As I write this, a Broward jury is deciding the fate of a young man charged with a serious crime.
On September 10, 2007, a victim fought back and killed a 17-year-old who was trying to rob his store. The man who is on trial for murder is the deceased robber's alleged accomplice.
The accused in this case, did not pull the trigger and kill the deceased. However, the jury is deciding whether he is guilty of felony murder.
As the case goes to the jury, you may be wondering, "How can somebody who factually didn't kill anybody be criminally responsible for the death of another?"
Florida's felony murder rule states that an accomplice to a felony can be held accountable for the death of his or her co-defendant should the co-defendant die during the course of the felony. Even if somebody else shoots and kills the co-defendant.
In this instance, the accused is charged with armed robbery, as the underlying felony, and felony murder.
The jury must decide whether the accused was actually the person who committed the armed robbery, and if so, whether his involvement and his alleged conduct rises to the level of felony murder.
It seems unfair, but it is the law in Florida.
It is not known at this time whether the jury has returned a verdict. The Sun Sentinel's website will likely post any verdict news.