It has many equally plausible definitions and the values it expresses differ from time to time, place to place. Indeed, it has been described so integral a part of human relationships that it, in its various meanings and shadings, serves as a synonym for every important political word. In the context of corporate liability, an oft-cited opinion is the 18th century expression of Baron Edward Thurlow L.
Agencyfelony murderfelony murder theories of liabilityproximate cause Birdsong presents the following article he wrote in to help students better understand the felony murder rule and the two theories of liability that are used by various states.
Those theories are the Agency theory of liability and the proximate cause theory of liability.
Doctors testified at trial the heart attack had been precipitated by Justification of strict liability induced by the robbery. In upholding his conviction the Court of Appeals ruled that, a killing committed in either perpetration of or an attempt to perpetrate robbery is murder of the first degree… whether the killing is willful, deliberate and premeditated, or merely accidental or unintentional and whether or not the killing is planned as a part of the commission of the robbery.
A killing during the course of a felony, whether accidental or intentional equals first degree murder. The felony murder rule operates in direct opposition to the fundamental principle of criminal law that liability ought to reflect culpability. In states with a death penalty felony murderers are eligible for the death penalty.
Many commentators criticize the felony murder rule and some believe that it use should be abolished in the United States. Sophophone,1 6 where Sophophone and three others broke in to a house during the night. One of the co-felons, Somphone Sysoumphone, was caught by another police officer and ordered to lie face down on the ground in order that he may be Justification of strict liability cuffed.
The officer returned fire and killed him.
Should Sophophone be tried and possibly convicted under the theory of felony murder? The answer lies in whether the state that tries him adopts the agency approach to felony murder or the proximate cause theory of felony murder, both of which will be discussed in this article.
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Some felony murder statutes employ language that makes clear whether it was the intent of the legislature to apply the agency approach or the proximate cause approach.
In at least one state the plain wording of the felony murder rule was written in such a way that favored a proximate cause interpretation. However, the state Supreme Court gave it an agency interpretation.
Part V of this article will examine that ruling. The problem with the agency approach, as will be seen in this article is that it does not recognize that the death of the co-felon as the taking of a life that has value.
This article will examine the felony murder causation liability issue by analyzing the differences between the agency approach to felony murder and the proximate cause approach. The article concludes by proposing that states might wish to choose to amend their felony murder statutes in an effort to effectuate the proximate cause theory of liability.
Such calibration would better serve to deter felons who might kill while also reaffirming the sanctity of human life, even the life of co-felons who may be killed.
This was done, in part, to limit the use of the death penalty. Inthat state enacted a murder grading statute which divided murder into first degree capital murder and second degree murder.
Instead the statute identified participation in certain felonies as a grading element that aggravated murder liability. The statute prescribed that: All murder, which shall be perpetrated by means of poison, or by laying in wait, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate and premeditated killing, or which shall be committed in the perpetration or attempt to perpetrate any arson, rape, robbery, or burglary, shall be deemed murder in the first degree emphasis added ; and all other kinds of murder shall be murder in the second degree.
In other words there could be proportional punishment dependent upon the circumstances for the crime. The Pennsylvania statute was enormously influential, shaping homicide reform statutes in two thirds of the states during the nineteenth century. In a statute enacted in New Jersey included within murder killing A in committing, or attempting to commit, sodomy, rape, arson, robbery, or burglary, or any unlawful act against the peace of this state, of which the probable consequence may be bloodshed… 4 1 During that same year New York passed the strictest of the new felony murder rule statutes.
Their statute defined murder as killing Awithout any design to effect death, by a person engaged in the commission of any felony. Throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty first century we continue to see American states defining felony murder in the same ways. Although we know that the states have defined felony murder by statute in various ways since the Independence of the United States, little attention has been given to how or why various states apply criminal liability in cases involving felony murder.
The next section will examine the agency approach to felony murder and the proximate cause approach to felony murder. What if a bystander or a victim commits the killing during the course of the felony?minor protection: this site is labelled with safesurf content classification.
software which will block this site from access by minors may be obtained here: netnannysafesurf content classification. software which will block this site from access by minors may be obtained here: netnanny. When is Strict Criminal Liability Just Kenneth W.
Simons Follow this and additional works at:lausannecongress2018.com ism could condemn strict liability in criminalizing but permit justification of strict liability in grading on nonretributive grounds.
STRICT CRIMINAL LIABILITY serious and a more serious problem. Justification for strict liability: Strict liability deals with issues of social concern, covering any activity which is ‘a potential danger to public health safety and morals.’. MBE Information. The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) is a six-hour, multiple-choice-question exam, testing six areas of law..
The six areas are: Contracts, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts. Contracts and Torts are slightly more important, with 34 questions each.
Mar 20, · This page last updated on March 20, Content Manager: [email protected] Technical Issues: E-mail OER Webmaster. Extract from “The Justification of Strict Liability Offences” D.4 A core argument in favour of the use of strict liability offences is that it improves deterrence, and this would be weakened if, in addition to proving the facts of the offence, the prosecution had to prove there was intention or.