Friday, July 20, 2007

Twelve Angry Banditos Theorem Proofs

I challenge anyone - anyone - to argue with a straight face that an armed robber should be convicted of murder if a policeman gets into a fatal accident while looking for him. And yet, that's what a Missouri jury just did.


Ben said...

Welcome to the fun law of felony murder! Not to be confused with malice murder.

Felony murder is when someone dies while you're committing a felony. Usually your felony has to have caused the death, but you don't have to have killed him. Say, you rob a bank and the bank manager has a heart attack. Hellooooooo, felony murder!

Mike said...

So, as seems to be more and more often the case, it's not really the jury that's unreasonable, but rather the law?

Ben said...

It's the law in every state in America. I think it's often used to get around the requirement of proving intent to kill.

Mike said...

Illegality of marijuna is the law in every state. That doesn't make it a reasonable law.

There's a cogent argument for manslaughter in the bank manager example -- the actions of the criminal contribute directly to the death. I don't see that here.

Is there misdemeanor murder? What if the officer had been rushing over to, say, break up a drunk high school party? Do we convict a bunch of teenagers for that?

I understand what the law is aiming at. It's far more logical than many of our laws. I'm simply unsure (not knowing how the law reads) if it should apply in this case.

Regardless, the guy shot a deputy. Lock him up.