Announcement

Collapse

Civics 101 Guidelines

Want to argue about politics? Healthcare reform? Taxes? Governments? You've come to the right place!

Try to keep it civil though. The rules still apply here.
See more
See less

More legal insanity: 55 years for "felony murder" without actually killing anyone

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • More legal insanity: 55 years for "felony murder" without actually killing anyone

    There's a curious law I had never previously heard, called "felony murder". The principle is this: if you commit a felony, and someone is killed in the process, you can get charged with murder. Not manslaughter: murder.

    A recent application.

    Four unarmed youths broke into a house they thought was empty. It wasn't; the homeowner was there; and he had a handgun. He shot at the intruders, killing one of them. The survivors were charged with "felony murder", convicted, and sentenced to 45 years. Indiana supreme court is currently considering oral arguments that the sentence was out of all proportion.

    What I found staggering was the number of people who defend this application of the law and the sentences applied to the teenagers for what was actually a botched burglary.

    CBS Chicago on the recent hearing: “Elkhart Four” Ask Indiana Supreme Court To Hear Their Case

    Related: The USA has the second highest incarceration rate in the world; beaten out only by Seychelles. (Ref: International Center for Prison Studies: Prison Population Rate)

  • #2
    Originally posted by sylas View Post
    There's a curious law I had never previously heard, called "felony murder". The principle is this: if you commit a felony, and someone is killed in the process, you can get charged with murder. Not manslaughter: murder.

    A recent application.

    Four unarmed youths broke into a house they thought was empty. It wasn't; the homeowner was there; and he had a handgun. He shot at the intruders, killing one of them. The survivors were charged with "felony murder", convicted, and sentenced to 45 years. Indiana supreme court is currently considering oral arguments that the sentence was out of all proportion.

    What I found staggering was the number of people who defend this application of the law and the sentences applied to the teenagers for what was actually a botched burglary.

    CBS Chicago on the recent hearing: “Elkhart Four” Ask Indiana Supreme Court To Hear Their Case

    Related: The USA has the second highest incarceration rate in the world; beaten out only by Seychelles. (Ref: International Center for Prison Studies: Prison Population Rate)
    That has been the case for decades before I was born. If someone is driving the getaway car during an armed bank robbery even though he never stepped foot in the bank he is just as guilty of the robbery as those who went in with guns and did the actual deed. If one of those in the bank shoots someone during the robbery who dies as a result then that driver is also guilty of murder as well.

    Honestly, I'm not completely convinced that (the latter) should be the case. And in this case where none of them did the shooting I think that needs to be changed
    Last edited by rogue06; 02-28-2015, 04:37 PM.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
      That has been the case for decades before I was born. If someone is driving the getaway car during an armed bank robbery even though he never stepped foot in the bank he is just as guilty of the robbery as those who went in with guns and did the actual deed. If one of those in the bank shoots someone during the robbery who dies as a result then that driver is also guilty of murder as well.

      Honestly, I'm not completely convinced that (the latter) should be the case.
      I am. The OP looks like a misapplication of this though. The law needs some tweaking.
      "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

      There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think the concept is that people shouldn't commit felonies with reckless disregard for life (whether that's other offenders' lives or the victim's). The sentence in the OP, though, seems like something you'd get for 1st degree murder. I always thought of felony murder being on par with, or below, 2nd degree murder as far as sentencing. Seems like a bit much.
        "If you believe, take the first step, it leads to Jesus Christ. If you don't believe, take the first step all the same, for you are bidden to take it. No one wants to know about your faith or unbelief, your orders are to perform the act of obedience on the spot. Then you will find yourself in the situation where faith becomes possible and where faith exists in the true sense of the word." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by sylas View Post
          There's a curious law I had never previously heard, called "felony murder". The principle is this: if you commit a felony, and someone is killed in the process, you can get charged with murder. Not manslaughter: murder.

          A recent application.

