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Stokes v. State of Mississippi
Mississippi Supreme Court
46 So. 627 (1908)
Will Stokes (defendant) and Cora Lane were having an adulterous affair. The lovers hired Shorty Robertson to kill Cora’s husband, Wallace Lane. Robertson was supposed to hide with a gun and wait along Wallace’s usual route home, but he reported the plan to the police beforehand. Police hid at the prescribed location, and Robertson and Stokes went there together as planned. Police arrested Stokes as he handed Robertson a loaded gun. No money had yet changed hands, and Wallace did not take his usual route home that night. The trial court nonetheless convicted Stokes of attempting to murder Wallace. Stokes appealed, arguing that the facts did not amount to an attempted murder because it would have been impossible for Robertson to murder Wallace under the circumstances.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning
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