CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Wildfires and Felony Murder

The A.P. story can be found at Yahoo.com. It addresses the decision to charge the arsonist who started a wildfire with murder in several deaths by heart attack. Robert Weisberg (Stanford Law School) is quoted as saying that " the judge could conceivably say I'm not even going to give this to the jury ... because it's too hard to say the fire actually caused the deaths."
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Comments

I see no problem as long as the promimate cause of the fires was the death of these people. What's the difference between pointing a gun at someone with heart problems during a robbery that subsequently dies and intentionally starting a fire that causes death. Would it make any difference if the men were killed by fire? Either felony murder is the law or it's not. That's a legislative choice.

Posted by: Casey OBrien | Oct 23, 2009 2:07:13 PM

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