          Four unarmed youths broke into a house they thought was empty. It wasn't; the homeowner was there; and he had a handgun. He shot at the intruders, killing one of them. The survivors were charged with "felony murder", convicted, and sentenced to 45 years. Indiana supreme court is currently considering oral arguments that the sentence was out of all proportion.

          What I found staggering was the number of people who defend this application of the law and the sentences applied to the teenagers for what was actually a botched burglary.

          CBS Chicago on the recent hearing: “Elkhart Four” Ask Indiana Supreme Court To Hear Their Case

          Related: The USA has the second highest incarceration rate in the world; beaten out only by Seychelles. (Ref: International Center for Prison Studies: Prison Population Rate)

          I'm not even sure why you have issue with this. The death is a direct result of the criminal act - it makes no difference if its the homeowner shooting or one of his buddies accidentally shooting - what matters is that it is a death that directly resulted from the felony. If there had been no felony, there would have been no death, ergo, since blame follows intent, it's the idiots intending to commit a felony that get the blame.

          This is nothing new at all. I'd agree that the sentencing shouldn't be the same as an intentional murder - the shooter should bear the brunt (in most cases) but I've no problem at all with punishing the entire group for getting the guy killed by committing a felony, deliberately and with malice aforethought.

          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

          My Personal Blog

          My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
            I'm not even sure why you have issue with this. The death is a direct result of the criminal act - it makes no difference if its the homeowner shooting or one of his buddies accidentally shooting - what matters is that it is a death that directly resulted from the felony. If there had been no felony, there would have been no death, ergo, since blame follows intent, it's the idiots intending to commit a felony that get the blame.

            This is nothing new at all. I'd agree that the sentencing shouldn't be the same as an intentional murder - the shooter should bear the brunt (in most cases) but I've no problem at all with punishing the entire group for getting the guy killed by committing a felony, deliberately and with malice aforethought.
            What if one of them tripped on the stairs, and broke his neck? Would the others be liable for "felony murder" in that case as well? Not only murder, but a sentence of 55 years? For a kid of 16?

            The comparison with tripping on stairs is completely apt. They did nothing to bring about or cause this death other than put themselves in harm's way.

            This law is more usually applied when the culprit actually caused the death in the commission of a felony. If they had accidentally killed the homeowner (because he woke up and had a heart attack, maybe) then it would be a more normal fit with the notion of felony murder. But it was the homeowner who shot and killed one of them.

            The actual statement of the felony murder law for this case is:
            A person who kills another human being while committing or attempting to commit arson, burglary, child molesting, consumer product tampering, criminal deviate conduct, kidnapping, rape, robbery, human trafficking, promotion of human trafficking, sexual trafficking of a minor or carjacking . . . commits murder, a felony.

            But these kids (aged 16, 16, 17 and 18 at the time) did not kill or harm anyone while committing they felony. They rather put THEMSELVES at risk of someone attacking THEM in defense of home and property. The boy killed was 21. (The 17 year old was not even in the house; he was a lookout outside.)

            One of the boys (aged 16) took a plea deal; got 45 years.
            The lookout (aged 17) got 50 years.
            The two others (one of whom was also shot by the homeowner) got 55 years each.

            They were tried as adults; another clear injustice. It's a classic case of dumb teenage criminal behaviour backfiring on boys.

            I suspect the law was misapplied in this case; I think it was intended to apply to people who kill someone in the course of a felony; not to cases where one of the offenders gets killed in the course of the felony.

            I ALSO think that there's a malicious and destructive trend in law in the USA in particular where the concept of justice is out the window and the whole idea is punishment and deterrent. Mandatory sentencing; trying children as adults, over-the-top sentences, etc; the whole theory of being "tough on crime" is something I have a huge problem with in general. I think it contributes to a more violent and unjust society.

            But you don't even have to share my feelings about harsh punishment generally to see this specific case as a miscarriage of basic justice.

