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People v. Durham

Citation. People v. Durham, 449 P.2d 198 (Cal. 1969)
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Brief Fact Summary.

Durham appealed his conviction of first degree murder after his accomplice murdered a cop in the process of a car robbery.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

An individual can be charged with any crime that naturally results form the crime in which he willingly assists.


Durham and Robinson committed a string of robberies across the United States and stole a car once they reached California. Robinson murdered a cop after he stopped Durham and Robinson. Durham was convicted of first degree murder and appealed his conviction.


Whether murdering a police officer is the natural and probable consequence of a string of robberies across the United States? 


Yes. Durham aided Robinson in robbing the car and murdering a police officer who stopped the car was a natural and probably consequence of Durham’s participation in the crime.  


Durham knew that Robinson had an affinity towards violence and therefore it was reasonably foreseeable that Robinson would have harmed the police officer. Durham would be liable for the murder of the police officer even if murder did not murder the police officer himself.

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