FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) — The attorneys defending Casey White are arguing that Alabama’s felony-murder doctrine should be declared unconstitutional in his case and “on its face.”
The law currently states if a person committing a crime causes another person to be killed “in the course or in furtherance of that crime” then they are guilty of murder.
In a filing on Tuesday, White’s attorneys call the law a “remnant of ancient legal fiction” and argue that it has no place in modern law due to what they say are “defects” that contradict due process and protections provided through the Eighth Amendment.
White is currently charged with the intentional murder of Vicky White, the former corrections officer who helped him escape the Lauderdale County Jail in April, under Alabama’s felony-murder law.
Casey White’s attorneys argue that if he is found guilty of felony escape, then the law requires he also be charged with murder because Vicky White’s death happened during the said escape. However, officials confirmed during Casey’s arrest in Evansville, Ind. that Vicky shot and killed herself — which Casey’s attorneys argue means that he cannot be held liable for her death.
The defense argues, “police dash cam and body cam recordings clearly show that at the conclusion of a car chase, the vehicle driven by White wrecked and rolled over in a roadside ditch or median. Video clearly shows that the deceased shot herself in the head and continued holding the gun in her hand as police approached. The death, in this case, was clearly a suicide and the Defendant can not be convicted for the death.”
“To allow a conviction for Felony-Murder, in this case, would allow the State to prove the
offense without presenting a witness to testify regarding the Defendant’s intent which is an
element of Murder,” under state law.
The defense argument continues, “This is a violation of the Defendant’s rights to a fair trial under the 6th Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1 Section 6 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, in that the Defendant cannot be confronted with the witnesses against him when none is required to convict him.”
An arraignment for Casey White’s murder charge is set for December 2, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.