Wait, why would the bomb have been a felony and thus he be up on charges of felony murder, with or without the depravity?
He’s not charged with felony murder, he’s charged with first degree murder accordingly to the statute for this crime. Go back some pages and you can read them.
My understanding is that he *could* be charged with felony murder, but since he could *also* be charged with first degree murder (and it could be just as easily proven), the prosecutor will generally choose to press the greater charge.
You’re totally right that he would be open to felony murder as well, though. I’m assuming he couldn’t be charged with /both/ for the same incident.
That’s something I’d like to hear about, actually. I would assume that that’s the kind of thing double jeopardy covers, but you do often see people being charged with multiple things from the same crime, so I’m not completely sure.
Wikipedia (because I’m not a lawyer) defines a “lesser included crime” as “a crime for which all of the elements necessary to impose liability are also elements found in a more serious crime.” In other words, it’s impossible to commit the crime of Murder 1 without an act which could also be described as Murder 2.
This allows the state to make the maximum argument – “Chuck was trying to disrupt the government because he’s a terrorist” – but if the jury accepts Chuck’s defense team’s argument that “his personal political views aren’t relevant, he’s just a chemist with inadequate lab space” – they can still hold Chuck responsible for the deaths as Murder 2 or Manslaughter 2. (I can’t quite see it as Man 1 in Fremont.) Without the lesser included charge, if the jury found Chuck reckless but not political, they’d have to let him go.
The jury can’t say it’s Murder 1 AND Murder 2 – they have to pick one. As I understand it, there’s your double jeopardy.
I find it kind of hard to think of this as depraved, however. He took cautions, perhaps inadequate but cautions nonetheless, to prevent the loss of life. As some commentators have discussed prior, the law does not as it stands make a distinction between sabotage and terrorism, but Chuck is clearly guilty of the former, not the latter.
The specific way the statute in this state is written it matches first degree to a tee.
Not to mention, regardless of taking precautions to not kill anybody, planting a bomb in the middle of state building to go off in the middle of the night is decidedly unsafe. Even not intending too, you’re near guaranteed to hurt somebody seriously. Thats the nature of surprise explosives.
Think of the sysadmins!
Or janitors, or state legislators who fell asleep in their office working late, or their staffers…. plenty of people he recklessly didn’t take into account.
I suppose you could argue that disrupting the working of the state government by destroying the capitol building could count as sabotage, but nobody is going to buy that he didn’t want to “scare them straight” as well.
You also have destruction of public property, for breaking the Mens-Rea-O-Meter.
How do we know it’s public property? I thought it was some desk toy at a private law firm.