Friday, 28 June 2013

The USA's Felony Murder Rule: When Lawful Prosecution Becomes Legal Persecution

Bernadette Beanes - Felony Murder Rule Victim

As JENGbA has grown in strength and knowledge about the cruel, perverse application of Joint Enterprise in the English & Welsh criminal courts, we have discovered examples of this abusive legal principle in other countries.  Sometimes it is called "Joint Criminal Enterprise" as in Australia, and other times it appears in similar form, such as the Texan "Law of Parties" where this US state kills prisoners who have been convicted by association for the actions of another person.  The same process applies, whether it is in the Old Bailey, London or the International Criminal Court in the Hague - Individual Responsibility is extended into Collective Liability for the crimes of others.  This is not sophisticated justice; it is alien in many established, respected legal systems and runs counter to Blackstone's Formulation.  Collective Liability has a long history of abuse and control - from the mass killing of Roman slaves in a household when one caused the death of a Master, through the Albigensian indiscriminate massacres where "God will know His own", through the collateral civilian casualties of wars and conflicts, to the death chambers of American prisons.

One particularly harrowing and bizarre use of Collective Liability is the case of Bernadette Beanes in Arizona, USA.  She has been charged with the murder of a man who she is alleged to have assisted, resulting in his kidnapping several people.  When officers tried to arrest him, he apparently killed himself with his own firearm.  But no, the prosecutors don't call shooting yourself "Suicide".  Since his death occurred as a result of other crimes laid against Bernadette, she can be held liable for his MURDER under the contentious concept called the Felony Murder Rule.

Is this really "justice"? It seems more like the triumphant twisting of the knife by a predatory prosecution which has departed from what most sane observers would agree as the Rule of Law - fairness, proportionality, holding an individual to account for her own actions rather than extending blame for what is at most a self-inflicted fatal injury by the man she allegedly aided.

You can read about Bernadette's case HERE.