Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Recent Story of Toddler's Death Gives Example of What Qualifies as Involuntary Manslaughter in Georgia

Posted by Richard Lawson | Mar 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

A recent story out of Pennsylvania revealed the death of a 2-year-old girl as a result of a treatable form of pneumonia. Her parents, Jonathan and Grace Anne Foster, refused to take their toddler to the doctor because of their involvement in a religious group that is against any form of medical intervention. 

At trial, it was revealed through evidence, that her parents understood just how sick she was, and that if she had been treated by a physician properly that she would have likely survived. The parents reportedly said that the little girl's death was “God's will.” An attorney on the case emphasized how important their faith is to them but noted that no one is exempt from abiding by the law. 

All state laws, including Georgia, provide heightened protection for children because they belong to a protected class – children cannot protect themselves. 

The Fosters have six other children ranging from one to twelve years old. They have now been made to surrender custody of all of those children, and they will be placed together in foster care. 

Both parents were convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Even though this case occurred in the state of Pennsylvania, let's look at what qualifies as manslaughter in Georgia.

Georgia Law

Manslaughter is broken down into two categories: involuntary manslaughter in Georgia and voluntary manslaughter in Georgia

Involuntary Manslaughter:

O.C.G.A. §16-5-3: A person commits the offense of involuntary manslaughter in the commission of an unlawful act when he causes the death of another human being without any intention to do so: 

1) by the commission of an unlawful act other than a felony; 

  • If convicted of involuntary manslaughter by the commission of an unlawful act other than a felony, the punishment can include between one and ten years imprisonment.

2) or by the commission of a lawful act in an unlawful manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm.

  • If convicted of involuntary manslaughter by the commission of a lawful act in an unlawful manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm, the punishment can include up to a year in jail, a fine, or both. 

Voluntary Manslaughter:

O.C.G.A. §16-5-2: A person commits the offense of voluntary manslaughter when he or she causes the death of another human being under circumstances which would otherwise be murder and if he acts solely as a result of a sudden, violent, and irresistible passion resulting from serious provocation sufficient to excite such passion in a reasonable person; however, if there should have been an interval between the provocation and the killing sufficient for the voice of reason and humanity to be heard, of which the jury in all cases shall be the judge, the killing shall be attributed to deliberate revenge and be punished as murder. 

  • If convicted of voluntary manslaughter in Georgia, the punishment can include one to twenty years of imprisonment.

As with any crime in the state of Georgia, there are Georgia Criminal Defenses that can apply to both involuntary and voluntary manslaughter. Because as any Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer should know – not everyone who is accused of a crime is guilty of that crime. Contact us today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense and Criminal Defense. As a former Prosecutor he knows both sides of your case. Put his experience to work for you. In DUI cases, you only have 30 days to protect your right to drive. Call now for immediate attention. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.


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