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9A.32.040  <<  9A.32.050 >>   9A.32.055

RCW 9A.32.050

Murder in the second degree.

(1) A person is guilty of murder in the second degree when:

     (a) With intent to cause the death of another person but without premeditation, he or she causes the death of such person or of a third person; or

     (b) He or she commits or attempts to commit any felony, including assault, other than those enumerated in RCW 9A.32.030(1)(c), and, in the course of and in furtherance of such crime or in immediate flight therefrom, he or she, or another participant, causes the death of a person other than one of the participants; except that in any prosecution under this subdivision (1)(b) in which the defendant was not the only participant in the underlying crime, if established by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence, it is a defense that the defendant:

     (i) Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, request, command, importune, cause, or aid the commission thereof; and

     (ii) Was not armed with a deadly weapon, or any instrument, article, or substance readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury; and

     (iii) Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant was armed with such a weapon, instrument, article, or substance; and

     (iv) Had no reasonable grounds to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious physical injury.

     (2) Murder in the second degree is a class A felony.

[2003 c 3 § 2; 1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 38 § 4; 1975 1st ex.s. c 260 §9A.32.050 .]

Notes:

     Findings -- Intent -- 2003 c 3: "The legislature finds that the 1975 legislature clearly and unambiguously stated that any felony, including assault, can be a predicate offense for felony murder. The intent was evident: Punish, under the applicable murder statutes, those who commit a homicide in the course and in furtherance of a felony. This legislature reaffirms that original intent and further intends to honor and reinforce the court's decisions over the past twenty-eight years interpreting "in furtherance of" as requiring the death to be sufficiently close in time and proximity to the predicate felony. The legislature does not agree with or accept the court's findings of legislative intent in State v. Andress, Docket No. 71170-4 (October 24, 2002), and reasserts that assault has always been and still remains a predicate offense for felony murder in the second degree.

     To prevent a miscarriage of the legislature's original intent, the legislature finds in light of State v. Andress, Docket No. 71170-4 (October 24, 2002), that it is necessary to amend RCW 9A.32.050. This amendment is intended to be curative in nature. The legislature urges the supreme court to apply this interpretation retroactively to July 1, 1976." [2003 c 3 § 1.]

     Effective date -- 2003 c 3: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [February 12, 2003]." [2003 c 3 § 3.]

     Effective date -- Severability -- 1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 38: See notes following RCW 9A.08.020.