Fresno Co. judge finds legislature’s change to ‘Felony Murder Rule’ is unconstitutional


Fresno County Superior Court Judge Brian Alvarez struck down California’s 2018 weakening of the Felony Murder rule as unconstitutional on Wednesday.

Judge Alvarez determined that the law, Senate Bill 1437, unconstitutionally amended California’s Proposition 7, and 1990’s Proposition 115.

The felony murder rule doctrine generally holds that any accomplice to a felony that results in a death of another person is culpable for that death.

But California change the rule in 2018, signed by then Governor Brown.

It allowed those people previously convicted of murder to petition the court to have their convictions reversed and their sentences reduced.

Judge Alvarez delivered the holding while reviewing a petition by defendant Charles Jones, a first-degree murder convict.

Jones petitioned the court to have his first-degree murder conviction reversed and his sentence reversed.

He was convicted in 1993 of first degree murder and special circumstance robbery related to the killing of Abdo Ahmed Ali at Westside Market in May of 1992.

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