State ex rel. Attorney General v. Tally, Judge
102 Ala. 25, 15, So. 722 (1894)
- Ross seduced Judge Tally’s sister-in-law. Her brothers, the Skeltons’ rode off on horseback to go get Ross.
- Tally had no prior knowledge of the Skeltons’ intentions. He learned about it after they left.
- Ross’s relative sent a telegram to Ross telling him to watch out. Tally intercepted the telegram so Ross never received it.
- The Skelton boys caught up to Ross and killed him.
- Tally was arrested for aiding and abetting the murder.
- The Trial Court convicted Tally of murder. He appealed.
- Tally argued that he never encouraged the Skeltons to kill Ross, and did not give them any assistance in anyway.
- The Appellate Court upheld the conviction.
- The Appellate Court found that although the Skeltons never knew about Tally’s involvement, and never received any assistance from him, he still aided and abetted their crime because he rendered it easier for the principle actors to accomplish their ends.
- The Court found that they didn’t require proof that the Ross would have gotten away if he had received the telegram.
- In other words there is no requirement of a but-for relationship between the defendant’s actions and the criminal conduct of another.
- “He who facilitates murder, even by so much as destroying a single chance of life the assailed might otherwise have had, he thereby supplements the efforts of the perpetrator, and he is guilty as the principle in the second degree at common law, and is principle in the first degree under Alabama Statute.”