After it was run in an unsafe
manner, the boiler on a ship called the Mackinac exploded killing a number
The captain of the ship, McVay
and the chief engineer, Grant, were arrested and charged with involuntary
McVay and Grant were acting
under the encouragement of a guy named Kelley. Kelley was the one who
advised the crew that the boiler should be run unsafely.
The Trial Court convicted
Kelley of involuntary manslaughter.
Kelley argued that involuntary
manslaughter was a crime of negligence, not intent. Kelley argued that you could not be an accessory
before the fact to a crime that did
not require intent.
The Appellate Court upheld the
The Appellate Court found
that negligence can have premeditation as an element. Even though the boiler
explosion was unintentional, it was the reasonably foreseeable result of
intentional actions on the part of the crew.
Kelley encouraged the crew
to be negligent, and when they
intentionally followed his advice, people died.
Conversely, if someone killed
a person in a burst of rage, then it would be difficult to find accomplice
liability because those sorts of crimes have no premeditation, so there
really isn't a way to encourage them.