Felony Murder Vs Premeditated Murder

Discussion in 'Caylee Anthony 2 years old' started by RR0004, Nov 30, 2009.

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  1. RR0004

    RR0004 New Member

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    Have you had a chance to view our many Felony Murder debates?
     
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  3. marspiter

    marspiter Blah Blah Blah

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    Mr. Hornsby,

    Speaking of Felony Murder, is the Death Penalty available for 1st degree felony murder in Florida.

    The Bureau of Justice Statistics (US Dept of Justice) has Florida listed as having the death penalty for 1st degree felony murder.

    I notice the Florida Supreme Court defines First Degree Felony Murder as Fla. Statute 782.04 (1)
    http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/j...uctions.shtml#


    Statute 782.04(1) is murder in the first degree and constitutes a capital felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082.
     
  4. rhornsby

    rhornsby Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer

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    Yes it is, although I do not believe the State is proceeding on a Felony Murder Basis; rather the Grand Jury specifically indicted her on a Premeditated Murder Basis.

    Actually that has me thinking, under Florida law, the prosecution can not amend the indictment - so they are stuck pursuing the Premeditated First Degree Murder, even though a Felony Murder prosecution would be more readily obtainable.

    The only way to amend the Indictment would be to reconvene the Grand Jury, which I doubt they would want to do at this point.

    Hmmm, very interesting...
     
  5. impatientredhead

    impatientredhead New Member

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    1.Under Knight v. State, 338 So.2d 201 (Fla. 1976), felony murder is included within a single indictment count of premeditated murder. Therefore, first degree felony murder should be given if requested by the state and if supported by the evidence, although it is not a lesser included offense.
     
  6. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    Reseeva, for clarity, the following is what I post on the intial Q&A thread.

    [REPOST]

    "It's true that people certainly can and do commit premeditated murders without having a well thought out disposal plan or any disposal plan whatsover.

    However, in this case the fact is that someone did attempt to dispose of Caylee's body. Moreover, I think we can agree that their disposal method demonstrates a lack of forethought.

    Pay attention to the theory the prosecution will eventually offer to the jury -- I suspect it will take place in their final closing argument (rebuttal) to the jury. If the SA comes to claim that Casey had been planning to murder Caylee over the course of days, weeks or months (not a spur of the moment murder), then it is entirely reasonable to believe that Casey had the time to devise a far better disposal plan than simply placing Caylee's body inside bags and laying it on the top of the ground near the house days after the alleged premeditated murder.

    As things now stand, the way Caylee's body was allegedly disposed of by Casey and the apparant timing of that disposal -- she drove around with the dead body in her trunk for days -- does not suggest that this disposal was part of a thought out and considered murder plot. Rather, the manner and the timing of the disposal work against the notion that such was the case."

    [END OF REPOST]

    I don't know to what extent or when prosecutors will lay out their theory to the jury -- I suspect we will first hear it in their rebuttal closing argument. However, if they were to claim that premeditation was formed in an instant (or close to an instant), what evidence in the public domain would prove this beyond a reasonable doubt?

    (Amongst other things, consider that the evidence in the public domain lacks: an eyewitness, a confession, a cause of death, an instrument of death, a crime scene, as well as not knowing the circumstances of Caylee's death.)
     
  7. marspiter

    marspiter Blah Blah Blah

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    Doh impatientredhead beat me to it.

    Knight v. State, 338 So.2d 201 (Fla. 1976)

    BTW thank you for clearing up the Death Penalty and Felony Murder. That was debated sometime ago and if it was available. Thanks for clearing that up for us here.
     
  8. rhornsby

    rhornsby Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer

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    Well there goes that theory, I looked up your case and it appears the Florida Supreme Court upheld it as recently as last year. See Deparvine v. State, 995 So. 2d 351 (Fla. 2008).

    Thanks.
     
  9. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    (chuckle)

    I've been waiting for the day when someone of prominence would suggest this.


    (Say it ain't so Joe.)
     
  10. impatientredhead

    impatientredhead New Member

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    As many times as it has been debated and the number of people I have annoyed arguing my point I keep that one handy ;)
     
  11. marspiter

    marspiter Blah Blah Blah

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    Wudge, here is a conversation I believe is note worthy. Given that you asked for links to prove the DP was available for Felony Murder. I believe this conversation clears up that particular topic. As well as showing that the indictment would not have to be altered.

