Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Next Step For Florida After Trayvon Martin Is For A Black Teenager To Be Wrongfully Convicted Of Felony Murder And For People To Actually Notice

Florida is a horrible state with horrible laws. The self-defense and gun laws have gotten a lot of attention lately because of George Zimmerman and his killing of Trayvon Martin, but in the other direction, Florida's felony murder rules are also horrible.

In simple terms, felony murder is when somebody who directly killed nobody is convicted of murder because a death resulted from a crime they were involved in. In the United States, this kind of thing is generally left up to state law, so felony murder laws vary wildly by state. Some felony murder laws make sense. For example, if two people kidnap a child and holds the child for ransom, and one of them murders the child because the ransom is not met, it makes sense to punish both kidnappers for murder.

However, Florida's felony murder rules are so insane that people can be convicted of murder and sent to prison for decades for ridiculous reasons. For example, with a really broad felony murder law, a person can be convicted for murder if they punch a friend at a bar in the stomach, the person wanders out of the bar, and a piano falls on the person and kills them. This is bad!

So I guess the next step for Florida, if it plans to keep this thing going, is for a black teenager to be convicted of felony murder for something absurd like standing near a bank while it's being robbed and making eye contact with a robber-murderer, and then for America to somehow notice this case and be outraged by it.