If you commit the crime, then you better be ready to serve the time.
Not many people would object to this statement. Especially when it references the charge of murder. Most people would agree if an individual is proven in the court of law to be guilty of murder, then they should be forced to deal with the consequences of their deadly actions.
What if the defendant didn’t actually commit the crime directly, but was, in some capacity, responsible for the chain of events that led to the crime occurring. Then should this person be charged with murder and forced to rot in a cell next to those that were directly responsible for death of another human being?
Guns.com reported on an attempted robbery in Massachusetts that left one robbery accomplice dead from a gunshot wound, and the other accomplice in jail charged with the murder. The story gets unusual when you find out that the shot that killed the robber was fired by the would-be victim in self defense, but the prosecution is seeking to convict the other robber for murder.
At about 12:30 a.m. the would-be victim was approached by 17-year-old Jahleel Sanders Williams and 18-year-old Amoy Blake in the first floor hallway of a residential housing unit,local media reported.
Blake apparently held a gun to the victim’s head, but unbeknown to the teens, their victim had a license to carry a concealed weapon and was legally armed. The victim then pulled out his own pistol and shot Blake.
At that point, Williams fled the scene, but he far from escaped the incident altogether.
District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office justified the murder charge by claiming that felony murder charge can be filed when a person is killed while committing a felony. The prosecution will argue that the 17-year-old Williams was legally liable for Amoy Blake’s death because he was participating in the robbery.
The state of Massachusetts defines murder as follows:
Murder committed with deliberately premeditated malice aforethought, or with extreme atrocity or cruelty, or in the commission or attempted commission of a crime punishable with death or imprisonment for life, is murder in the first degree. Murder which does not appear to be in the first degree is murder in the second degree. Petit treason shall be prosecuted and punished as murder. The degree of murder shall be found by the jury.
When I first saw this story, I thought the prosecution could be justified in charging the accomplice in a failed robbery attempt with the murder of his partner in the crime. The longer I examined the facts and compared them with the principles and morals that would comprise the backbone of a libertarian legal system, the more against the charge of murder I became.
In a truly liberty oriented legal system based on property rights, there would be two parties that would have the standing to pursue legal action against the lone surviving robber. They would be the would-be victim and the family of the dead accomplice. Of course, the family of the deceased robber could also file a lawsuit against the intended victim of the robbery, who supposedly killed their family member in self defense. The State could not bring charges for crimes against “society” as they do in the current system.