Felony Murder II

  • Generally ∆ liable for killings during course of a felony.
  • Mens rea implied from underlying/predicate felony.
  • Limits on "in perpetration of" predicate felony:
    • 1. Duration
      • Felony continuing, not complete
        • Example: steal wallet from murder victim
      • No temporary safe haven, if statute includes flight.
    • 2. Actual and proximate cause between felony and death.
      • "Agency" vs. "Proximate Cause" jurisdictions.
        • Agency: person acting on behalf of ∆ must cause death.
      • Proximate cause: ∆ must be proximate cause of death
Merger Rule (at CL):
  • If felony is integral part of homicide, it merges so gov’t must prove M/R of homicide (note that felony is LIO of F/M)
    • 1. Conduct of predicate felony must be separate from act of violence causing death
    • 2. Assaults merged
  • Rationale
    • Purpose of F/M to deter accidental/neg. killings
    • F/M relieves gov’t of burden of proof as to M/R (and destroys complex graduated scheme based on moral culpability...)
    • Prevents defeating M/R for murder by simply proving assault
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