State v Linscott

520 A.2d 1067 (1987)

 

RULE:

Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17-A, § 57(3)(A) is to be interpreted as follows: Under the first sentence of that section, which is to be read independently of the second sentence, liability for a "primary crime" is established by proof that the actor intended to promote or facilitate that crime. Under the second sentence, liability for any "secondary crime" that may have been committed by the principal is established upon a two-fold showing: (a) that the actor intended to promote the primary crime, and (b) that the commission of the secondary crime was a "foreseeable consequence" of the actor's participation in the primary crime.

FACTS:

Defendant was convicted by the trial court for one count of murder and one count of robbery. On appeal, defendant contended that his conviction for intentional or knowing murder as an accomplice under an accomplice liability statute, Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 17-A, § 57(3)(A) (1983), violated his constitutional right to due process of law in that he lacked the requisite intent to commit murder. The state supreme court affirmed the trial court’s judgment.

ISSUE:

Did defendant’s conviction for murder pursuant to the accomplice liability statute violate his right to due process?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

Defendant's conviction pursuant to the accomplice liability statute did not violate defendant's constitutional right to due process of law. An accessory was liable for any criminal act, which in the ordinary course of things was the natural or probable consequence of the crime that he advised or commanded, although such consequence might not have been intended.

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