Can one who encourages another's suicide through a suicide pact be absolved of criminal liability? The Ohio Supreme Court answered this question in the affirmative in State v. Sage. The court held that a suicide survivor's proof that another's death resulted from a mutual suicide pact acts as a complete defense to criminal liability. Not since 1872 has the Ohio Supreme Court discussed criminal liability for suicide pact members who aid and abet another's suicide. The Sage court did not differentiate between classic suicide pacts where each member agrees to commit suicide, and suicide-murder pacts where one person agrees to commit suicide and the other consents to murder.
Keating, Diana M.
"Existence of a Suicide Pact as a Complete Defense to a Survivor's Criminal Liability: State v. Sage,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 21:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol21/iss2/4