NYPDBlue and The Law

The recent Episode on NYPDBlue got me thinking of how the law is prosecuted on a felon regarding an attack on a cop.

Bobby Simone is slashed on the arm by a perp…the slash is not, nor intended to be, life threatening.

Bobby contracts an infection which damages his heart, requiring a transplant…later the infection manifests itself in Bobby’s brain, killing him.

Is the perp in this case guilty of murder?

Not to Mods: if this question is not sufficiently General Questions material, move it to Cafe Society.

Yes, probably. Intent to cause serious bodily harm short of death that actually results in death is murder at common law and under most state codes, even when the injury wouldn’t have brought about death ordinarily.

Assault on a police officer is a felony in New York, so if the perp killed him during the attack, I suppose it would be at least felony murder, even if he didn’t mean to kill him.

The common law has (or had) what is called the “year-and-a-day” rule. Basically, if death follows more than a year and a day after the attack, the attacker is off the hook for murder. If the death happens less than a year and a day after the attack, and if the prosecutor can convince the jury that deat was the result of the attack, then it’s murder.

The year-and-a-day rule has been superseded by statutes or court decisions in many jursidictions. New York is apparently one of the states where the “year-and-a-day” rule apparently no longer applies and there is no time limit in theory.

Are you sure about the sequence of events on NYPD Blue? It’s been a long time since I saw these episodes, but I thought he got the infection during a visit to a dentist.