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Q: In Jackson v. State, 408 A.2nd 711 (Md.1979), two robbers took a hostage resulting in a police chase. Gunfire between the robbers and the police occurred at a roadblock. The hostage was killed by
police gunfire and the robber s conviction for first degree murder felony murder was upheld. Do you think the felony murder rule resulted in a just verdict in the Jackson case? Explain. Do you think the felony murder rule provides any social or moral benefit to society? Explain.
A: The doctrine of the felony murder rule holds a perpetrator responsible for first degree or aggravated murder for committing orfound to be involved in a serious felony during which another person dies asa result of that felony. [ The rule applies even if one does not personally or directly cause the person's death. Co-conspirators are culpable regardless of their involvement or association
with the murder. The intent of the rule is to deter violent crimes which may result in death. Thus, gang violence such as drive by shootings where several gang members are involved in a shooting are equally responsible even though only one or two may be the actual shooters. For jurisdictions that apply the felony murder rule, any death which occurs during the commission of certain specified felonies is murder of the first degree and all 2 participants in that felony or attempted felony can be charged with and found guilty of murder. Let?s apply an example ofa convenience store robbery involving several criminals. If one intentionally shootsand kills a store clerk, or the clerk is accidentally killed by the fleeing robbers,all of the participants can be found guilty of felony murder, including those who did no harm, had no gun, and/or did not intend to hurt anyone. In other words, if one of the robbers was a lookout and another just driving the getaway car, they are equally culpable for the death of the clerk even though they didn?t actually shoot the clerk or intended for the clerk to die. In another unusual example, if one of the holdup men or women is killed, his/her fellow robbers may also be charged with first degree murder. This may occur if the robbers flee the scene and the police follow in pursuit. If the robber?s vehicle crashes causing the death of one ofthe robbers, the surviving robber can be charged under the felony murder rule. The reasoning is that the proximate cause of the death was the robbery. Had the robbery not occurred in the first place, the death of anyone would not have followed ]
daniel12426|Points 50|
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Asked 8/6/2013 11:35:53 PM
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