            Cheers -- sylas
            Last edited by sylas; 03-01-2015, 12:58 AM. Reason: spelling

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sylas View Post
              I ALSO have think that there's a malicious and destructive trend in law in the USA in particular where the concept of justice is out the window and the whole idea is punishment and deterrent. Mandatory sentencing; trying children as adults, over-the-top sentences, etc; the whole theory of being "tough on crime" is something I have a huge problem with in general. I think it contributes to a more violent and unjust society.
              The data shows otherwise. US crime cratered after massive increases in incarcerations.
              "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

              There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Darth Executor View Post
                The data shows otherwise. US crime cratered after massive increases in incarcerations.
                The link here is not clear cut; but certainly there's been a big decline in violent crime. Interestingly, looked at state by state, there are plenty of examples where crime and has declined while incarceration rates have declined also. (The Many Causes of America’s Decline in Crime) But more fundamentally, my own view is that exceptionally high incarceration rates are themselves an instance of violence and injustice. That's a completely distinct debate, of course.

                I don't want to make too much of this; I agree that violent crime rates have declined considerably since about 1990 in the USA.

                I'm encouraged rather that despite our major differences on many aspects of law and society, at least we have in common the view that in this one specific instance there's something amiss with the way law was applied. You can still be an enthusiastic supporter of the tough on crime movement while also thinking that in this instance the law got it wrong. I am guessing that the Indiana supreme court is in fact going to do something about this case.

                Cheers -- sylas

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sylas View Post
                  What if one of them tripped on the stairs, and broke his neck? Would the others be liable for "felony murder" in that case as well? Not only murder, but a sentence of 55 years? For a kid of 16?
                  It might be - but probably not because the death doesn't directly result from the crime (he could have been there legally and it still might happen - that's why).

                  The comparison with tripping on stairs is completely apt. They did nothing to bring about or cause this death other than put themselves in harm's way.
                  No, it's completely off - the issue is that the death is resultant from the felony. Falling and shooting your buddy in the course of a felony would be a result of the felony (pulling a weapon during said felony); falling might or might not be.


                  This law is more usually applied when the culprit actually caused the death in the commission of a felony. If they had accidentally killed the homeowner (because he woke up and had a heart attack, maybe) then it would be a more normal fit with the notion of felony murder. But it was the homeowner who shot and killed one of them.
                  You're mistaken - it is not at all the first such application of the law. The death resultant from the victim's act of self-defense is still directly resultant from the crime. Here intent matters - Junior intending to commit a felony is just as culpable as his buddy who pulls the trigger. When the person causing the death has no culpability (self defense, justifiable homicide) those who were involved in the commission of the felony remain culpable.

                  Hint: don't commit felonies.

                  The actual statement of the felony murder law for this case is:
                  A person who kills another human being while committing or attempting to commit arson, burglary, child molesting, consumer product tampering, criminal deviate conduct, kidnapping, rape, robbery, human trafficking, promotion of human trafficking, sexual trafficking of a minor or carjacking . . . commits murder, a felony.

                  But these kids (aged 16, 16, 17 and 18 at the time) did not kill or harm anyone while committing they felony. They rather put THEMSELVES at risk of someone attacking THEM in defense of home and property. The boy killed was 21. (The 17 year old was not even in the house; he was a lookout outside.)
                  Originally posted by FindLaw
                  What Is the 'Felony Murder' Rule?

                  By Deanne Katz, Esq. on March 14, 2013 10:05 AM

                  A murder conviction generally punishes people who kill others either intentionally or through extreme recklessness. But the "felony murder" rule punishes something different.
                  Unlike other kinds of murder, in felony murder there's no requirement that the suspect intended to cause death, or that his actions were likely to kill another person.
                  Committing a crime can lead to dangerous situations, and people can get hurt unintentionally. What if someone dies during the commission of a crime? The law doesn't let the perpetrator go unpunished.

                  Death During the Commission of a Felony
                  The felony murder rule covers cases in which someone dies during or shortly after the commission of an inherently dangerous crime, generally a felony. The law holds the felon responsible for the death, as well as the felony.
                  Source

                  The lookout is just as culpable as the rest - and should be. He didn't think they were going in that home for cookies and milk, now did he? He knew full well of the intent and materially aided and abetted. He'd be just as culpable if he'd been at home directing their movement via the Internet.

