Law of Parties - Randy Halprin

Randy Halprin
 "We tend to see a person in the moment, not as the journey they travelled to get here."  Kat Lehmann

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What is the Law Of Parties?

In the State of Texas, prosecutors take advantage of a law commonly referred to as "The Law of Parties". This law was originally designed to entice co-defendants to testify against one another in order to secure convictions. The law cares not whether you participated in the actual crime, whether or not you were aware of what was taking place, or if you offered material support, for example, "entering into a conspiracy to commit an offense" - you are equally culpable. Regardless of whether or not you caused the death of someone, there is no distinction between you and the actual killer in the eyes of the State.  

The Texas justice system claims that the death penalty is not only used for the worst of the worst - the most heinous of crimes - but that it is also fair and just. If this is the case, then how can it be called "justice" if a co-defendant in a trial (who may be the actual killer) receives a life sentence, while the person who didn't anticipate or take part in the killing, is given a death sentence under the Law of Parties?  

There are many men sitting on Texas death row convicted under this very scenario - Randy Halprin is one of them. He was convicted of Capital Murder and sentenced to death in spite of his own co-defendants' statements that he did not pull a gun, shoot, or take part in the murder. Randy could not have anticipated that anyone would be killed, and finding himself in a very alien and unfamiliar situation where guns were being fired, his natural instinct was to flee the scene in fear, causing him to be shot in the foot as he ran.

All of this begs the question: how does sentencing Randy to death deliver any form of justice? The death penalty is something many of us associate with countries who impose severe and inhumane abuses on their citizens, and is an outdated form of justice and punishment that ceased to exist in many countries, decades ago. The law of parties, however, further reduces our justice system to one which does not reflect the common practice of justice within a fair and equal society. It's a law that should worry and concern all citizens because it has the insidious power to condemn an innocent person (and/or those whose roles in a crime were minor/minimal) to death, for the actions of others.

This law wholly undermines the values of a first world democratic country, and we are fighting to reform this law, and to abolish the death penalty.

UPDATE: Sadly, despite our best collective efforts, Bill HB472 was not passed in Texas...Texas State Rep Donna Howard tweeted on 27th April, 2019...

"HB472 didn't get the votes to pass out of committee, and HB4113 has never gotten a hearing in Criminal Jurisprudence Committee."

And another tweet by Ms Howard...

"Though there was bipartisan support, apparently not enough. And #txlege won’t meet again until Jan 2021. Only hope now is for governor to actively push for last minute passage."

We are continuing to fight for real and fair justice in Texas, with our focus mainly on pushing for a #Moratorium on the death penalty. Please check in with us again for further updates.

In the meantime, we recommend you write to the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, at the following address...

Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin
Texas 78711-2428

and request a #Moratorium on the death penalty. Call, write, tweet - it all matters, and remaining silent is NOT an option!

The following Texas State Representatives have been active in speaking out against the death penalty, and the Law of Parties, and we also recommend keeping up the pressure by writing, tweeting, calling these Reps...We must keep active and keep fighting!

Rep. Joe Moody
District 78

Capitol Address:
Room E1.420
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
(512) 463-0728
(512) 463-0397 Fax

District Address:
5675 Woodrow Bean, Suite 12
El Paso, Texas 79924
(915)751.2700
(915)751.2702 Fax

The following is an article written by Mr Moody It’s time to get rid of the death penalty in Texas

Rep. Terry Canales
District 40

Capitol Address:
Room E2.910
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
(512) 463-0426
(512) 463-0043 Fax

District Address:
101 North 10th Avenue, Suite B
Edinburg, Texas 78541
(956)383-0860
(956)383-4334 Fax

Rep. Harold V. Dutton Jr.
District 142

Capitol Address:
Room 3N.5
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
(512) 463-0510
(512) 463-8333 Fax

District Address:
8799 N. Loop East, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77029
(713) 692-9192
(713) 692-6791 Fax

Both Mr Canales and Mr Dutton Jr. have actively been working towards reforming the Law of Parties. More information can be found in this article Texas Executions May Slow Down, But Won’t Stop.

A full list of Texas Representatives can be found here and we urge everyone to write to as many State Representatives as possible, so they can see we are continuing to fight for change, and for a #Moratorium on the death penalty. We must keep active in the fight, and keep things moving.

Please...engage those around you, and help us to fight this draconian punishment. To lend your support, you can contact us via the contact form in the 'About Us' section on the site, or at friendsofrandyhalprin@gmail.com, or on Twitter, @Of_RandyHalprin.

We thank you for your support.


Why we fight for reform of the Law Of Parties

We are receiving several messages from people, asking why we say people on death row are innocent of capital murder, and what the Law Of Parties really means...Firstly, we are not just saying these men are innocent of capital murder because, as some people think, "Don't they always claim they're innocent on death row?” The very, very important fact here is that those convicted under the Law Of Parties are not just claiming innocence, they ARE factually innocent, and the State of Texas KNOWS they ARE innocent.  

