When Death Comes Later, Can a Murder Charge Stick?

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Robin Barton

Suppose an individual attacks a person, who's seriously injured but doesn't die. The individual may initially be charged with aggravated assault or attempted murder. If the victim later dies from his injuries, the prosecution may then charge the defendant with murder or manslaughter, depending on the circumstances.

In typical cases, the length of time between the defendant's criminal actions and the victim's subsequent death isn't very long, ranging from hours or days to perhaps weeks.

But what if the victim of an assault doesn't die until years later? Is it still legal to charge . . .

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