Professor Evan Lee’s scholarly article for the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, entitled “Why California’s Second-Degree Felony-Murder Rule is Now Void for Vagueness,” was cited by Ninth Circuit Judge Ronald M. Gould in his opinion in the case of Henry v. Spearman.
The matter involved a California state prisoner’s application for authorization to file a second or successive habeas corpus petition challenging his conviction for second degree murder and discharging a firearm at an inhabited dwelling. As part of his opinion, which concluded that the Petitioner made the necessary showing to file another 28 U.S.C. § 2254 habeas corpus petition, and granted the Petitioner’s motion to file a second or successive habeas corpus petition, Judge Gould favorably cites Professor Lee as follows:
“Unlike the felony-murder rules in all other states, California’s rule takes an abstract approach to evaluating a crime’s dangerousness. See Evan Tsen Lee, Why California’s Second-Degree Felony-Murder Rule is Now Void for Vagueness, 43 Hastings Const. L.Q. 1, 53–56 (2015).”
Judge Gould continues his analysis of California’s second-degree felony-murder rule before ultimately holding for the Petitioner. Here is the Court’s full opinion.