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  • Wow.

  • So you guys are lifers.

  • Lifers.

  • This is me just a few months ago in San Quentin State

  • Prison, in California.

  • I spent the last 16 years of my life

  • in prison serving time for murder.

  • That’s rightmurder.

  • But the thing is

  • I didn’t kill anyone.

  • And don’t just take my word for it.

  • The judge, the prosecutor and the jury in my case

  • all agreed that I hadn’t killed anyone,

  • but they still sentenced me as the actual killer

  • and put me in prison with 25 years to life.

  • All right.

  • I want to tell you about something called the felony

  • murder rule.

  • It’s a glitch in our criminal justice

  • system, a glitch we only have in the United States.

  • And it basically says this.

  • Felony murder rule.

  • Any death which occurs during the commission of a felony

  • is first-degree murder, and all participants

  • in that felony can be charged with and found guilty

  • of murder.

  • Translation: If you commit a felony,

  • and while that felony is happening,

  • someone gets killed, you can be found guilty of murder

  • whether or not you killed anyone.

  • Here’s an example.

  • Let’s say you let your friend borrow your car.

  • You know he’s going to use it to commit a robbery.

  • But then he ends up killing someone.

  • The felony murder rule says that you're

  • equally guilty of the murder as your friend.

  • This actually happened to a guy named Ryan Holle.

  • Instead of going to prison for an attempted robbery,

  • he’s serving life without the possibility of parole.

  • Or what about this?

  • You and your friend decide to commit a robbery.

  • As youre running away, your friend

  • is shot dead by the police.

  • The felony murder rule says that you

  • are going to prison for his murder

  • even though it was the cops who killed him.

  • You guessed it.

  • There’s a kid named Tevin Lewis serving 52 years

  • to life for this exact situation.

  • Or it could be a robbery, a snatch

  • and grab where your accomplice unexpectedly pulls out

  • a knife and kills someone.

  • That’s what happened to me.

  • We agreed that no weapons were to be used,

  • but the guy I was with brought a knife.

  • The jury found me guilty of an intent to commit a robbery,

  • but the felony murder rule said

  • I should be sentenced for first-degree murder.

  • And that’s what I got

  • 25 years to life.

  • I was 18.

  • Maybe youre thinking I deserved to go to prison,

  • and I agree with you.

  • I committed a robbery, and I should be held responsible.

  • But one of the basic principles

  • of a fair legal system is that people should only

  • be held responsible for the crimes

  • that they committed, not for crimes

  • committed by someone else.

  • The felony murder rule dates way back to England

  • in the 1700s, but they repealed it in 1957.

  • In fact, every other country that

  • had a version of the felony murder rule

  • has ditched it except one.

  • Now, the felony murder rule does have its supporters.

  • If you set out to commit a crime,

  • you should expect that someone’s going to get hurt.

  • But how can you expect an accidental death

  • or know that someone is going to suddenly pull out

  • a weapon.

  • The felony murder rule deters people

  • from being involved in violent crime.

  • That might work if people knew the rule even existed.

  • The first time I heard about it

  • was when I was first charged.

  • Well, someone should be held responsible

  • when a person is killed.

  • Yes, someone should be held responsible,

  • but it should be the person who actually did it.

  • So how many people are incarcerated

  • for murders everyone agrees they didn’t commit?

  • The truth is we don’t even know.

  • Nobody is keeping track of this, not even the courts.

  • The closest we have is a guess from a study of crime data.

  • It said that one in five people for murder convictions

  • are there for felony murder.

  • If that’s trueand again, were not for sure

  • but if that’s true, that’s 36,000 people

  • in prison right now serving time

  • for murders they should never have been charged with.

  • Various of our states, including California,

  • have not appropriately defined our murder statute

  • so that it can fit the crime that is committed.

  • And now the good news

  • during my own incarceration, I campaigned

  • to get the felony murder rule amended

  • in the state of California.

  • So it took three years, but last August, Senate Bill 1437

  • was passed saying that people who

  • are serving time for felony murder

  • but who never had any intent to kill

  • are eligible to have their life sentences overturned.

  • In January, 2019, my sentence was reduced to three years,

  • and I had already served 16 years.

  • So I was released.

  • California is only the seventh state

  • in the country to amend the felony murder rule.

  • If you live in any one of these states,

  • there are definitely people in prison

  • near you serving life sentences for murders

  • that everyone agrees they didn’t commit.

  • As if America’s mass incarceration crisis

  • isn’t bad enough already.

  • It’s crazy being back here, but I

  • want to help those people who are still

  • behind these walls who are still

  • serving those long sentences.

  • State governors and legislators

  • need to take the lead and make a push

  • to amend the felony murder rule in every state

  • so other people like me don’t lose decades of their lives

  • serving time for crimes that they didn’t commit.

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

Wow.

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人を殺してもいないのになぜ殺人罪で16年服役したのか?| NYTオピニオン (Why Did I Serve 16 Years for Murder When I Didn't Kill Anyone? | NYT Opinion)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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