Washington's Second Degree Felony-Murder Rule and the Merger Doctrine: Time for Reconsideration
This Comment will discuss the effect of applying Washington's felony-murder statute where assault is the underlying felony. The case law interpreting section 9A.32.050(1)(b) of the Revised Code of Washington [hereinafter section (1)(b)] and the legislative intent behind that statute will be discussed, as will the effects of allowing assault to support a section (1)(b) charge. The thesis of this Comment is that interpretation of Washington's criminal code as a whole leads to the conclusion that the legislature never intended assault to be capable of supporting a section (1)(b) charge. It is recommended that the Washington Supreme Court reconsider its position regarding section (1)(b) in light of recent statutory enactments and the court's opinions in other areas. Additionally, the legislature is urged to clarify section (1)(b) by amending the statute.
Jeffrey A. James, Washington's Second Degree Felony-Murder Rule and the Merger Doctrine: Time for Reconsideration, 11 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 311 (1988).