    HTH
     
  12. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    I think by virtue of the fact that Felony murder is not a lesser charge to premed murder, (and by definition) the same penalty has to be available.
     
  13. marspiter

    marspiter Blah Blah Blah

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    It was however argued that the DP was not available as a fact with out supporting citation if I recall.

    The rebuttal was that it was available and that rebuttal was supported by citation. That citation was disregarded and proof directly from Florida was request. As the Dept of Justice info was said to not be accurate.

    I believe RHornsby statements pretty much set that topic straight.
     
  14. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    I've held the evidence that we know of in this case to be incongruent with simultaneous charges of both felony murder and premeditated murder. Moreover, with 'Knight' as the controlling case law, I've also held that if prosecutors were to motion Judge Strickland to amend the charges prior to his instructing the jury so as to add felony murder, that it would have been his decision on whether the evidence supported a felony murder charge or, perhaps, a felony manslaughter charge -- felony murder in Florida is based on proximate cause not agency theory.

    Moreover, I'm anything but a fan of last minute ambush charges, so I certainly would have no problem with Mr. Hornsby's post that reads: "Actually that has me thinking, under Florida law, the prosecution can not amend the indictment - so they are stuck pursuing the Premeditated First Degree Murder, even though a Felony Murder prosecution would be more readily obtainable."

    The only way to amend the Indictment would be to reconvene the Grand Jury, which I doubt they would want to do at this point."
     
  15. marspiter

    marspiter Blah Blah Blah

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    However if you notice (you seemed to skip this part) once Mr. Hornsby was aware of Knight he did change his position on the change of the indictment issue. That case was also upheld as recently as last year by the case he posted. That and with the charge of aggravated child abuse on the indictment the prosecution can ask for felony murder. I don't see it happening but the point of the matter is they can if they so choose. The debate is not if they will or not. That's open to opinion.

    The point is they could if the prosecution sees fit to do so.

    I would like to point out that the DP is available for Felony Murder btw. I noticed you didn't address that part of the post.
     
  16. impatientredhead

    impatientredhead New Member

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    Just tossing a couple more:

    bbm
    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=Ch0782/SEC04.HTM

    [SIZE=-1]782.04 Murder.-- [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1](1)(a) The unlawful killing of a human being: [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]1. When perpetrated from a premeditated design to effect the death of the person killed or any human being; [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]2. When committed by a person engaged in the perpetration of, or in the attempt to perpetrate, any: [/SIZE]

    <snipped list of qualified felonies)[SIZE=-1]

    s murder in the first degree and constitutes a capital felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1](b) In all cases under this section, the procedure set forth in s. 921.141 shall be followed in order to determine sentence of death or life imprisonment. [/SIZE]

    note- indictment is for 782.04(1)(a) which as provided in earlier posts includes a felony murder charge which would be 782.04(2)(h) in Casey's situation. Both share the same penalty.
     
  17. BeanE

    BeanE Inactive

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    You seem to have missed what the treat of a young grasshopper said here: [ame="http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4504588&postcount=21"]Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community - View Single Post - Legal Q&A for Rhornsby #2[/ame]
     
  18. Soju

    Soju New Member

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  19. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    I have no problem with 'Knight' controlling the possible addition of a felony murder or, perhaps, a felony manslughter charge prior to the jury being instructed on the charges. I do still hold that the evidence that we know of would not permit the simultaneous existence of both a premeditated murder charge and a felony murder charge in this case.

    As regards the current availability in Florida of the death penalty for a felony murder conviction, my problem remains that I cannot find a 2009 Florida statute that provides for the death penalty for felony murder. Though I saw what Mr. Hornsby posted and might normally defer to his state knowledge out of courtesy, I remain in search of clear authority that makes the death penalty currently available.

    Mr. Hornsby, I plead for your citation?

    (chuckle)
     
  20. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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  21. impatientredhead

    impatientredhead New Member

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    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=Ch0782/SEC04.HTM

    2009 statutes, official site....

    I personally would go with "I think the way Florida handles their capital murder cases is a travesty and inherently unfair to the defendant" rather than sticking with they can't pursue premeditated and felony.

    They can, they do, and the jury does not have to agree as long as they all think she killed her. Of course aggravated manslaughter falls under the lesser charges in this case so technically you could see that come back, but I would hold my breath personally.
     
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