"No Car, No Crime. No Car, No Consequences. No Car, No Murder."

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

No woman no cry? Actually, as The New York Times reports, a lot of people were left in tears when Ryan Holle lent his Chevrolet Metro to a friend– who used it to drive himself and three men to a drug dealer's Florida home, where they murdered the dealer's 18-year-old daughter. After Holle admitted to the police that he had foreknowledge of the burglary and possible murder, he was convicted of first-degree murder. At his trial, prosecutor David Rimmer defended his application of felony murder rules with the rationale in the headline above. The Times highlights the debate over the legal principle, and the difference between American states that adhere to felony murder rules and other country's views on the legal consequences for criminal accomplices. Although the Times fails to mention the fact, one our law enforcement employed readers reckons the stricture helps police get "wheelmen" and "friends of a friend" to cough-up names in capital cases.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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4 of 18 comments
  • Virtual Insanity Virtual Insanity on Dec 04, 2007

    About the drunk argument... I'm sorry, but if "I was drunk" didn't work that one time I messed around on my girlfriend, it sure as hell shouldn't work here.

  • Frank Williams Frank Williams on Dec 04, 2007
    Landcrusher: Luckily, the story is not over. The guy can still get appeals, and the governer can commute his sentence. Likely, he will not rot in jail for his stupidity. I don't know. This is Florida we're talking about. The governor, DOC and justice system there aren't known for compassion or leniency.
  • Adonis Adonis on Dec 04, 2007

    The man probably didn't take the 10-year prison sentence deal because he thought the case would surely not succeed. Like Eric_Stepans says, it's a slippery slope here. The punishment should fit the crime, and this punishment certainly does not-it's an overreaction of the highest degree. Know why we have so many people in prison? Because a drunk guy who lends his car to his buddy is given life in prison for first-degree murder. Give me a break. on a side note, the tone of the article seems to show that the New York Times feels similarly.

  • TheSane TheSane on Dec 04, 2007

    When I sat on a jury, the judge described it like this: "If the defendant knew his buddy (whom he robbed the gas station with) grabbed a knife on the way to the gas station, he is guilty of armed robbery. If he did not know, he is only guilty of robbery." Unfortunately for the defendant, in his recorded testimony to the police, he stated he saw his buddy place the knife in his waist band. Moral of the story: if you are going to a gas station to steal more beer for the second time that evening and your friend grabs a knife because you decide you want to also rob the register to pay off the guy delivering the cocaine in another hour; don't refuse a lawyer and tell the police everything expecting them to let you off easy.