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NCJ Number: 137169 Find in a Library
Title: Excluding an Accessory After the Fact From a Felony-Firearm Conviction
Journal: Wayne Law Review  Volume:37  Issue:4  Dated:(Summer 1991)  Pages:1951-1967
Author(s): G E Perlmuter
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 17
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This legal note focuses on how the Michigan felony-firearm statute is applied when the underlying crime is accessory after the fact.
Abstract: The applicable language of the statute indicates that persons who carry or have in their possession a firearm when they commit or attempt to commit a felony are guilty of a felony and will be imprisoned for 2 years. Although the Michigan legislature specifically declined to delineate which felonies constitute an underlying felony that can serve as a basis for a felony-firearm conviction, one purpose of the statute is to deter violent or dangerous crimes. Another clear purpose of the statute is to add an additional punishment for criminals using firearms to commit crimes. An accessory after the fact, who hides the weapon used in the original crime, is not actually using a gun to further a criminal act. In contrast, possessing the gun is the criminal act. The Michigan legislature can improve the felony-firearm statute in several ways. The legislature should conform the statute to those of other jurisdictions such as New York or California. By restricting application of the statute to the more dangerous malum in se offenses, ambiguities in the scope of its application can be removed. An alternative is to exempt from the statute all persons convicted of felonies in which the use or possession of a firearm is a necessary element of the predicate offense. This will permit all current statutory exemptions to remain in effect and allow an additional exception for an accessory after the fact. 72 footnotes
Main Term(s): Accessories to crimes; Felony
Index Term(s): Firearm-crime relationships; Michigan; State laws
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