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
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
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