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Thread: A man is charged with murder for the killing done by a cop.

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    Technology Staff Leonhard's Avatar
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    A man is charged with murder for the killing done by a cop.

    In this case a burglar is arrested by the police. The police shoot an accomplice who was his friend. The officer who fatally shot that person is cleared of all charges, but this burglar is charged with murder as an accomplice.

    How can one be an accomplice to a crime that didn't occur. And how is he even considered an accomplice here?

    https://www.okayplayer.com/news/alab...-sentence.html
    Source: https://www.okayplayer.com/news/alabama-teen-lakeith-smith-65-year-prison-sentence.html


    However, Smith didn’t commit the crime he is being charged for. The charges stem from an incident that occurred in 2015 when Smith, then 15, broke into two homes with four other teens in Millbrook, Alabama. Midway through the robbery police arrived and a shootout occurred between the teens and officers. Washington fatally shot during the altercation.

    Although Smith didn’t shoot Washington, he was still charged with the murder of his friend as an adult under Alabama’s accomplice liability laws. Because of the laws, Smith “is legally liable for the behavior of another who commits a criminal offense if that person aids or abets the first person in committing the offense.”

    The officer who fired the fatal shots at the 16-year-old, however, was cleared of all charges by a grand jury.

    Smith received 30 years for murder, 15 years for burglary, and 10 years each for two theft convictions, to be served back to back. Upon receiving the sentencing from Judge Sibley Reynolds, the teen reportedly laughed in response.

    “I don’t think Mr. Smith will be smiling long when he gets to prison,” District Attorney C.J. Robinson said. “We are very pleased with this sentence. Because the sentences are consecutive, it will be a long time before he comes up for even the possibility for parole, at least 20 to 25 years.”

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    Professor and Chaplain Littlejoe's Avatar
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    If someone dies during the commission of a crime, the person's committing the crime bear the responsibility of that death whether they actually did the killing or not. It's supposed to make you think harder about "simple" crimes like burglary and robbery, where no one is supposed to get hurt....because, people often get hurt or killed during these types of crimes.
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    Technology Staff Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlejoe View Post
    If someone dies during the commission of a crime, the person's committing the crime bear the responsibility of that death whether they actually did the killing or not. It's supposed to make you think harder about "simple" crimes like burglary and robbery, where no one is supposed to get hurt....because, people often get hurt or killed during these types of crimes.
    Sounds like nonsense to me. He didn't kill anyone, so charging him with "murder" is ridiculous.

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    It's actually a law in many countries and is called Felony Murder here in the USA. If you are committing an inherently violent crime you take responsibility for any injuries that occur because of your actions, even if they are actually done by someone else. Because if you hadn't been there committing a crime, it would have not happened in the first place.


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    Felony Murder

    The felony murder rule is a rule that allows a defendant to be charged with first-degree murder for a killing that occurs during a dangerous felony, even if the defendant is not the killer. The felony murder rule applies only to those crimes that are considered “inherently dangerous,” as the rationale underlying the felony murder rule is that certain crimes are so dangerous that society wants to deter individuals from engaging in them altogether. Thus, when a person participates in an inherently dangerous crime, he or she may be held responsible for the fatal consequences of that crime, even if someone else caused the actual death.

    The felony murder rule is an exception to the normal rules of homicide. Normally, a defendant can be convicted of murder only if a prosecutor shows that the defendant acted with the intent to kill or with a reckless indifference to human life. Under the felony murder rule, however, a defendant can be convicted of murder even if the defendant did not act with intent or a reckless indifference; the prosecution must show only that the defendant participated in a felony where fatalities occurred.
    Inherently Dangerous Crimes

    Inherently dangerous crimes may vary by state, but typically include burglary, robbery, rape, arson and kidnapping. However, under the merger doctrine, if the elements of the underlying felony are a part of the elements of murder, the felony murder rule cannot be applied. For example, a defendant who participated in an assault in which someone was killed could not be charged with felony murder because the elements of assault are also incorporated in the elements of a murder. Thus, the assault “merges” into the murder and is not a distinct crime that can constitute the underlying felony.

    Felony murder can arise in a variety of circumstances, many of which may seem surprising. For example, if a defendant and his partner attempt to rob a gas station and his partner fires a warning shot to scare the store clerk, but it accidentally hits another customer, both the defendant and his partner can be charged with murder, even though the defendant did not have the gun. Similarly, if a man sets fire to his neighbor’s shed because he does not like the shed and the fire spreads to another neighbor’s house, killing those inside, the man can be charged with murder even though he never intended to harm anyone. Because of these complexities, it is important to remember that involvement in an inherently dangerous crime that results in fatalities can lead to murder charges for all those involved.
    Punishment

    Almost every state in the United States has a felony murder rule, and federal law recognizes the felony murder rule, as well. In most states, felony murder is categorized as a first-degree murder and can result in sentencing from several years to a life imprisonment. In almost half of these states, felony murder is considered a capital offense, which means that the death penalty is available. However, the Supreme Court has imposed additional restrictions on states that seek to impose the death penalty for a felony murder. In Enmund v. Florida, the Supreme Court held that the death penalty cannot be imposed on a defendant who had only a minor role in the underlying felony, such as any individuals who did not participate in the killing, or did not intend to kill during the felony. However, in Tison v. Arizona, the Supreme Court concluded that the death penalty could be considered for a defendant convicted of felony murder who was a significant participant in the underlying felony and who acted with reckless indifference to human life.
    https://www.justia.com/criminal/offe...felony-murder/

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    Technology Staff Leonhard's Avatar
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    You can call it whatever you want, calling it Felony Murder is even more like saying "You murdered that person", only he didn't kill anyone. The police did. This is a ridiculous law.

