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Murder Charge for Teens in Accomplice’s Death

The Injustice of the Felony-Murder Rule

The Lake County State’s Attorney is charging five teens with murder when another of their number took a bullet in the head during a failed robbery in Chicago’s northern suburbs. A homeowner fired the shot that killed the 14-year-old on August 13th but Michael Nerim says said the crime fits a statute that holds perps accountable for foreseeable outcomes in the commission of forcible felonies.

Nerim’s office has yet to determine whether the 75-year-old man who began shooting when he saw one of the Chicago gang brandishing a knife after he found them trying to steal his car in the village of Old Mill Creek will also be charged. The licensed gun owner struck Jaquan Swopes, who later died. Critics claim Nerim’s interpretation of proximate cause is too broad.