You can read this entire chapter in its original single-page scroll on the comic’s old Tumblr site here.
And another possible problem with felony murder: if my information is correct, then supposedly a defendent charged with felony murder, such as the hypothetical defendents in this case, cannot actually dispute or make a defense against the charge of felony murder itself, only the charge that felony murder sprang from (which in this case might be the robbery). This is in contrast to committing an actual run-of-the-mill murder where the defendent can give defenses to the murder charge. Unjust.
That’s not correct. You can raise a defense against the charge of felony murder itself.
Assuming with, to start, “I didn’t know he had a gun! “
So the guard who actually shot the baby has no responsibility at all? Seems weird.
Not really. A) He wouldn’t have shot anyone if they hadn’t tried to rob the bank, and B) he was acting in self-defense, which is a defense to whatever crimes he committed while doing it.
Could one argue he had some degree of mens rea, closer to the negligent end of the scale? And therefore could be charged with a (lesser) crime?
Does the defence of ‘self-defence’ apply to the situation globally, or specifically to harm that you inflict on your attacker? Surely it couldn’t be the former. If someone standing in a crowd pointed a gun at me, could I lob a hand-grenade at them in self-defence and avoid being convicted for the other 10 people I killed incidentally?
No, probably for the same reason that killing a chihuahua with an elephant gun is still considered cruelty. Instant death, no suffering, but completely and unnecessarily over the top.
Also, hand-grenades are not legal to own by private citizens.
Except that there’s no negligence here. The guard didn’t act negligently, he acted deliberately. Again, the guard wasn’t just waving a gun around and it went off, he was acting in defense of himself and others.
As for defense with hand grenades, I guess that would depend on how the jury sees proportionality. If I had to guess, though, it’s probably legal to defend yourself against a deadly attack with hand grenades. The person attacking you is utimately responsible for the harm caused to others.
Count on the bank being sued however. That is why private citizens with concealed weapon permits are sometimes told to ask themselves if they are willing to lose their life’s savings before pulling the trigger. If it really is life or death, it is an easy answer. If it isn’t an easy answer, you would probably be better off handing over your wallet or letting the strangers get shot.
Just a question: In states where you are held liable for crimes committed by accomplices as part of a conspiracy, does that mean that even if I didn’t know the dude had brought a gun to the bank and he ended up murdering someone, I would also be held liable for murder?
If you have to ask that question, you already have a problem, and the rest of us don’t want to be seen to be associated with you. :-)