When Holle's trial began in 2004, the prosecutor started by hinting that during initial police questioning Holle gave the impression he knew exactly what the men planned to do that night. The prosecutor also went as far as saying that Holle was actually the mastermind behind the whole robbery and that he had been more than aware that 'knocking someone out' was a probability. He went on to state that Ryan Holle should be found guilty of first-degree murder because 'No Car, No Crime'. Holle testified to the contrary, saying William Allen Jr had asked him to lend his car to go get food. Ryan Holle explained that he and others had enjoyed a long night of partying and he had no qualms in lending Allen the car, as it was something he had done in the past. He insisted that he had known nothing of the robbery until after the act and even then he had thought the men were joking around. Holle's version of events was also backed up by Allen, Jr himself. The entire trial, including prosecution/defence/witness testimony, jury deliberations, verdict and sentencing, lasted just one day. Ryan Holle was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole. Despite prosecutors at first seeking the death penalty, Charles Miller Jr also received life without parole, as did the other three men involved.
I have to admit Ryan Holle's conviction and sentence do not sit well with me at all. If accountability for a murder is being pushed back to the owner of the vehicle used, then isn't the home owner who had drugs in her house just as accountable? She created an unsafe environment for her family by knowingly having (and allegedly selling) marijuana under her roof. Instead, the home owner, and victim's mother, was sentenced to just three years in prison for possession. Why did the prosecution believe Ryan Holle was aware of the potential consequences when he lent his car to William Allen, Jr and the person who had drugs in their home wasn't? After all, following the prosecutor's twisted logic, shouldn't it be "No Marijuana, No Crime"?. In my eyes, Ryan Holle has been convicted of what he may have allegedly been thinking.
I feel it is also important to note that Ryan Holle did not have a prior criminal record, unlike the other four men who were convicted. So how did the prosecution come to the conclusion that someone who has never been convicted of a criminal act in the past could be the mastermind behind a robbery? Especially when the others involved had all spent time in jail at some point. How did any jury find the alleged evidence against Holle enough to find him guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt? Of course, the prosecution are quick to point out that, on the evidence presented, twelve unbiased jury members found Ryan Holle guilty. However, when I consider that both Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson were found not guilty of murder by twelve unbiased jury members, this point bears no weight with me. Ryan Holle may have exercised poor judgement and naivety, but neither of these are against the law.
In December 2014, four cabinet members decided to 'take advisment' in Ryan Holle's clemency hearing. This means, he is still waiting for a decision. If the clemency hearing is dismissed and any further appeals fail, Ryan Holle will die in prison for a crime that was committed while he was asleep in bed two miles away. Where is the justice in that?
What do you think about the Ryan Holle case? Do you think the conviction and sentence were deserved or, like me, do you think he shouldn't have been convicted at all?
|Ryan Holle continues to protest he knew|
nothing about the robbery.
If you believe Ryan Holle should be granted clemancy, you can sign his Change.org petition at the following link - https://www.change.org/p/florida-commission-on-offender-review-governor-rick-scott-grant-clemency-for-ryan-holle-who-was-sentenced-to-life-for-loaning-his-car
To keep up-to-date with the Holle case, check out the Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/justiceforryanholle