John Burkoff on Criminal Causation

Professor John Burkoff was quoted by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a story on a criminal defendant's liability for a homicide, where the victim was killed by someone shooting in response to a shooting initiated by the defendant:

John Burkoff, a criminal law professor at the University of Pittsburgh with no connection to the case, explained that the panel's task is to determine if he is "a direct and substantial cause" of Kholen's death.

"The key question for a jury to answer is whether the victim's death was a natural or foreseeable consequence of the defendant's actions. If the jury thinks it was, there's a homicide. If the jury thinks it wasn't, there was no homicide," Mr. Burkoff said.

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