A, a teenager, recently joined a gang. The gang’ s leader is “Crazy B.” B was first called “Crazy B” when he tried to light a classmate on fire in third grade, and he has done much more to earn the moniker since then. A gets the feeling that B joined the gang just for the chance to hurt someone.
One day, A and B concoct a plan to rob a local fast food restaurant. They paint two florescent green water guns black. Then, they don Halloween character masks to hide their faces and head over to the restaurant.
Crazy B, brandishing his painted gun, orders the customers to drop to the floor. He then saunters over to the cash register, where he instructs the terrified cashier to remove all the cash. When the cashier tries to step away, B quickly stabs her with a concealed knife.
A is horrified, and he drops his fake gun. However, one customer, D, starts cheering B on. “Yeah!” she shouts. “Stab ‘em all! Take their money!” Another customer, E, remains still and quiet as Crazy B stabs another restaurant employee.
Soon after, the police arrive and arrest A, Crazy B, and customers D and E. As it turns out, D has a mental condition that caused her to think she was watching a movie during the events at the restaurant.
Assume the prosecution can prove the above facts at trial.
In a common-law jurisdiction, B is convicted of robbery and battery. Robbery is defined as “taking the property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property, by means of force or fear.” Battery is defined as “the use of force against another, resulting in harmful, offensive, or sexual contact.”
A, D, and E are also charged as accomplices to robbery and battery. This jurisdiction applies the natural and probable consequences doctrine. In this jurisdiction, there is no legal duty to prevent the commission of a crime or report the commission of a crime to law enforcement.
- Are A, D, and E liable as accomplices to robbery and battery? Explain, applying only the common law and analyzing each person’s liability separately, but do not analyze B’s liability and do not consider any other issue that may be raised by the case.