Does the independent purpose rule apply specifically to felony-murder special circumstances?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from People v. Ortega, F063612 (Cal. App. 2014):

The independent purpose rule articulated in People v. Green applies specifically to felony-murder special circumstances. Indeed, the rationale for the rule came from the statutory language, which at the time required the murder be perpetrated "during the commission of" an enumerated felony.10 (People v. Green, supra, 27 Cal.3d at pp. 59-60.) Where the underlying offense is merely incidental to the murder, the murder could not be committed in the commission of the offense. Construing the language to allow the application of the special circumstance to a situation where the felony was incidental to the murder would be inconsistent with the "legislative purpose underlying the special circumstancesthat of distinguishing between those murderers who deserve

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