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Questions growing about CTE and domestic violence

In our last post, we highlighted the importance of having experienced legal counsel in time where a person is accused of domestic violence. With the spotlight still on the domestic violence issue in the NFL, we would be remiss if we did not mention a telling article produced by NBCNews.com.

Essentially, there is growing speculation about the link between head trauma from playing professional football and the increase in domestic violence. The article pointed to the violent deaths of two athletes, Chris Benoit, a former professional wrestler, and Justin Strzelczyk, who played in the NFL. Both ended up taking their own lives after violent episodes. Researchers who examined both athletes’ brains found the presence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, better known as CTE. 

CTE is a degenerative brain disease that is linked to repeated blows to the head.  One of the symptoms associated with CTE is the inability to maintain relationships; business and otherwise. Also, there are reports from people close to former football players who took their lives that they had become different people after their playing days were over; often becoming distant, irritable and quick to being angry.  Aggression is one of the principal symptoms of CTE, so given the high profile incidents involving Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Johnathan Dwyer, the questions about the link between concussions and violent behavior will not go away soon.

From a criminal standpoint, it remains to be seen how charges could be handled if it is proven that brain damage played a part in the crimes, which ostensibly deprived the assailant of their right mind. 

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Questions growing about CTE and domestic violence | The Law Offices of Palumbo & Renaud