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Congress and Office of the Governor of the State of California: Give Clemency to Shawn Malone Khalifa & Revise Felony Murder Rule

This petition had 108 supporters

The felony murder goes against the punishment fitting the crime. It goes against all that is fair, and liberty and freedom that we in American claim to have. Many families and youth are being wrongly convicted and are made to grow up in prisons due to this law. Young people are tried as adults for crimes they did not commit and are not receiving a fair trial based on their maturity and involvement in the crime. Shawn Malone Khalifa is serving a lengthy sentence for a crime he did not commit. The judge herself state during sentencing "I know you did not commit this crime, but my hands are tied because of this law." Does that sound right to you? It is 100% wrong. Shawn deserves clemency and to be released. He has spent nearly 10 years in the juvenile and now adult prison system for a crime he did not commit, and we as family cannot keep our mouths shut about this issue. By signing this petition you are giving a voice to so many young people and families affected by this ridiculous law. We need to fight for what is right. My son has been convicted of first degree murder from looking in a window at the age of 15. An innocent mistake has cost him his life and liberties, as a family we have suffered and filled our pillows with tears. We want to revise the felony murder rule so that it does not involve minors and so they can be tried according to their crimes. If they did not commit a crime there should be no trial or payment. Below is a list of what is wrong with the felony murder rule as quoted from JoAnne Jones.
["What’s wrong With the Felony Murder Rule- Common Sense:

1. It is fundamentally unfair and in violation of basic principles of individual criminal culpability to hold one felon liable for the unseen and unagreed-to results of another felon’s action.

2. The felony murder rule operates as a matter of law upon proof of the intent to commit a felony to relieve the prosecution of its burden of proving intent to kill, which is a necessary element of murder.

3. The intention to commit a felony does not equal the intention to kill, nor is the intention to commit a felony, by itself, sufficient to establish a charge of murder.

4. The felony murder rule violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of due process, more specifically, equal protection of the law, because no defense is allowed on the charge of first-degree murder, only the underlying felony.

5. The purpose of creating degrees of murder is to punish with increased severity the more culpable forms of murder, but an accidental or unknown killing during the commission or attempted commission of a felony is punished more severely than all other murder charges with exception to first degree murder.

6. The felony murder rule erodes the relation between criminal liability and moral culpability in that it punishes all homicides in the commission, or attempted commission, of the proscribed felonies, whether intentional, unintentional, or accidental, without proving the relation between the homicide and the perpetrator’s state of mind.

7. Holding one or many criminally liable for the bad results of an act which differs greatly from the intended results is based on a concept of culpability which is totally at odds with the general principles of jurisprudence.

8. The basic rule of culpability is further violated when felony murder is categorized as first-degree murder because all other first-degree murders (carrying equal punishment) require a showing of premeditation, deliberation, and willfulness, while felony murder only requires a showing of intent to do the underlying felony.

9. While the felony murder rule survives in California, and other states, the numerous modifications and restrictions of it by some states courts and legislatures throughout the United States reflect dissatisfaction with the basic harshness and injustice of the doctrine and call into question its continued existence.

10. The felony murder rule can be used by prosecutors in a manner so as to cause grossly disproportionate sentencing, depending on the circumstances of each individual case.

11. The felony murder rule is unconstitutional because the presumption of innocence is thrown out. The prosecutor must only prove intent to commit the original felony; once done, first degree murder attaches to the underlying felony even though intent, (mens rea,) to commit murder does not have to be proved.

12. The felony murder rule is unconstitutional because it violates the Eighth Amendment: cruel and unusual punishment, grossly disproportionate sentencing to the crime(s) actually committed.

13. The felony murder rule bears no rational relationship or equity in its two penalties, with the penalties of other California murder laws, including, at times, the charge of first-degree murder.”]

So many mothers are fighting for their sons and daughters. Governor Brown give clemency to Shawn Malone Khalifa and Revise the Felony Murder Rule as it relates to minors so all can receive a fair trial and not spend their life in prison for looking through a window. Help bring these innocent babies home to their families.

As a minimum Shawn deserves his sentence reducted, we are in support of SB 260 which is against youths under the age of 17 put into adult prisons.

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