Could The Lee Case Be The First Felony-Murder Case Linked To The Protests? – JONATHAN TURLEY

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Many states require that the predicate felony (here arson) need to be different from the death. Accordingly, the felony murder rule eliminates the need for a finding of premeditation.”.
” There is an unintended murder and a desired felony. The malice which plays a part in the commission of the felony is moved by the law to the murder. As a result of the imaginary transfer, the murder is deemed committed with malice; and a murder with malice is, by meaning, common-law murder.”.

ATF private investigators apparently recognized Lee from a video sent by an anonymous source revealing a masked man pouring liquid from a metal container throughout the pawn shop. A 2nd video shows Lee standing in front of the burning pawn store stating “Were going to burn this put.”
The question is whether the found might lead the Justice Department to bring the very first felony-murder charge linked to the protests and rioting.
Lee is already charged with federal arson, a crime that is listed as a predicate under the felony murder arrangement in 18 U.S.C. 1111( a):.
( a) Murder is the illegal killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Every murder committed by toxin, lying in wait, or any other type of willful, purposeful, harmful, and premeditated killing; or dedicated in the perpetration of, or effort to commit, any arson, escape, murder, kidnapping, treason, espionage, sabotage, worsened sexual abuse or sexual abuse, kid abuse, robbery, or burglary; or committed as part of a pattern or practice of attack or torture versus a kid or children; or committed from a premeditated style unlawfully and maliciously to effect the death of any human being other than him who is eliminated, is murder in the first degree.
Many states require that the predicate felony (here arson) must be different from the death. Accordingly, the felony murder rule removes the requirement for a finding of premeditation.”.
Thus, as noted by the Tenth Circuit in United States v. Pearson, 159 F. 3d 480, 485 (10th Cir. 1998):.
” There is a desired felony and an unexpected murder. The malice which plays a part in the commission of the felony is moved by the law to the homicide. As an outcome of the imaginary transfer, the murder is considered committed with malice; and a homicide with malice is, by definition, common-law murder.”.
The police report plainly suggests that the authorities think that this victim passed away as an outcome of the arson.
If he is now hit with a superseding indictment for felony murder, Lee could face the death sentence. The Supreme Court in Enmund v. Florida, 458 U. S. 782 (1982 ), reversed the death sentence of an accused convicted under Floridas felony murder guideline who was a getaway guy. The Court found a broad social consensus that the death sentence was disproportional to the criminal offense of robbery-felony murder “in these situations.” Id. at 458 U. S. 788. The Court ruled 5 years later in Tison v. Arizona, 481 U.S. 137 (1987 ), that felony murder was a legal charge if the defendant was a major individual in the underlying felony and acted with “negligent indifference to human life.” (Tison v. Arizona, 481 U.S. 137 (1987 ).
In this case, Lee could be charged with such reckless indifference in torching the pawn shop and after that celebrating as it burned.
The death might still be caused by the arson.
Much will depend on the investigation and the autopsy. If the thermal injuries were the cause of death, district attorneys would likely check out the superseding indictment on felony murder.
This material was originally released here.