Felony Murder Rule Application and Critique
Your assignment is to give some critical thought to what you have learned, and write a response directed toward answering the following. Is there a legitimate reason for us to continue to use the felony murder rule or is it nothing more than an antiquated, astonishing, and unsupportable legal fiction which produces no proven deterrence and imposes unjustifiably harsh results? A recent change in the law [SB 1437] still permits it use with respect to a “major participant in a felony who acted with reckless indifference for human life.” Is that language sufficiently clear? What is meant by “major Participant,” or “reckless indifference for human life? How would it be applied to the scenario you were given in the last unit? Sam solicited a burglary. He was therefore a principal in its commission even though he was not physically present. As a result he was as guilty as anyone else. Although he tried to renounce his encouragement he placed the idea in the minds of those who carried out the scheme. Did that make him a “major participant.” He told two gang members how to break into a habitation in order to frighten its occupant. Was that reckless or indifferent? Should he be guilty of murder when he did not kill nor did he intend for that to occur? Did SB 1437 accomplish its goal of leaving the rule in effect, but eliminating its use in most cases where someone, with no intent to kill, is charged with murder? Your response will be due on or before Friday, November 6. It will be graded and will have a value up to fifty points. Basically you have to write a response by giving explanation of above question what the professer asked.