful means;

Art. 49.05. TIME AND PLACE OF INQUEST; REMOVAL OF PROPERTY AND BODY FROM PLACE OF DEATH.

(a) A justice of the peace shall conduct an inquest immediately or as soon as practicable after the justice receives notification of the death.

Art. 49.06. HINDERING AN INQUEST.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly hinders the entrance of a justice of the peace to a premises where a death occurred or a body is found.

("B") An offense under this article is a Class B misdemeanor.

Art. 49.10. AUTOPSIES AND TESTS.

(a) At his discretion, a justice of the peace may obtain the opinion of a county health officer or a physician concerning the necessity of obtaining an autopsy in order to determine or confirm the nature and cause of a death

Art. 49.17. EVIDENCE. A justice of the peace shall preserve all tangible evidence that the justice accumulates in the course of an inquest that tends to show the real cause of death or identify the person who caused the death. The justice shall:

(1) deposit the evidence with the appropriate law enforcement agency to be stored in the agency's property room for safekeeping; or

(2) deliver the evidence to the district clerk for safekeeping subject to the order of the court

Federal law is amended:

(Added Pub. L. 89–141, § 1,Aug. 28, 1965, 79 Stat. 580

(h)If Federal investigative or prosecutive jurisdiction is asserted for a violation of this section, such assertion shall suspend the exercise of jurisdiction by a State or local authority, under any applicable State or local law, until Federal action is terminated.

Edited by David Josephs
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I hope you come to find that I don't like to post anything unless there are sources involved... No worries when others check the source and find my analysis or paraphrasing incorrect... I'm here to learn like the rest...

Whether or not Kellerman/Burkley were criminally liable in the taking of the body was never a question... like Ruby shooting Oswald, the WHY remains the important part...

Not so much WHY specifically, but what acceptable, innocent reason can be offered for their taking the body ?

The "sparing of the agony" line is what Ruby used related to killing Oswald... that Kellerman and Ruby use the same excuse does not bode well for credibility in my eyes.

Jon -

I don't know how much you know about Kellerman and the autopsy at 6:45... When the empty casket arrives with the Navy Ambulance at 6:55 at the front of Bethesda Kellerman jumps out and runs to the Morgue while the ambulance and Greer just sits there... Galloway speaks with McHugh and there is quite a delay. I'd suggest reading Best Evidence or Horne's synopsis of it in Volume 4... in fact, imho reading Best Evidence is required if anyone is ever to have an understanding of the Bethesda charade although I tend to agree with Horne that most of the surgery to the top of the head occurs at Bethesda yet more and more evidence seems to be surfacing about surgery in the belly of AF-1.

At 7:17 per the FBI SA's Sibert and O'Neil, the casket is brought into the morgue, and then again at 8pm.... So we come to find that the body has a broken chain of possession. That even Lipsey says there was a decoy planned and that the ambulance at the front was a decoy for the body being loaded in back... he just never explains when the body was moved from decoy casket to real casket... and it gets weirder still... yet you can find that out on your own.

For our purposes, the stealing of the body was much more significant than the breaking of a law... the differences in the injuries between Parkland and Bethesda are monumental... if ROSE does the autopsy the conspiracy falls apart.

bestevidence.jpg

Mr. GREER. We stayed there until everything was settled up. I believe there was a judge came in there and I think, someone came in and made the decisions on removing the body and the casket was brought in, and the body was put in the casket. I had this, his clothing, I kept it in my hand at all times, all the time. Then I went, when they removed the casket from the emergency room, I was in front of it going out to make a path to get it to the ambulance.

So, he(ROSE) frantically called everybody he could think of and he hasn't got an answer; nobody is home. Shortly he leaves this little room and it seems like a few minutes he is back and he has another gentleman with him, and he said, "This is"--the name escapes me he said, "He is a judge here in Dallas," and he said, "He will tell you whether you can remove this body or not." I said, "It doesn't make any difference. We are going to move it," and I said, "Judge, do you know who I am?"
And he said, "Yes," and I said, "There must be something in your thinking here that we don't have to go through this agony; the family doesn't have to go through this. We will take care of the matter when we get back to Washington." The poor man looked at me and he said, "I know who you are," and he said, "I can't help you out." I said. "All right, sir." But then I happened to look to the right and I can see the casket coming on rollers, and I just left the room and let it out through the emergency entrance and we got to the ambulance and put it in, shut the door after Mrs. Kennedy and General McHugh and Clinton Hill in the rear part of this ambulance.

