November 21, 2008
Do The Math
A high school junior who was convicted of a criminal offense arising out of his agreement to act as a lookout for other students who were stealing a mathematics examination appealed his conviction to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. The court affirmed the conviction, holding that the defendant had not demonstrated that he had withdrawn from the criminal enterprize.
...to extricate himself from accomplice liability, the defendant needed to make an affirmative act, such as communicating his withdrawal to the principals. Here, the defendant made no such act. The defendant testified that he and his companions simply left the scene. He did not communicate his withdrawal, discourage the principals from acting, inform the custodians, or do any other thing which would deprive his complicity of effectiveness. In fact, the principals remained unaware of his exit. Thus, the defendant did not do that which was necessary to undo his complicity.
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