In many jurisdictions, if anyone is killed during the commission of a felony that involved a firearm, that death counts as first degree murder and is laid at the feet of the perpetrator of the original crime.
At one level, I understand and agree with it. If you commit an armed robbery and actually start shooting, anyone and everyone you kill, whether uncooperative clerks, bystanders, hostages, police, even accomplices should be considered victims of murder.
But how do we justify charging a person with murder when they never touched the gun that killed the person(s) who died?
Full disclosure: this is an anti-cop rant. I think this law is being used to get cops off the hook for crimes that (if committed by anyone other than a cop) would be classified as reckless, negligent homicide showing a callous disregard for the consequences of their actions.
Case in point:
Synopsis: Police open fire on a guy who seems to be pulling a gun. They hit him 5 times but don’t manage to kill him. However, one of the bystanders in the background is hit once and dies from her wounds. The guy they intended to shoot is charged with her murder.
I’ve only provided one example here, but this is not an isolated incident.
TL;DR I think this law enables trigger happy cops by pinning the blame for their collateral killings on someone they’ve already identified as a “bad guy.”