Friday, August 3, 2007

Law of Parties

To start this argument I will quote a source, in searching for Texas Penal Code Section 7 I found this website with the citing from the Penal Code Book. Referring to The law of Parties here is what Texas Law says (taken from ONECLE.COM):

§ 7.01. PARTIES TO OFFENSES. (a) A person is criminally
responsible as a party to an offense if the offense is committed by
his own conduct, by the conduct of another for which he is criminally responsible, or by both.
(b) Each party to an offense may be charged with commission of the offense.
(c) All traditional distinctions between accomplices and principals are abolished by this section, and each party to an offense may be charged and convicted without alleging that he acted as a principal or accomplice.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974.
Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, § 1.01, eff. Sept. 1,
1994.
ONECLE, 3, August 2007



§ 7.02. CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR CONDUCT OF ANOTHER.
(a) A person is criminally responsible for an offense committed by the conduct of another if:
(1) acting with the kind of culpability required for the offense, he causes or aids an innocent or nonresponsible person to engage in conduct prohibited by the definition of the offense;
(2) acting with intent to promote or assist the commission of the offense, he solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid the other person to commit the offense; or
(3) having a legal duty to prevent commission of the offense and acting with intent to promote or assist its commission, he fails to make a reasonable effort to prevent commission of the offense.
(b) If, in the attempt to carry out a conspiracy to commit one felony, another felony is committed by one of the conspirators, all conspirators are guilty of the felony actually committed, though having no intent to commit it, if the offense was committed in furtherance of the unlawful purpose and was one that should have been anticipated as a result of the carrying out of the conspiracy.


Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974.
Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, § 1.01, eff. Sept. 1,
1994.


So to start this argument about the law of parties we must look into how Texas defines who is responsible for the act. Looking to section 2 part 2, “Acting with the intent to promote or assist the commission of the offense, he solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts, to aid the other person to commit the offense.” we see that if a person were to help in any offence they are considered liable. Now you must refer back to section one part b, “Each party to an offense may be charged with commission of the offense.”
So by Texas law each person involved in a crime may be charged with the highest offence of any one person. If they wanted to have every man go on trial for the same punishment to get a testimony for a plea bargain they could.

I agree with this law. This makes every one responsible for their actions at any given times. It also allows the state to crack down on gang violence by allowing them to charge every one involved with anything. This law does make some people mad. Like the case of Kenneth Foster. He had people give testimonies about his innocents from the shooting but Texas Law Says he is guilty. Having him not try to stop his affiliate and also being his getaway driver associates him even more. So Texas did the right thing by making an example of him and pushing for the maximum punishment death.

A solution to this problem is not changing the law. We must continue to hold peoples accountable for every action they commit or those around them. Education of this matter is the only way to make this clear to everybody. We must target kids at the earliest age of understanding the law to be able to drive home the fact that every action they take place in if its just watching to actually participating they are accountable for. Many will disagree with this but I know that in school we did not learn this, if I were taught this at a younger age maybe, some of my class mates would not have been in jail during high school.

2 comments:

KSeago said...

Good research. Good argument. I wonder how far back we can take this argument. Suppose a gang of soon to be offenders pulls over to get some gas at a Valero. They announce to everyone in the station that "we're gonna kill tonight." They pay for their gas and proceed to commit mayhem later that night and kill someone. Is everyone in the gas station responsible? Is the attendant? They made the crime possible by selling gas....

PLK said...

I was unaware of the details of the Law of Parties and was surprised at it's implications. Round Rock Texan presented a convincing argument for the application of the law as it stands. I agree that it should be applied to offenders facing conviction. Adults should be held accountable for their actions and for being in situations with others that lead to criminal activity. This should apply even in cases where the criminal activity escalates beyond that which the person planned.
As for the example kseago gave,
I would add that the gang of offenders would be culpable for their actions as a group. The gas station, the attendant and any witnesses to the comment "we're gonna kill tonight" would not be criminally responsible. They would have an ethical responsibility to report what they heard and let the police decide to follow up.