State line legal question about murder.

A man stands in Wisconsin 5 feet away from the Illinois border. He fires a gun, shooting across the state line, hitting and killing a man standing in Illinois. Who has jurisdiction regardiing this crime?

*Wisconsin. The crime originated there with the firing of the gun.

*Illinois. The actual killing took place there. They get to extradite the guilty party and try him.

*Either Wisconsin or Illinois. The states just make an agreement about who prosecutes in these kind of cases.

*The feds. It’s an interstate crime so the G-men take over.

Who gets it?

Illinois. That’s where the killing occured. All the man did in Wisonsin was fire the gun.

A more interesting question is if the victim is on the border, literally.

In the case of Washington, D.C., and Maryland, one border is the curb on the Maryland side of Western Ave. What if both persons were walking on the curb, eh?

IMHO - I would say all of the above. The feds have jurisdiction since the murder involved more than one state and a state line was crossed in committing the murder. Either or both states could also prosecute.

I don’t think you can say just Illinois because the actual death occurred there. The crime involves the whole act of committing murder, which was initiated in Wis. In order to commit a crime, you have to have intent. The intent and action both took place in Wis. The victim just happened to be in Ill.

This is just my opinion and I would like to hear from others with a different viewpoint with their rationale.

Lawyers charge $200 an hour to answer simpler questions and you want an answer for free?

Well, here’s my answer: guns don’t kill people, people kill people. You figure out the obvious.

No, no you silly sailor: guns don’t kill people, bullets kill people.

Wouldn’t each state have a rule about this? It is probably also a common law rule. I found a citation to a case where someone tried to wriggle out of a felony murder conviction in New York because the underlying felony (a robbery) took place in Connecticut. The criminals then killed someone with their car in the Bronx while fleeing police.

The lawyers argued that since the felony took place in Connecticut, there couldn’t be felony murder in New York. The death in New York should just have been vehicular manslaughter.

The court (NY Court of Appeals) said it was felony murder.

In the footnotes of the opinion, there is this brief line

From this I would think that in the OP, either Illinois or Wisconsin could try the case as the death was Illinois, but the “essential element of plan leading to death” was peformed in Wisconsin.

I shall be watching my step next year when I drive up from Chicago to Milwaukee.

Oh yeah? God, the temptation for a hijack here is overwhelming.


Bullets don’t kill people. Lack of oxygen to the brain kills people.