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Chapter 6

CRM/LAW C144 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Statutory Interpretation, False Imprisonment, Quackery

Criminology, Law and Society
Course Code
James Meeker

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The Felony Murder Rule
Regina v. Serne (OFFICE HOURS)
Defendant indicted for the murder of a boy, his son
Alleged they willfully set fire to a house and shop, this act has caused the death of the boy
Prior to the re, the defendant had insured the life of the boy, and other if his belonging
On the 17th of that month, the house was burnt down. Set fire to house in three or four different
Two boys unable to escape, not deceased
Two prisoners were indicted for the willful murder of the young boy
Two meanings to malice aforethought
oThe killing of another person by an act done with an intent to commit a felony
oAn act done with the knowledge that the act will probably cause the death of some person
oPrisoners killed this boy either by an act done to commit a felony. That is, burning the house
to cheat the insurance policy (intent was to cheat insurance policy)
oConduct by which their knowledge was likely to cause the death and was therefore dangerous
in itself
Either case, prisoners are guilty of willful murder
His definition: Murder is any act known to be dangerous to life and likely in itself to cause death done
for the purpose of a felony which causes death should be murder,
You must take the consequences if you go further than what you intended to do when you began
Any person would have known that he arranged for things in which he was placing people at risk
It does not matter if he hope that people would survive
If they set fire to the house when the family were in it, and if the boys died as a direct result of this act,
they are guilty of murder (just as guilty as if they were to stab them himself)
Any act that is known to be dangerous and likely to cause death, if done for the purpose of committing
a felony which causes death, amounts to murder. (rule of law)
People v. Stamp
Defendant burglarized and robbed victim at gun point
Shortly after the defendant began to feel chest pains and died of a heart attack
Doctor testified he did he was not in good condition
oObsese, did not take care of his heart, under a great deal of pressure due to competition of his
Fright induced by the robbery was too much of a shock
Defendants conviction of first degree murder was upheld
Felony murder act is not limited to deaths that are foreseeable
A felon is strictly liable for all killings committed by him or his accomplices in the course of the
felony? (Then why wasn’t a verdict of guild delivered in the first case????)
As long a homicide is a direct casual result of the robbery
As long as victims prior condition is the only substantial effect for the death
King v. Commonwealth
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