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Felony Murder Clarification

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by Fixer0967, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. Fixer0967


    Jul 10, 2012
    If we come to the aid of a victim of a felony, and that victim dies as the result of you trying to save them, as I understood it, any death that occurs during a felony, is on the shoulders of the person that initiated the felony.

    Is that not correct?

    IE If a clerk is being held up at gun point and I shoot the felon causing his gun to discharge and thereby killing the clerk, isn't the death of the clerk on the hands of the felon since he was the one who initiated the felony?
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    In your hypothetical, charges against the armed robber and you are not mutually exclusive: more than one person's actions can be seen as the proximate cause of the unnecessary death of another.

    When a person commits a felony and death results, a felony murder charge generally kicks in on him.

    However, if your shot causes the convulsion that makes him pull the trigger, you bear some responsibility. The argument against you would be that it's common knowledge that most armed robbers don't shoot or slash people if they get what they want. If I was your prosecutor, I would point out that as of July 13, 2012, you posted on the shooting forum Glock Talk that you KNEW your shot could cause a man holding a gun on an innocent person to convulsively fire it, but you subsequently did so anyway. I know prosecutors who would consider that "depraved indifference to human life."

    There are cases where it's obvious that the hostage taker is GOING to kill the hostage, and shooting him is the last, desperate rescue option. A "routine" armed robbery doesn't fit that profile.


  3. Fixer0967


    Jul 10, 2012

    From reading your books and watching your vids, I most definitely know not to shoot someone holding a gun on someone else to avoid the possibility of the convulsive discharge. I just want to be clear that my hypothetical was aimed at getting clarification on how deaths as the result of a felony fall or do not fall on the shoulders of the felon, not necessarily what I would do if I were in that hypothetical situation.

    I very much value the information you have provided and I am humbled that a man of your expertise would take the time to give me such a detailed explanation!!

    My deepest thanks and gratitude to you sir!!

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