A Defendant Who Intentionally Commits a Felony During Which a Bystander is Killed by Another Bystander Reasonably Attempting to Stop that Felony Commits an Intentional Killing within the Meaning of Section 19.02(a)(1) of the Texas Penal Code
Examines the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals’ decision in Blansett v. State. In Blansett, in the middle of a gun battle caused by Mr. Blansett trying to free an imprisoned man, an officer was shot and killed by another officer. The Court found Mr. Blansett guilty of capital murder, holding that he had “intentionally” caused the killing of the officer by intentionally committing the felony that instigated the gun battle the officers were reasonably attempting to stop. The author believes this decision is inconsistent with the Texas capital murder statute’s meaning.