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    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    It's actually a law in many countries and is called Felony Murder here in the USA. If you are committing an inherently violent crime you take responsibility for any injuries that occur because of your actions, even if they are actually done by someone else. Because if you hadn't been there committing a crime, it would have not happened in the first place.


    ---

    Felony Murder

    The felony murder rule is a rule that allows a defendant to be charged with first-degree murder for a killing that occurs during a dangerous felony, even if the defendant is not the killer. The felony murder rule applies only to those crimes that are considered “inherently dangerous,” as the rationale underlying the felony murder rule is that certain crimes are so dangerous that society wants to deter individuals from engaging in them altogether. Thus, when a person participates in an inherently dangerous crime, he or she may be held responsible for the fatal consequences of that crime, even if someone else caused the actual death.

    The felony murder rule is an exception to the normal rules of homicide. Normally, a defendant can be convicted of murder only if a prosecutor shows that the defendant acted with the intent to kill or with a reckless indifference to human life. Under the felony murder rule, however, a defendant can be convicted of murder even if the defendant did not act with intent or a reckless indifference; the prosecution must show only that the defendant participated in a felony where fatalities occurred.
    Inherently Dangerous Crimes

    Inherently dangerous crimes may vary by state, but typically include burglary, robbery, rape, arson and kidnapping. However, under the merger doctrine, if the elements of the underlying felony are a part of the elements of murder, the felony murder rule cannot be applied. For example, a defendant who participated in an assault in which someone was killed could not be charged with felony murder because the elements of assault are also incorporated in the elements of a murder. Thus, the assault “merges” into the murder and is not a distinct crime that can constitute the underlying felony.

    Felony murder can arise in a variety of circumstances, many of which may seem surprising. For example, if a defendant and his partner attempt to rob a gas station and his partner fires a warning shot to scare the store clerk, but it accidentally hits another customer, both the defendant and his partner can be charged with murder, even though the defendant did not have the gun. Similarly, if a man sets fire to his neighbor’s shed because he does not like the shed and the fire spreads to another neighbor’s house, killing those inside, the man can be charged with murder even though he never intended to harm anyone. Because of these complexities, it is important to remember that involvement in an inherently dangerous crime that results in fatalities can lead to murder charges for all those involved.
    Punishment

    Almost every state in the United States has a felony murder rule, and federal law recognizes the felony murder rule, as well. In most states, felony murder is categorized as a first-degree murder and can result in sentencing from several years to a life imprisonment. In almost half of these states, felony murder is considered a capital offense, which means that the death penalty is available. However, the Supreme Court has imposed additional restrictions on states that seek to impose the death penalty for a felony murder. In Enmund v. Florida, the Supreme Court held that the death penalty cannot be imposed on a defendant who had only a minor role in the underlying felony, such as any individuals who did not participate in the killing, or did not intend to kill during the felony. However, in Tison v. Arizona, the Supreme Court concluded that the death penalty could be considered for a defendant convicted of felony murder who was a significant participant in the underlying felony and who acted with reckless indifference to human life.
    https://www.justia.com/criminal/offe...felony-murder/
    It's like if you're involved in robbing a bank but are the getaway driver. You never entered the bank and you don't even have a firearm, but one of your crew gets nervous and ends up shooting someone inside the bank who dies.

    Guess what? You are also guilty of that shooting. While you rarely get as strict a sentence as the actual shooter you will still be sentenced for it.

    I'm always still in trouble again

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    Technology Staff Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    It's like if you're involved in robbing a bank but are the getaway driver. You never entered the bank and you don't even have a firearm, but one of your crew gets nervous and ends up shooting someone inside the bank who dies.

    Guess what? You are also guilty of that shooting. While you rarely get as strict a sentence as the actual shooter you will still be sentenced for it.
    Only in this case they weren't robbing a bank. And the police shot one of them. Justified or not, I can't see how that is a murder charge. And he wasn't given a light sentence for it, he got 30 years on top of his sentence. This is absolutely ridiculous.

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    Only in this case they weren't robbing a bank. And the police shot one of them. Justified or not, I can't see how that is a murder charge. And he wasn't given a light sentence for it, he got 30 years on top of his sentence. This is absolutely ridiculous.
    It wasn't just the police shooting one of them. They were shooting at the police and the police returned fire and one of them got killed. If they weren't trying to kill the cops that wouldn't have happened, would it?

    This kid was not innocent in any way.

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    Technology Staff Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    It wasn't just the police shooting one of them. They were shooting at the police and the police returned fire and one of them got killed.
    And that is entirely fair game. What doesn't make sense is for one of them to get a murder charge based on that. That's just wanting to find excuses to increase punishment. This has no goal in creating either justice, reform or order of society.

  10. Amen oxmixmudd amen'd this post.
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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    And that is entirely fair game. What doesn't make sense is for one of them to get a murder charge based on that. That's just wanting to find excuses to increase punishment. This has no goal in creating either justice, reform or order of society.
    They were acting as a group and as such, they all take the same responsibility for each other's actions and the consequences thereof. I think that is entirely fair. Ask any parent. If he didn't want to be responsible for the consequences, maybe he shouldn't have been out burglarizing homes with his buddies.

    Now I do think the punishment (65 years?) was a bit harsh for a 15-year-old teenager (his age at the time). They could have let him serve his sentences in parallel. But maybe he can get parole if he behaves.

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