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Guy gives car to friends.  Friends use car to drive to drug dealer’s house in order to steal drug money from the drug dealer.  The robbery goes bad and the friends murder the daughter of the drug dealer.  Guy who lent car to friends tells police he knew they were taking the car to go rob the drug dealer.  Prosecutors charge the guy who lent the car with murder.

What’s the problem with that?

If you’re the NY Times, everything:

He was convicted of murder under a distinctively American legal doctrine that makes accomplices as liable as the actual killer for murders committed during felonies like burglaries, rapes and robberies.

And this.  We should be more like Europe:

India and other common law countries have followed England in abolishing the doctrine. In 1990, the Canadian Supreme Court did away with felony murder liability for accomplices, saying it violated “the principle that punishment must be proportionate to the moral blameworthiness of the offender.”

Countries outside the common law tradition agree. “The view in Europe,” said James Q. Whitman, a professor of comparative law at Yale, “is that we hold people responsible for their own acts and not the acts of others.”

Yes, hold people accountable for their own acts.  Like loaning your car to your criminal friends, knowing they were going to go commit a major crime.  Please, Democrats, please take up the cause of lighter prison sentences for accomplices to murder.  Please.



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