                  I'm not clear if Indiana has already applied this understanding of felony murder or not - but since it is common in law, the worst you could say is that Indiana is expanding its own definition. Frankly, if so, they are very late to the party.

                  One of the boys (aged 16) took a plea deal; got 45 years.
                  The lookout (aged 17) got 50 years.
                  The two others (one of whom was also shot by the homeowner) got 55 years each.

                  They were tried as adults; another clear injustice. It's a classic case of dumb teenage criminal behaviour backfiring on boys.
                  'Dumb teenage criminal behavior' doesn't excuse the criminal intent of young men more than old enough to know that that wasn't their house and that stealing is not only wrong, it's criminal. The sentencing is pretty high - but that might be a function of its parole system. In cases where parole is likely much too early in light sentences, prosecutors will ask for heavy sentences so the perp will serve at least a minimum. Dunno, but that's sure what it looks like.

                  Check Indiana state law - theirs are the guiding rules.

                  I suspect the law was misapplied in this case; I think it was intended to apply to people who kill someone in the course of a felony; not to cases where one of the offenders gets killed in the course of the felony.
                  Nah, sounds more like the prosecutors are applying it the way most states do.

                  I ALSO think that there's a malicious and destructive trend in law in the USA in particular where the concept of justice is out the window and the whole idea is punishment and deterrent. Mandatory sentencing; trying children as adults, over-the-top sentences, etc; the whole theory of being "tough on crime" is something I have a huge problem with in general. I think it contributes to a more violent and unjust society.

                  But you don't even have to share my feelings about harsh punishment generally to see this specific case as a miscarriage of basic justice.

                  Cheers -- sylas
                  I agree with some of it - sentencing certainly needs work but it isn't 'malicious and destructive' - it's the direct result of the political tides affecting sentencing. One should note here that liberal tides have done much of the damage. Victim's rights groups got concessions that should never have been granted because liberal activists had managed to reduce sentencing and encourage parole to the point that perps who would never have been on the streets had the original guidelines been in force were and the victims and their families decried the injustice (rightly). Not saying that the opposite extreme isn't just as bad - mandatory sentencing is insane - but if you pull the little silver ball and let it fall, you are danged well responsible for the one on the other end starting to move.

                  Less emphasis on political blame and more on reasonable laws would do far more to improve the situation that the outrage and hysteria.

                  I agree with you on punishment for its own sake. But, with the caveat that I'm basing this solely on the media reporting you linked, I disagree that there is any miscarriage of justice in this specific case. I'm not even willing to grant that the sentences are particularly harsh - the big numbers like that usually mask much earlier releases. Only if they were actually expecting to serve those in full would I agree - and I really doubt that's the case. More likely, they'll serve 10 - 15 or less. That they do deserve - the guy's dead because of their actions. They provoked the deadly response; the homeowner didn't go gunning for dumb teenage criminals. They came after him. Regardless if the intent was robbery or assault, they provoked a deadly response in the commission of a felony. They deserve to spend some serious time behind bars for that.

                  "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                  "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                  My Personal Blog

                  My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sylas View Post
                    The link here is not clear cut; but certainly there's been a big decline in violent crime. Interestingly, looked at state by state, there are plenty of examples where crime and has declined while incarceration rates have declined also.
                    Yes, you jail fewer people when less crimes are committed. Sounds like common sense to me.

                    (The Many Causes of America’s Decline in Crime) But more fundamentally, my own view is that exceptionally high incarceration rates are themselves an instance of violence and injustice. That's a completely distinct debate, of course.
                    Ok but I don't see how high incarceration rates are themselves an instance of injustice. If you did the crime you pay the time. The article you cited shows a number of serious lapses of judgement but I guess that's for another thread.
                    "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

                    There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Teallaura, I'm honestly having trouble seeing your argument. Just to confirm, you are aware, are you not, that the boys brought no weapons, and harmed noone else. The person killed was one of the burglars, and he was shot by the homeowner. Just checking we are on the same page.

