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Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, May 31, 2011.

  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
  2. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    You know what's a good way to avoid getting charged with felony murder? Avoid engaging in felonies.

    In any event, why would this be a "dangerous predecent"? The shooting of an accomplice by police is far more foreseeable to the felon than the death of a cashier due to a heart attack.
  3. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    Did the officer deliberately aim for the accomplice though?
    I dunno, not enough detail yet for me to form a strong opinion either way.
    I guess it comes down to the adage: stupid games = stupid prizes. The real tragedy is that a 15's life is now forfeit and a 16 year old is pretty much doomed when given a different path in life, they might have had potential to do something with their lives...

    Anyway, I'm a little off target - the murder charge is a little odd in this case. I'm not sure if I agree with that or not. I guess if it were proven to be a deterrent it would be a great thing but I'd wager that it really has no effect at all.
  4. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Williams was the accomplice. According to the report:

    "When the officers told the teens to stop, Williams, who was holding the gun, allegedly turned in the officer's direction, Fox Chicago reports. Fearing for her life, the officer shot the 15-year-old, killing him."
  5. Involve yourself in an armed robbery, expect the potential for things to turn against you - and in a very permanent fashion. It doesn't matter if you're the armed individual, if you're on the wrong side of the equation, you're fair game. There were many possible outcomes, even after things went south for the perpetrators, like the one with the gun dropping it, the one without the gun surrendering, etc, etc. Neither chose that path, apparently, and one paid the ultimate price for the stupidity of both.


    I won't even read the article - because it isn't. Period.
  6. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That's why I don't see it as murder by the 16 year old. His accomplice pulled a gun on a cop, and got shot. That is a totally justifiable police shooting. More to the point, the 15 did it of his own volition, as far I can tell. If it can be proven that the other kid forced the dead one to go on the robbery, there might be a case, even then, I think it's a stretch to charge the surviving accomplice with murder.
  7. My apologies for my earlier post (and stupidity for not reading the article before posting :bag: ).

    Now I fully understand.

    Yes, the law is clear, ANYONE that is killed in the commission of an armed robbery gains the perpetrator a murder charge. I'm good with that.

    Don't want to get charged with murder? Don't do something stupid.

  8. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Well, it is murder, because it is defined that way by the legislature in a statute which is based on a millenium of common law tradition. You can disagree with whether or it should qualify as murder, but to say that it "isn't, period" is simply wrong.

    Edit: posted while you were typing your follow-up post.
  9. I misunderstood, I thought the OFFICER was being charged! :bag:

    I read the article now, and see that the other robber is. Yeah, it's murder, cut and dried, IMO.
  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I don't think anyone would argue that the surviving kid made a life changing bad decision by committing an armed robbery. An armed criminal is never a sympathetic figure, but I think we should all be concerned about the racheting up of charges. This kind of precedent could easily be used to snare people involved in things that are much more lightly regarded than armed robbery.
  11. As far as I know, any death in the commission of an armed felony has been a murder charge for decades, without any "ratcheting" going on.

    I agree that one must be careful with "slippery slope" potentials in the law, but this is one I have to agree with - if you're going to do something as stupid as an armed felony, you need to pay the consequences when a life - victim or otherwise - is lost. Don't want to get charged with murder? Don't put yourself in the position to be so charged.
  12. As long as it is only attached to Felonies, which are, by nature serious crimes, surely it shouldn't be an issue?

    In this case, I have no sympathy what so ever for either of the criminals. That probably has a lot to do with the relatively mickey mouse laws we have over here...
  13. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I am thinking of situations like drug cases or some other felony situation that is not violent, and in which people who are not considered "hardened criminals" might be entangled.

    In cases like this, there would be a potential for selectively harsh enforcement of the laws.
  14. Ah right, I only knew felonies as being serious crimes, was making the assumption they were all violent. My mistake!
  15. Doc, if someone is carrying a gun, and they are involved in a felony, and during the commission of that felony someone is killed, it's pretty clear that it was a violent situation.

    Trying to "bootstrap" that to a non-violent action is comparing apples to oranges - and if someone does try, I'll be standing right next to you screaming "FOUL!". Not the same thing here...sorry...
  16. kingpin2512


    Aug 9, 2008
    It has been this way for a long time. I agree with you Gard. Don't want this to happen, then don't do something this stupid. I was taught this law awhile back. It makes sense to me.
  17. Courtroom Tweets: Preliminary hearing for Carl Entrekin, charged in Michigan State Police Trooper Jeffrey Werda's crash death | MLive.com

    1) Guy flees from cop. (cop A)
    2) A different cop 10 miles away (cop B) hears the call and speeds in pursuit
    3) Cop B rushing to call at 110+ MPH crashes his car. He gets ejected because he wasn't wearing his seatbelt, and dies.
    4) Guy gets charged with first degree manslaughter.

    Now -
    The cop was 6 miles from the chase when he crashed
    Was never involved in the chase
    He was going ~120mph (in violation of state police policy)
    He wasn't using his lights (in violation of state police policy)
    He wasn't wearing his seatbelt (violation of state police policy and state law) - but they're charging the guy fleeing with manslaughter.

  18. It can - depending on how we define felonies.

    For example, here in Michigan the bar for a property felony has been dropping for years.

    Grand theft is anything over $1000.

    When the law was passed in 1961, it was $1000.
    Today - it's $1000.

    In 1961 you had to steal the equivalent of ~$7,000 in 2010 dollars to qualify as a felon, now it's only $1,000.
  19. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Not murder. It's the law.
  20. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    If you commit a felony, you're generally held responsible for any and all 'collateral damage' (human or property) that occurs in its wake. There's nothing new about it. And legal precedent has long been established for that.

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