The Law Of Parties is a dysfunctional law. It's subject to manipulation by prosecutors in capital cases, and allows the State to secure death sentences for all parties – even if just one of the party was the shooter, or the killer. It allows for all parties to be held accountable for the killing, regardless of role, intent, or the fact that no human being can read the mind of another, or determine another's actions. And here's another alarming fact about this law...Did you know that under the Law Of Parties, it can sometimes be the case that the actual killer can receive a life sentence, but the non-killer(s) can go straight to death row? This is not justice, and doesn't match the State's claim that the death penalty is reserved for “the worst of the worst.”

So, when we refer to someone as innocent of capital murder and cite the Law Of Parties, we are not misguided, or fooled, or deluded...We are not trying to say these men are angels and shouldn't be punished for their own actions, but justice is about what is fair and right, and whilst we are against the death penalty in ALL cases, the Law Of Parties should not be used to add to the numbers on death row.  

We hope this explains things a little better, but if you wish to know more about the Law of Parties, then please visit the following informative websites...

randy-halprin.net
freekenneth.com

Many thanks for your support.


PENAL CODE

TITLE 2. GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY

CHAPTER 7. CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR CONDUCT OF ANOTHER

SUBCHAPTER A COMPLICITY


Sec. 7.01. PARTIES TO OFFENSES

(a) A person is criminally responsible as a party to an offense if the offense is committed by his own conduct, by the conduct of another for which he is criminally responsible, or by both.
(b) Each party to an offense may be charged with commission of the offense.
(c) All traditional distinctions between accomplices and principals are abolished by this section, and each party to an offense may be charged and convicted without alleging that he acted as a principal or accomplice.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

Sec. 7.02. CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR CONDUCT OF ANOTHER.

(a) A person is criminally responsible for an offense committed by the conduct of another if:
(1) acting with the kind of culpability required for the offense, he causes or aids an innocent or nonresponsibile person to engage in conduct prohibited by the definition of the offense;
(2) acting with intent to promote or assist the commission of the offense, he solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid the other person to commit the offense; or
(3) having a legal duty to prevent commission of the offense and acting with intent to promote or assist its commission, he fails to make a reasonable effort to prevent commission of the offense.
(b) If, in the attempt to carry out a conspiracy to commit one felony, another felony is committed by one of the conspirators, all conspirators are guilty of the felony actually committed, though having no intent to commit it, if the offense was committed in furtherance of the unlawful purpose and was one that should have been anticipated as a result of the carrying out of the conspiracy.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

Sec. 7.03. DEFENSES EXCLUDED.

In a prosecution in which an actor's criminal responsibility is based on the conduct of another, the actor may be convicted on proof of commission of the offense and that he was a party to its commission, and it is no defense:
(1) that the actor belongs to a class of persons that by definition of the offense is legally incapable of committing the offense in an individual capacity; or
(2) that the person for whose conduct the actor is criminally responsible has been acquitted, has not been prosecuted or convicted, has been convicted of a different offense or of a different type or class of offense, or is immune from prosecution.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

Sec. 7.21. DEFINITIONS

In this subchapter:
(1) "Agent" means a director, officer, employee, or other person authorized to act in behalf of a corporation or association.
(2) "High managerial agent," means:
(A) a partner in a parnership;
(B) an officer of a corporation or association;
(C) an agent of a corporation or association who has duties of such responsibility that his conduct reasonably may be assumed to represent the policy of the corporation or association.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg, p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

Sec. 7.22 CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY OF CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION

(a) If conduct constituting an offense is performed by an agent acting in behalf of a corporation or association and within the scope of his office or employment, the corporation or association is criminally responsible for an offense defined:
(1) in this code where corporations and associations are made subject thereto;
(2) by law other than this code in which a legislative purpose to impose criminal responsibility on corporations or associations plainly appears; or
(3) by law other than this code for which strict liability is imposed, unless a legislative purpose not to impose criminal responsibility on corporations or associations plainly appears.
(b) A corporation or association is criminally responsible for a felony offense only if its commission was authorised, requested, commanded, performed, or recklessly tolerated by:
(1) a majority of the governing board acting in behalf of the corporation or association; or
(2) a high managerial agent acting in behalf of the corporation or association and within the scope of his office or employment.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec.1, eff. Jan 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 913, ch. 342, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

Sec. 7.23 CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY OF PERSON FOR CONDUCT IN BEHALF OF CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION

(a) An individual is criminally responsible for conduct that he performs in the name of or in behalf of a corporation or association to the same extent as if the conduct were performed in his own name or behalf.
(b) An agent having primary responsibility for the discharge of a duty to act imposed by law on a corporation or association is criminally responsible for omission to discharge the duty to the same extent as if the duty were imposed by law directly on him.
(c) If an individual is convicted of conduct constituting an offense performed in the name of or on behalf of a corporation or association, he is subject to the sentence authorized by law for an individual convicted of the offense.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

Sec. 7.24 DEFENSE TO CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY OF CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION.

It is an affirmative defense to prosecution of a corporation or association under Section 7.22(a)(1) or (a)(2) that the high managerial agent having supervisory responsibility over the subject matter of the offense employed due diligence to prevent its commission.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec.1, eff. Jan 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 913, ch. 342, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.


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