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People v. Gladman

People v. Gladman

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Published by crlstinaaa
People v. Gladman

Hofstra Law School, Prof. Burke
Fall 2008

Criminal Law: Cases and Materials, Kaplan, Weisberg, Binder, 6th Edition.
People v. Gladman

Hofstra Law School, Prof. Burke
Fall 2008

Criminal Law: Cases and Materials, Kaplan, Weisberg, Binder, 6th Edition.

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Published by: crlstinaaa on Jan 12, 2009
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10/24/2013

 
Causal Limitations
Case:
 
 People v. Gladman
, 41 N.Y.2d 124 (1976) [pp. 432-436, n. 3] Facts: Δ robbed a deli, and walked through the neighborhood to a bowling alley. Police were notified of therobbery, and when the Δ saw an officer, he hid under a parked car. When the officer approached the car, the Δgot out and shot the officer, killing him. The issue was whether the murder happened during the escape of afelony, in order to apply the felony-murder rule. Holding: Court says question for the jury if the question of whether the Δ was in immediate flight from thefelony if it is not clear. Jury should take the circumstances into consideration - interval of time between felony& the murder, whether Δ had the fruits of the felony in possession, whether Δ was in close pursuit by police or others, & whether Δ had reached a place of temporary safety. No single factor is controlling, and list is notexclusive.
Court holds that the jury could properly find, with these facts, that the Δ was in immediate flight - Δ hascash & was trying to get away, he hadn't reached a place of safety yet, and police were looking for him.Doesn’t matter that the officer may not have known Δ was there or that he was the felon, all that mattersis that Δ believed it.
Court here doesn’t lay down rigid standards to determine the duration of the felony - they wantflexibility; depends on the circumstances.
Class Notes
 
Court's standard on whether or not this was felony murder:
The scope of the felony event - Concept of time and proximity of death to the felony - can't be too far away
o
Court says Δ must have been in immediate flight from the felony - jury will decide (standard- based)
Facts relevant to determine whether Δ was in immediate flight: (jury question)
Location - how far away they got
Time - how much time has lapsed? 10 min vs 3 hours
Still holding onto fruits of crime
Whether police were chasing them the whole time
Whether or not Δ had reached a temporary safe place (not immediate flight)
o
Court eludes to 2 previous standards:
Had to be still in the felony - felony had to be continuous
Ex: if they drop the loot, the felony is over, they're only trying to escape - nofelony murder. If they're still carrying the loot, then felony still in progress.
Res gestae theory - Things done - no felony murder if killing occurred after Δ hadreached a safe place
this is a RULE - it's determinative; This one factor is all that mattered - if this met,then no felony murder 
The felony could be over; but as long as felon didn’t reach safety, still felonymurder  
 _______________________________ 
 
Notes
: [p. 435-436 n.3] 
Immediate Flight
 
o
 Franks v. State
(1981) - Δ robbed a market & escaped. Minutes later, he was stopped for speeding, and the Δ assaulted and fired a shot at the officer, who was unaware of the robbery. Δtook off again, speeding, and struck a car, killing a child passenger. Court held felony-murder doesn’t apply, because no causal nexus between the robbery or the assault, and the death. May betoo generous?
o
State v. Colenburg 
(1989) - Δ had received a stolen car, & tampered with its VIN #. Sevenmonths later, he fatally struck a child with the car. Court applied felony-murder rule, becausethey said at the time of the accident, the Δ was still driving the car without the owner's consent.
The "purposive scope" of the felony (as opposed to focusing on time period)
o
Stouffer v. State
(1997) - Δ & accomplices decides to attack an police informant to scare him.They kidnap him, and stab & beat him, then leave him on the side of the road, where heeventually dies. Court holds no felony murder. Court says the intent is very important to look at.If the intent is of the felony, then felony-murder applies. But if the intent is that of the mens reaof homicide, then it is not (the intent was to kill, so it's murder). The intent was not to kidnap thevictim, but actually to inflict serious bodily harm in a reckless and dangerous manner withindifference to the consequences.
More about from the Δ's perspective, the Δ's reason for committing the felony - is thatover or not?
 ____________________________________________________________________________________ 
 Dangerous Felony Limitations
Notes
: [pp. 439-442] 
Predicate felonies - legislatures may enumerate or just say "dangerous" felonies. Certain felonies are soinherently dangerous that death is a legally foreseeable result, but others are not.
o
Some statutes enumerate which felonies count (arson, robbery, kidnapping, etc.); some willinstead require, or in addition to that, that it's dangerous felonies.
What does it mean for a felony to be dangerous?
o
Some jurisdictions look at the dangerousness in the commission
Very few jurisdictions look at it in the commission
o
Some jurisdictions look at the dangerousness in the abstract
Most states look at dangerousness in the abstract - look at the statutory charge, not the predicate felony
Ask whether the statutory elements themselves and see if that's dangerous
How to determine which felonies?
o
Danger in the abstract - Considering the least dangerous means of committing a statutory offensein the abstract
 People v. Patterson
(1989) - Δ and friends were doing drugs (cocaine), and one of thegirls dies from cocaine intoxication (she had been using it daily for months prior).
A felony is inherently dangerous to life when there is a high probability that itscommission will result in death. Court looks at the inherent dangerousness of furnishing cocaine (the felony), and in doing so, considers the elements of thefelony in the abstract. This is for the jury to decide.
The reasoning on why the court would look at it in the abstract (as opposed to thespecific instance of the case at hand) - because every case that the court willconsider, there was a killing. That fact may lead to the conclusion that it'sinherently dangerous - this broad application may be unfair then. So it must first be decided, in the abstract, if its inherently dangerous, then to determine whether to apply the felony-murder rule.
Court says the question to ask is whether the felony was dangerous in the abstract,and not taking a look at the specific facts of this case.

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