I am looking around for Mr. Greer and I don't spot him directly because I want to get out of here in a hurry, and I recognize Agent Berger and I said, "Berger, you get in the front seat and drive and, Mr. Stout, you get in the middle and I will get on this side," and as we are leaving--Mr. Lawson, I should say, was in a police car that led us away from Parkland Memorial Hospital. As we are leaving a gentleman taps on the driver's window and they roll it down and he says, "I will meet you at the mortuary." "Yes, sir." We went to the airport, gentlemen.

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Appreciated Jon....

In the end we all got screwed. In my other life I am working on a book showing the extent of this screwing being institutionalized from the first moment the Tragedy of the Commons was realized. Plato wrote about the excesses and control of the rich over the rest of us.

JFK remains but a blip in the timeline of this control. IMO we enjoy discussion of the topic since there is so much to actually see and touch... JFK's murder remains one of the most public rearing of the "faceless, nameless, controlling cabal" in history which is why imo we have the mountains of documents...

The truth of the conspiracy lies within evidence... just pick any area and take a close look.

Peace

DJ

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ARRB MD87

After the assassination, Lipsey said that he and Wehle met the body at Andrews Air Force Base and placed it in a hearst-to be transported to Bethesda Naval Hospital. Lipsey mentioned that he and Wehle then flew by helicopter to Bethesda and took JFK into the back of Bethesda. A decoy hearst had been driven to the front. After bringing the body into Bethesda, Lipsey said that Jackie Kennedy and the family entered the front of Bethesda and travelled to the "Presidential suite."

My understanding was that a decoy was supposed to allow the easy delivery of JFK's body to the morgue while everyone was crowded around the decoy in front... what he never mentions is how the body was moved from one coffin to another and when.

I think this little statement gives away more of the Bethesda charade then he cared to...

Dennis David and O'Connor corroborate the entrance in the back, a helicopter and a black hearse... which dovetails into the AF-1 tape section referring to a black hearse...

Yet in the end I agree with you Ray... the only purpose of a decoy is to get JFK to the morgue before anything "official" is recognized so that Humes or whoever, does their thing.

This is the same old tired line as, "Saving the family anguish" as an excuse for doing whatever they wanted to do....

The disembark to the right front of the plane and helicoptered off to Bethesda is really the only way the body can get to Bethesda so much earlier than the motorcade...

DJ

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ARRB MD87

After the assassination, Lipsey said that he and Wehle met the body at Andrews Air Force Base and placed it in a hearst-to be transported to Bethesda Naval Hospital. Lipsey mentioned that he and Wehle then flew by helicopter to Bethesda and took JFK into the back of Bethesda. A decoy hearst had been driven to the front. After bringing the body into Bethesda, Lipsey said that Jackie Kennedy and the family entered the front of Bethesda and travelled to the "Presidential suite."

My understanding was that a decoy was supposed to allow the easy delivery of JFK's body to the morgue while everyone was crowded around the decoy in front... what he never mentions is how the body was moved from one coffin to another and when.

I think this little statement gives away more of the Bethesda charade then he cared to...

Dennis David and O'Connor corroborate the entrance in the back, a helicopter and a black hearse... which dovetails into the AF-1 tape section referring to a black hearse...

Yet in the end I agree with you Ray... the only purpose of a decoy is to get JFK to the morgue before anything "official" is recognized so that Humes or whoever, does their thing.

This is the same old tired line as, "Saving the family anguish" as an excuse for doing whatever they wanted to do....

The disembark to the right front of the plane and helicoptered off to Bethesda is really the only way the body can get to Bethesda so much earlier than the motorcade...

DJ

David, don't know whether you ever read this essay by A.J.MacDonald Jr.

https://ajmacdonaldjr.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/the-arrival-of-jfks-body-at-bethesda-naval-hospital-what-i-saw/

Seems to confirm your helicopter arrival.

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