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View Diary: Federal grand jury probing Tiller murder (208 comments)

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  •  that is not always the case. (15+ / 0-)

    Someone can be charged as an accessory before the fact if they provided any encouragement or assistance to the crime, and in some cases merely for having sufficient knowledge it was going to occur but failing to report what they know.

    •  they have to take some... (4+ / 0-)

      .. affirmative step in furtherance of the crime.

      Encouragement or Assistance qualify. Lying if an authority asked in advance 'hey, do you know if roeder is planning on shooting tiller?' 'no, he'd never do that' and it turns out you knew? That would be an affermative step in furtherance of the crime.

      If you are a true spectator of the whole thing and say nothing, you are good to go. If you cheer them on in a way that provides them support, encouragement, or cover, then yes, you can be an accessory before the fact.

      •  how about something along the lines of... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, snackdoodle, moldyfolky

        .... "tell me when you've done the deed so I can call our lawyer and start organizing a fundraiser for your defense"....?

        •  Doubt they 'think' that way (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          •  you would be surprised. (3+ / 0-)

            I really can't say any more than that about the hypothetical or the specific instance, but you would crap in your pants if you knew how well organized these people are.  

            The dossier that anti-abortion extremists put together about Tiller would do credit to a small country's intelligence services.  I read the damn thing when I was doing my writeup, and I had to grudgingly admire their thoroughness.  

            The fact that they are starting from premises that are totally false (e.g. that a fetus without a functioning brain can have a mind, which is provably false) does not mean they are stupid or that they lack the ability to plan in detail before they act.  

            And the fact that some of them are relatively easy to catch, doesn't mean that all of them will be.  This year we've run into some who are smarter than average in a way that is cause for a greater degree of concern.  However that will not stop us trying to catch them doing something that will be prosecutable.  

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