Wis. Stat. § 939.05(1), (2) provides: Whoever is concerned in the commission of a crime is a principal and may be charged with and convicted of the commission of the crime. A person is concerned in the commission of the crime if he: directly commits the crime; or intentionally aids and abets the commission of it; or is a party to a conspiracy with another to commit it or advises, hires, counsels, or otherwise procures another to commit it. This paragraph does not apply to a person who voluntarily changes his mind and no longer desires that the crime be committed and notifies the other parties concerned of his withdrawal within a reasonable time before the commission of the crime so as to allow the others also to withdraw. Wis. Stat. § 939.05(2)(c) does not make renunciation or withdrawal a defense to the crime of solicitation. Section 939.05(2)(c) merely sets forth the third of three circumstances in which a person is concerned in the commission of a crime.
That defendant solicited a hit man to murder someone was uncontested. However, defendant contended that she told the hit man to call off the job prior to the victim's murder. The trial court convicted her for soliciting first-degree murder in violation of Wis. Stat. §§ 939.30, 940.01(1).
Can renunciation or withdrawal be a defense to a charge for soliciting first-degree murder?
The court affirmed the circuit court's judgment that convicted defendant of the solicitation of first-degree murder because renunciation and withdrawal were not defenses. The solicitation statute, Wis. Stat. § 939.30, made no provision for renunciation and withdrawal as specific defenses. Wis. Stat. § 939.05(2)(c) did not provide for the general defenses of withdrawal and renunciation. Defendant was charged with the direct commission of a crime. Renunciation and withdrawal were not defenses to the completed crime of solicitation in the absence of a statute.