CrimProf Blog

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

Monday, October 26, 2015

Lee on Vagueness and California's Second-Degree Felony-Murder Rule

Lee-evanEvan Tsen Lee (University of California Hastings College of the Law) has posted Why California's Second-Degree Felony-Murder Rule Is Now Void for Vagueness (Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

For years, justices on the California Supreme Court (CSC) have engaged in public soul-searching about whether to overrule the state’s second-degree felony-murder doctrine. Now there is a powerful external reason for the CSC to revisit the question: The United States Supreme Court (USSC) has just struck down the so-called “residual clause” of the federal three-strikes statute as unconstitutionally vague. Although the immediate intuition of experienced judges and lawyers will be to deny that this decision has any application to the felony-murder rule, this Article will show that, from the standpoint of vagueness, the two provisions are materially indistinguishable.

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