‘Foul Play’ Ruled in Hunger Death. Wife’s Indecision to Blame

A woman looks contemplative at multiple chain restaurant logos

Legal precedent (or authority) is defined by a legal case which establishes a principle or rule which is then used by other judicial bodies when deciding similar cases. And in the history of legal precedent, none might be more fascinating than the State of Maryland vs. Cleese, a case which challenges the idea of spousal responsibility for each other’s safety within the confines of legal marriage. In it, a woman is being tried in order to determine her level of responsibility in her husband’s death-by-starvation. Even more fascinating is that the trial is unfolding alongside Commonwealth of Massachusetts vs. L’oucher, where a man’s inability to decide between the 2019 GMC Terrain vs 2019 Honda CR-V led to his wife’s death by boredom.

Turning back to the initial case mentioned, Michael J. Cleese (34) of Bethesda, MD was ruled deceased on Friday, January 4th with the coroner revealing the cause of death as ‘Conditional Starvation’. Defined as a psycho-physical state where the mind’s insistence that it is starving is so intense that it tricks the body into believing it, Conditional Starvation was widely refuted as being “an actual thing” by physiological experts until the late 90’s.

According to testimony, Mr. Cleese’s fatal condition was brought on by the inability of his wife, Tess D. Cleese, while attempting to decide where they were going to eat. And while Mr. Cleese made no secret of his belief that he was “starving” his wife interpreted it as conversational exaggeration. Unfortunately, by hour three of the ordeal, Mr. Cleese’s body had been convinced that it was starving, forcing him into a fatal state of shock. As such, his wife was taken into custody under suspicion of criminal negligence.

Meanwhile in Massachusetts, Landon L’oucher (31) of Ashby, MA finds himself facing similar charges after his mundane choice in vehicles might have led to his wife’s demise. Although ruled as ‘death by natural causes’ it is widely suspected that the actual cause could be ‘critical fatigue’ or ‘lack of sensory stimulation’. While not as widely accepted in the medical community, there have been cases where people were believed to have died from boredom. In the case of the late Debbie L’oucher (30), friends and family believe that she might have simply been ‘bored to death’ by her husband’s insistence that they purchase an uninspired SUV rather than a vehicle with actual appeal.

According to legal pundits, these simultaneous nature of these two proceedings raises an interesting possibility for legal precedent to shape a ruling in real time. The findings of either case, should it be ruled first, might influence the findings of the other. Also, a guilty finding in either case could mean that married couples will be more accountable than ever, in terms of protecting one another, and providing for their long-term welfare. Only time will tell…

If you’d like to read more about how your partner’s inability to decide on a restaurant, or refusal to buy a cool car could kill you, be sure to check back in with The Lemon for the latest breaking news…


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