I have an old friend that used to ask the craziest legal question. His name is Milo (if he evers reads this one, i dedicate it to him). This question is a Milo question.
I am at a bar on my second beer. While I am not looking someone drops eight tabs of acid/pcp in my beer. I finish the beer. After I finish the beer I start to hallucinate that I am a wizard and that all of the other patrons of the bar are dragons that must be slayed. I take a steak off off the bar from the guy sitting on the other side of me, who was eating his steak and subsequently kill 8 people in the bar.
Am I guilty of any crime?
Maybe maybe not. Voluntary intoxication is never a defense at trial, but involuntary intoxication is always a valid defense at trial. The beer was voluntary, but the pcp was involuntary. How does that change the level of culpability.
In a self defense case, you can assert that the amount of force that you used was too great for the amount of defense was needed and be guilty of voluntary manslaughter as opposed to murder. Is this case analogous?
I am unsure of the answer, but I think that if you can show that after 2 beers you would not have killed anyone, and you can prove that someone dropped the pcp in your beer without you knowing, then you are not guilty of all charges.
Wait a minute! All of the dead people want someone to go to jail for their killings. How can you get off after killing 8 people?
The person who put the tabs in the beer may be guilty of felony murder. In the common law, any felony that resulted in murder always qualified for felony murder. In PA, the crimes that qualify for felony murder are inumerated by statute. Poisoning is not in the statute. Therefore can posioning someone qualify you for felony murder? Can poisoning be reclassified as an assualt which is a felony murder?
This was a good question.
Labels: felony murder, murder