|The Law of Parties is a Felony Murder Rule|
The Law of Parties is Texas' Felony murder rule. It means, that in the eyes of the law, a person can be held criminally responsible for the actions of another if she conspires, aids and abets that person. However, the Law of Parties is different to the Felony Murder Rule in other jurisdictions, especially when it comes to cases where the death penalty is on the table. In essence, in Texas, someone convicted of murder under the Law of Parties can face the death penalty as well as the person who carried out the deed.
The Texas Moratorium Network led a bill, in 2009, attempting to bring an end to people receiving the death penalty if they were convicted under the Law of Parties. Despite being approved by the Texas House of Representatives, the bill was not passed by the senate. And so, to this day, people are still convicted and sentenced to death under this law, despite not committing the deed.
Robert Lynn Pruett - He was sentenced to 99 years in prison at the grand old age of 15, after his neighbour was murdered by his father. Because prosecutors decided Pruett's father would not have killed the man had Pruett not incited him by insinuating the man was harassing and verbally abusing him, Robert Pruett was convicted under the Law of Parties. In April 2002, Pruett was convicted of the murder of a prison officer and sentence to death. He is currently appealing his, incredibly shaky, conviction.
Ray Jasper - Convicted of the 1998 murder of studio boss, David Alejandro. He and two accomplices broke into property owned by Mr Alejandro intending to steal expensive stereo equipment. However, the victim happened upon the three robbers and while Jasper admitted to cutting the victim's throat, he was insistent this was only after his two accomplices delivered over 25 fatal stab wounds to Mr Alejandro. He was convicted under the Law of Parties and sentenced to death in 2000. In March 2014, Ray Jasper was executed by lethal injection.
Clinton Lee Young - Was sentenced to death under the law of parties after he was deemed as responsible as two co-defendants for the brutal murder of two men for their cars. During the trial, it was Young who was deemed to be the gun man, whereas Young has always denied being the shooter. He is currently in Texas' Polunksy Unit waiting on the results of various appeals.
So, what is your view of the Law of Parties? Is a 15 year old really responsible for the actions of a grown man? and did he really deserve a full life sentence at such a young age. Or do you think people, such as Jasper and Young, use the Law of Parties, to try and claim their innocence for a crime they actually did commit?
|Many campaigners are against the controversial|
Law of Parties.