                      Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                      It might be - but probably not because the death doesn't directly result from the crime (he could have been there legally and it still might happen - that's why).

                      No, it's completely off - the issue is that the death is resultant from the felony. Falling and shooting your buddy in the course of a felony would be a result of the felony (pulling a weapon during said felony); falling might or might not be.
                      I don't see the distinction you make here at all. Whether the burglar died by tripping over something in the dark, or being shot by an awakened homeowner, in either case it is death during the conduct of a felony; a death occurring that would not have occurred had the felony not been committed. You say "completely off", but I don't see any basis for that. The burglars did NOT shoot a buddy by accident. They were simply putting themselves in harms way; and in both cases (the hypothetical trip and fall, and the actual case of being shot) that's the total contribution that they made to the death. They put the events in motion to start with, and got killed as a result. So why you are making a distinction between dying by being shot or falling escapes me entirely. Bear in mind, of course, that the homeowner in this case was considered entirely justified in shooting; so the mere fact that shooting occurred is not the basis for murder here. It was purely and simply death arising during the felony.

                      You're mistaken - it is not at all the first such application of the law. The death resultant from the victim's act of self-defense is still directly resultant from the crime. Here intent matters - Junior intending to commit a felony is just as culpable as his buddy who pulls the trigger. When the person causing the death has no culpability (self defense, justifiable homicide) those who were involved in the commission of the felony remain culpable.
                      I think this is case is extraordinary and exceptional. The law is usually applied where the death was caused by actions of the perpetrators while engaged in the felony; there are a couple of cases where it was one of the perpetrators who was killed; usually treated as "second degree" (not an option in Indiana apparently?) and usually with consideration of reckless disregard for life -- which did not apply in this case.

                      Hint: don't commit felonies.
                      That one hint summarizes everything wrong with this theory of law, and with the disconnect between law and justice; the idea that once you've committed a felony anything goes. Sure; don't commit felonies. One of the burglars got killed. That's going to weigh heavily on his friends no matter what happens now. According to reports, the 16 year old with the 55 year sentence was found weeping next to his shot friend, crying "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." So of COURSE, don't commit felonies.

                      But all of that is appalling as an excuse for overlooking the injustice of the law's response.

                      The lookout is just as culpable as the rest - and should be. He didn't think they were going in that home for cookies and milk, now did he? He knew full well of the intent and materially aided and abetted. He'd be just as culpable if he'd been at home directing their movement via the Internet.
                      Agree; I have no intent to suggest otherwise. He should be treated the same as the others. As a 17 year old who committed a burglary. Actually, he was treated slightly more leniently... a murderer with 50 years rather than 55.

                      I'm not clear if Indiana has already applied this understanding of felony murder or not - but since it is common in law, the worst you could say is that Indiana is expanding its own definition. Frankly, if so, they are very late to the party.
                      I do not think so. There's usually a difference between killing in the course of a felony, and getting killed in the course of a felony -- the difference is first degree and second degree. We'll see how the supreme court handles this; but it's going to be a hard sell to most people that this is any kind of justice.

                      'Dumb teenage criminal behavior' doesn't excuse the criminal intent of young men more than old enough to know that that wasn't their house and that stealing is not only wrong, it's criminal. The sentencing is pretty high - but that might be a function of its parole system. In cases where parole is likely much too early in light sentences, prosecutors will ask for heavy sentences so the perp will serve at least a minimum. Dunno, but that's sure what it looks like.
                      If they were charged for stealing (burglary) we'd not be having this discussion. The sentencing is ludicrous; which helps bring the absurdity of this case into the public eye -- but the real problem isn't the sentence. It's the prosecution and the charges.

