Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Kent Scheidegger at Crime & Consequences weighs in on one of the Court's cert grants from Monday:
The drug crimes and bank robbery that Fowler committed and conspired to commit prior to the killing are offenses under both state and federal law, so Officer Horner's report might or might not have been forwarded to federal authorities. It is most unlikely that Fowler was pondering issues of federalism when he shot Officer Horner. The evidence makes clear that he did commit the killing to prevent a report of his crimes and that it was possible (whether he knew it or not) that the report would go to federal authorities. Is that sufficient evidence to support a verdict of guilt in this case? . . .
I do not know the answer to the legal question. As a matter of policy, I do not see any justification for charging this as a federal case.