Friday, September 14, 2012

People v. Russell case brief

People v. Russell: three defendants engaged in a gun battle in Brooklyn. During the course of the battle, Patrick Daly, a school principal, was looking for a child who had left school and was fatally shot by a single stray bullet from one of the defendants during their gun battle. Although the ballistic tests could not determined which D shot the bullet that killed Daly, the prosecution pursued a theory that each D acted with the mental culpability required for commission of a crime, and that each “intentionally aided” the D who fired the fatal shot.
    • People v. Abbott – although Moon did not strike the victim’s car and was Abbott’s adversary in the drag race, he intentionally participated with Abbott in an inherently dangerous and unlawful activity and therefore shared Abbott’s culpability.
      • Moon’s conduct made the race possible – thus accomplice liability follows.
    • Two or more people who intentionally participate in an inherently dangerous and unlawful activity share culpability for any crime committed as a result of that activity. The fact that the defendants engaged in a gun battle is enough to prove that they also set out to place the life of any innocent bystander at grave risk.

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