                      Cheers -- sylas

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sylas View Post
                        They were tried as adults; another clear injustice. It's a classic case of dumb teenage criminal behaviour backfiring on boys.
                        Interesting perspective. In my state, a 16 year old is automatically tried (and sentenced) as an adult for criminal offenses. The juvenile court only retains jurisdiction for 16 and 17 year-olds for status offenses (being charged as a delinquent or undisciplined juvenile). At 16, they're pretty much adults from the perspective of criminal law.
                        "If you believe, take the first step, it leads to Jesus Christ. If you don't believe, take the first step all the same, for you are bidden to take it. No one wants to know about your faith or unbelief, your orders are to perform the act of obedience on the spot. Then you will find yourself in the situation where faith becomes possible and where faith exists in the true sense of the word." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sylas View Post
                          Teallaura, I'm honestly having trouble seeing your argument. Just to confirm, you are aware, are you not, that the boys brought no weapons, and harmed noone else. The person killed was one of the burglars, and he was shot by the homeowner. Just checking we are on the same page.
                          Burglary and home invasion are both felonies. The boys came with the intent to commit one or both felonies, did they not? They entered the house illegally, did they not? The homeowner did not intend to commit a felony (and didn't), did he? So, the only criminal acts were those of the boys who invaded the home, including the one that aided and abetted by being the look out, and all of those are felonies.

                          Had they brought a weapon (yes, I knew they were unarmed) it would merely have racked up yet another felony charge. Once they had invaded the home the homeowner is under absolutely no obligation to determine whether or not they are armed - and if Indiana requires safe retreat (dunno) he apparently didn't violate that law (few states would even question it once the boys were inside. Three to one? No, the homeowner isn't required to stand there and try to figure out anything while they enter his home illegally. Translation: it makes absolutely no difference that they weren't armed - the homeowner could not have known that for certain and is perfectly within his rights to assume otherwise and act accordingly.

                          They came IN. There isn't any gray area here - they were in the middle of committing a couple of felonies. It makes no difference what the ultimate criminal intent was - burglary, assault, rape, kidnapping, murder - it only matters that they were committing felonies that DIRECTLY resulted in their compatriots death.

                          Yes, I fully understood the circumstances. I also understand the law. The homeowner did not provoke the attack on his home and could not have known their ultimate intent. BTK's victims usually cooperated so that he wouldn't hurt them - but once bound they were helpless to prevent their murders. No person is required by law to endanger themselves by assuming it's just a dumb teenage prank - need I remind you that there have been incidents of roving teens both here and in Europe that assaulted, even tortured and killed people purely to amuse themselves? When the dumb teen is breaking into your house, you have no way of knowing he's just an idiot after the cookie jar and not a Jeffery Dahmer wannabe. The law recognizes this fact and allows the homeowner to use his best judgment in how to defend or retreat. Since it's not a trained police officer, that judgment doesn't have to be perfect - it merely has to be a reasonable act under the circumstances.

                          I explain all that because you've got 'guilt' confused with 'culpability'. The homeowner has no guilt nor culpability in this situation - he did not form requisite intent nor did he provoke or entice the boys. As a DIRECT RESULT of the actions of the teenage boys, one of them was killed. Had they just gone to choir practice instead, Junior would still be alive and the homeowner wouldn't have shot anyone. The boys - all of them - made the choices that led to the boy's death. Any one could have walked away. The kid outside could have called the cops instead of playing look out - they had numerous choices that, made differently, would have avoided the situation altogether. Now a kid is dead and it's NOT OKAY that they got him killed. They didn't pull the trigger but they set everything in motion that led to that trigger being pulled. Culpability follows intent - they are unquestionably culpable.

                          In the strictest sense they are not guilty - but in the legal sense, yes, they are. The death resulted from their criminal actions. The same principle applies to drunk drivers - they are guilty no matter that they were too drunk to know what they were doing because they made the choice to drink in the first place. They intended to get drunk (obviously, someone who drinks unknowingly - or had something put into it - would not fall under the same rule) and all consequences of that decision are theirs. The boys choose to break into that home. - all consequences of that illegal action are theirs. All, including getting their buddy killed and the one that got shot himself - yes, he's culpable for his own wound (irrelevant though that may be).

