Blake Layman made a very bad decision when he was 16. That decision set off a series of circumstances that culminated with his arrest and conviction for felony murder. But Blake didn’t kill anyone. He broke into a house unarmed. The homeowner, who was armed, shot at him and his friend. His friend was killed. By Indiana’s Felony Murder Rule, Blake is now officially a murderer.
The felony murder rule, which comes from all the way back in old English law, treats people who are guilty of lesser crimes as murderers if they are with murderers when a murder occurs during the commission of a felony.
Almost every state in the United States has a felony murder rule, even though there are strong legal arguments to be made that it is probably unconstitutional. Critics also believe that the felony murder rule is contrary to the fundamental principle in our legal system that separates the criminals from their culpable mindset. In other words, the rule sets the same amount of blame to someone without the intent to kill as to someone who has a premeditated intent to kill.
Join Dick & Jill at the quiet end as we look at cases where the felony murder rule was applied and discuss the fairness and constitutionality of this law.
Felony IPA is reviewed of course
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