Montag, 14. März 2011

Killing without Killing

Today in my Criminal Law Lecture we talked about responisibilty in acting and the teacher draw the attention to this case: Teen Murder Trial Nightmare
I know, the case is old, but I find it quite interesting:
Four boys break into the house, the homeowner shoots one of them in self-defence (in the head) and one of the boys who tried to get in was charged with murder. Not the man who shot him but his accomplice.
The other two were charged as well, but as they were minors they were sent to a juvenile facility.
This is due to the Felony murder rule. From wiki:
The rule of felony murder is a legal doctrine in some common law jurisdictions that broadens the crime of murder in two ways. First, when an offender kills accidentally or without specific intent to kill in the course of an applicable felony, what might have been manslaughter is escalated to murder. Second, it makes any participant in such a felony criminally liable for any deaths that occur during or in furtherance of that felony. While there is some debate about the original scope of the rule, modern interpretations typically require that the felony be an inherently dangerous one, or one committed in an obviously dangerous manner. For this reason, the felony murder rule is often justified by its supporters as a means of deterring dangerous felonies.
 I think it's unjust to charge people for crimes where there is no intention whatsoever.


  1. I had never heard of this, that's pretty crazy to be able to charge somebody with murder without the charged having any part in the execution or planning of the death. Manslaughter could be argued, but murder seems to heavy.

  2. This makes perfect sense, when your indirect actions cause the death of another. Point is to rid of the action altogether.