                          This case isn't extraordinary or exceptional. Might be new for Indiana but it's really fairly established law in most states.

                          I'm not gonna address the rest for now. If you like, I'll go back and respond to the rest of that post - I was just getting us on the same page, as you put it. Just say so.

                          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                          My Personal Blog

                          My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                            I'm not even sure why you have issue with this. The death is a direct result of the criminal act - it makes no difference if its the homeowner shooting or one of his buddies accidentally shooting - what matters is that it is a death that directly resulted from the felony. If there had been no felony, there would have been no death, ergo, since blame follows intent, it's the idiots intending to commit a felony that get the blame.

                            This is nothing new at all. I'd agree that the sentencing shouldn't be the same as an intentional murder - the shooter should bear the brunt (in most cases) but I've no problem at all with punishing the entire group for getting the guy killed by committing a felony, deliberately and with malice aforethought.
                            It's obvious why Sylas has an issue with this. Because the charge should be manslaughter not murder.

                            "Causing another person's death through reckless behavior, or in the commission of another crime but without intent to kill, carries a lighter sentence than most other forms of homicide. Sentencing guidelines for involuntary manslaughter differ quite a bit among the various state judicial systems, however. Involuntary manslaughter at both the federal and state level is treated as a felony and usually carries a jail or prison sentence of at least 12 months, plus fines and probation."

                            "For instance, the federal law against voluntary manslaughter states that defendants should receive fines, a prison sentence of not more than ten years or both. Californias manslaughter law, on the other hand, gets a little more specific and states that anyone found guilty of manslaughter should receive a prison sentence of 3, 6 or 11 years."

                            http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal...entencing.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by klaus54 View Post
                              It's obvious why Sylas has an issue with this. Because the charge should be manslaughter not murder.

                              "Causing another person's death through reckless behavior, or in the commission of another crime but without intent to kill, carries a lighter sentence than most other forms of homicide. Sentencing guidelines for involuntary manslaughter differ quite a bit among the various state judicial systems, however. Involuntary manslaughter at both the federal and state level is treated as a felony and usually carries a jail or prison sentence of at least 12 months, plus fines and probation."

                              "For instance, the federal law against voluntary manslaughter states that defendants should receive fines, a prison sentence of not more than ten years or both. Californias manslaughter law, on the other hand, gets a little more specific and states that anyone found guilty of manslaughter should receive a prison sentence of 3, 6 or 11 years."

                              http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal...entencing.html

                              Nope. Felony Murder.

                              Here:
                              Involuntary Manslaughter:
                              Homicide that is committed without the intent to kill, but with criminal recklessness or negligence; or a death that results during the commission of or flight from a misdemeanor or felony that is not encompassed by the felony-murder rule.
                              Source

                              *emphasis mine.

                              And, from FindLaw:

                              Death During the Commission of a Felony
                              The felony murder rule covers cases in which someone dies during or shortly after the commission of an inherently dangerous crime, generally a felony. The law holds the felon responsible for the death, as well as the felony.


                              Source
                              It fits the Felony Murder rule and is therefore not Involuntary Manslaughter.

                              "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                              "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                              My Personal Blog

                              My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                              Comment

                              Related Threads

                              Collapse

                              Topics Statistics Last Post
                              Started by Christian3, Today, 02:14 PM
                              1 response
                              12 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post seanD
                              by seanD
                               
                              Started by seer, Today, 02:00 PM
                              0 responses
                              10 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post seer
                              by seer
                               
                              Started by CivilDiscourse, 10-24-2020, 08:17 AM
                              10 responses
                              91 views
                              1 like
                              Last Post CivilDiscourse  
                              Started by LiconaFan97, 10-23-2020, 04:56 PM
                              32 responses
                              202 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post seer
                              by seer
                               
                              Started by Juvenal, 10-23-2020, 11:08 AM
                              10 responses
                              103 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post Juvenal
                              by Juvenal
                               
                              Working...
                              X