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Is it a Crime to Shoot Someone Who is Already Dead?

Toronto police officer, James Forcillo, was convicted of attempted murder for shooting,  Sammy Yatim, who was already dead at the time of shoots.

Toronto police officer, James Forcillo, was convicted of attempted murder for shooting, Sammy Yatim, who was already dead at the time the shoots in question were fired.

  • It is a crime to shoot someone who is already dead.
  • In an unprecedented case, Toronto Police Officer, James Forcillo was charged with, and later convicted of, attempted murder for shooting  18-year-old, Sammy Yatim on July 27, 2013.
  • In a controversial ruling, Forcillo was convicted of attempted murder, despite unambiguously shooting the young man to death.
  • He was charged both with murder and attempted murder. The attempted murder charge was for the shots fired at Yatim following his death, and the murder charge was for the shots fired at Yatim that killed.
  • It is speculated that the jury concluded that reasonable people can disagree about the first three shots, but that there was no way that the second six shots were justified.
  • The Forcillo case sets a precedent that one can be charged for attempted murder for shooting someone that is already dead.

Found in section 239(1)  of the Criminal Code

Attempt to commit murder

239 (1) Every person who attempts by any means to commit murder is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

(a) if a restricted firearm or prohibited firearm is used in the commission of the offence or if any firearm is used in the commission of the offence and the offence is committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of

(i) in the case of a first offence, five years, and

(ii) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, seven years;

(a.1) in any other case where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years; and

(b) in any other case, to imprisonment for life.

Marginal note:Subsequent offences

(2) In determining, for the purpose of paragraph (1)(a), whether a convicted person has committed a second or subsequent offence, if the person was earlier convicted of any of the following offences, that offence is to be considered as an earlier offence:

(a) an offence under this section;

(b) an offence under subsection 85(1) or (2) or section 244 or 244.2; or

(c) an offence under section 220, 236, 272 or 273, subsection 279(1) or section 279.1, 344 or 346 if a firearm was used in the commission of the offence.

However, an earlier offence shall not be taken into account if 10 years have elapsed between the day on which the person was convicted of the earlier offence and the day on which the person was convicted of the offence for which sentence is being imposed, not taking into account any time in custody.

Marginal note:Sequence of convictions only

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), the only question to be considered is the sequence of convictions and no consideration shall be given to the sequence of commission of offences or whether any offence occurred before or after any conviction.

  • If you have been charged with attempted murder or any other criminal offence contact Kostman and Pyzer, Barristers today for legal advice.

 

3 Jan 2017

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