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Felony Murder Rule

July 11, 2014

The Felony Murder Rule is a medieval law. The judge in my case gave an example to the court: If I had been waiting outside a bank in a horse-drawn carriage while a partner of mine was robbing a bank, and he kills someone, I’m guilty of murder, because I was the getaway driver. Though no murder was planned, someone died in the process of a felony.

In my case, the underlying fact is that a locked door was open so a felony of 2nd degree burglary was committed and though the death of the individual was completely unintentional ( and unbeknownst to me until the next day), I am guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to 25 to life.

My case was on the news and internet and it’s probably still out there if you want more details. (My full name is Sean M. Couch.)

There was a co-defendant in the case. He testified against me and was offered a deal that totaled 17 years. He was a career criminal with a record of burglaries and robberies. At the beginning of the trial (going back to the horse-drawn carriage), the judge and DA insisted both defendants be on the hook, but they let him off. He made himself out to be a victim, manipulated by me, the 21 year old guy with no record. It was a messed up situation all the way around. I didn’t know the man was dead, and I feel real bad about it. I have since the first day. I wish I could take it back for the sake of all parties involved. But I can’t. However, I don’t think I deserve 25 to life, and I don’t think the Felony Murder Rule is justice at all.

The organization, change.org, has several petitions to abolish the Murder Felony Rule. Show your support for this change by signing one or all of them. Thanks.

Legal definition: Felony murder is usually considered first-degree murder. Felony murder does not require specific intent to kill, and an accessory to the felony may also be charged with the murder.

Some history can be found at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felony_murder_rule

Petition to End Felony Murder Rule: http://www.change.org/petitions/president-obama-and-governors-of-46-states-where-felony-murder-rule-applies-end-the-felony-murder-rule

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