Alabama’s Ulterior Motive

A judge on Thursday sentenced an Alabama teenager to 65 years in prison for a series of crimes, including murder, even though a police officer was the one who actually killed the victim.

Lakeith Smith, now 18, was convicted under the state’s accomplice liability law in March. Based on that law, a person can be convicted of felony murder if they were committing a crime with the deceased that led to the other person’s death, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. Most U.S. states have similar laws.

In Smith’s case, he was involved in burglaries alongside A’Donte Washington, 16, when a police officer shot and killed Washington in 2015.

In February 2015, both Smith and Washington were part of a group of five who broke into two houses in Millbrook, Alabama, the Advertiser reports. When police responded to the scene, the two sides exchanged gunfire. Body camera footage played in court showed Washington running towards an officer pointing a gun at him. The officer then shot and killed Washington.

Believe it or not, I’m not a fan of accomplice liability laws. When a homeowner caps a burglar’s trash or a cop guns down a fleeing suspect, no crime has been committed. Only justice. It makes no sense to charge an accomplice for a good deed.

But then, my opinion is the police would have been justified in gunning down all five of the fleeing burglars once one of them chose to play Cops & Robbers because proactive policing is now forbidden. You can’t operate on both “reactive policing” and “proportionate force”; first they pick the terms of engagement, then you aren’t allowed to play harder than them? That’s just asking to be outplayed by crooks at every turn. I think this kind of law is merely an expression of frustration that our criminal justice system cares more about the criminal than the justice.

It is good that Lack-Wit Smith is doing 65 years–he laughed when his sentence was handed down and refused a plea bargain of 25 years, great way to show repentance ya moron–but life would have been better for the taxpayers of Alabama if he’d been gunned down on the spot because his partner in crime wanted to be a cop-killer. Or if Smith had been run out of town before this incident happened. Using accomplice liability laws to pack on the years, eh, nobody is getting what they truly want.

If anybody can find the bodycam footage, please give me a link. It was used in the trial but I failed to find it on the Internet. Gang of 5 black burglars shooting it out with police? Gotta be a good show.


One thought on “Alabama’s Ulterior Motive

  1. While hunting for the footage, found more of the story:

    Montgomery police officials say this burglary happened during a two-day crime spree that started in the Montgomery city limits on Gas Light Curve.

    That’s where 18-year-old Brandon Brown was shot and killed at a house party. Hardy is charged with capital murder for Brown’s death. Smith and Jackson have all been charged with reckless murder.

    According to Montgomery police, the following day the suspects stole a car and held a victim, who was sleeping in the back, at gunpoint. The victim was later put out of the car before they broke into the house in Millbrook and got into a shootout with police.

    The defendants will be tried in Elmore County before their cases go to court in Montgomery. Robinson says it’s too soon to know if all the suspects will be tried in one case.

    So, capital murder, carjacking and kidnapping in addition to attempted murder of police, theft and burglary. Maybe Smith will dance on a rope after all.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s