Man Who Lent Car to Felonious Friends in Jail for Life
Posted Dec 4, 2007 8:58 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The felony murder doctrine has put a Florida man in prison for life because he lent his car to four burglars who killed an 18-year-old girl during the crime.
Ryan Holle told police he knew about the men’s plans to burglarize the home of a drug dealer in statements that helped lead to his murder conviction, the New York Times reports. But Holle told the Times he thought his friends were joking when they spoke about their plans during an all-night party. “I honestly thought they were going to get food,” he said.
He was convicted under the felony murder rule, which allows murder prosecutions for an unintended killing during a felony or a killing by an accomplice.
Europe, Canada and India do not follow the doctrine, but about 30 states here still permit such prosecutions. About 80 people in the last three decades have been sentenced to death for such crimes even though they did not do the killing.