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Utopia Talk / Politics / What a shithole country
Mon Apr 09 05:29:08
In the US, you don't have to kill to be a murderer

After police killed a burglary suspect in a shootout, the officer was not charged - instead a teenage boy who did not fire the gun has been found guilty of his murder. How do accomplice liability laws work?

Lakeith Smith was 15 years old when he went along with four older friends on a burglary spree. A neighbour called police when the group went into a home in Millbrook, Alabama, and the responding officers surprised the teenagers as they were coming through the front door.

The group turned and fled out the back door, and a shootout ensued. When it was all over, 16-year-old A'Donte Washington was dead with a bullet wound to his neck.

It's never been in dispute that a Millbrook police officer shot and killed Washington - officer-worn body cameras captured the fatal confrontation. A grand jury declined to charge the officer, finding that the shooting was justified.

Instead, Smith was charged and found guilty of his friend's murder. Last week, a judge sentenced him to 65 years in prison. Under Alabama's accomplice liability law, Smith is considered just as culpable in Washington's death as if he had pulled the trigger himself.

"It's sad in my opinion," says Smith's defence lawyer, Jennifer Holton. "The cause of death was the officer's action."

Hot Rod
Revved Up
Mon Apr 09 05:51:57

That is the way the law works. The kid would have been guilty if was driving the getaway car and was sitting in it when the fatal shot was fired,

Mon Apr 09 06:08:12
The law can be retarded, in the manner in which it works.
Hot Rod
Revved Up
Mon Apr 09 06:30:56

Look at it this way,

This kid will not burgle any more homes for a good many years. The population is safer.

Mon Apr 09 07:18:14
What an incredibly authoritarian thing for a libertarian to say.
Mon Apr 09 07:24:21
Regardless of the busyness of the verdict, how fucking slanted is that BBC article? The whole thing reads as a blatant condemnation of the sentence and shits all over US laws. If this is what passes for the Band's "superior" reporting, I'll just stick with Breitbart TYVM.
Mon Apr 09 07:24:42
Band = BBC
Hot Rod
Revved Up
Mon Apr 09 10:49:29

Libertarians abide by the law.

yankee, would you turn him loose after a light sentence if you knew he was going to break into your house the following week with a gun in his hand?

At 15 he was old enough to know the difference between right and wrong. I have zero sympathy for him.

Mon Apr 09 10:55:15
"the law"

The Law is the first fallback for authoritarians. They say that if one doesn't follow the law, then they must be punished. They deserve it.

There is rarely any talk of whether the law is just, or changing the law if so.
Hot Rod
Revved Up
Mon Apr 09 11:24:20

Why is ir=t that progressives always cite tough laws as being authoritarian?

Hot Rod
Revved Up
Mon Apr 09 11:31:49
Mon Apr 09 12:15:33
Well, it's not murder - the cop was cleared. Manslaughter seems appropriate.

On the other hand, it's a burglar. Not a whole lot of sympathy.
Mon Apr 09 12:51:01
The suspect was taking part in a felony where police officers ended up being fired upon and were compelled to use deadly force in kind. Receiving punishment for that seems appropriate.

65 years seems excessive though, especially given his age (I'm assuming he's not one of those Parkland kids who are secret constitutional scholars). I wonder if this is mandatory minimums at work here or if the judge is just a fire and brimstone kind of guy.
Mon Apr 09 13:54:03
The kids attitude didn't garner much sympathy. No need to wonder.

Sam Adams
Mon Apr 09 14:15:22
So this thug committed a violent crime and shows no remorse or really any intelligent thought at all? Get rid of him. 65 years is a fair sentence.
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