A Florida Appeals Court decided that former FBI Agent John Connolly should die in prison so it wrote an abomination of a decision to make sure that happened. The issue really isn’t whether Connolly was a good or bad FBI agent. The issue is whether our liberties are safe in America when five judges can sign on to an absurd decision written for the sole purpose of getting Connolly. If it can happen to him, it can happen to you.
Connolly was convicted of second degree murder by gun. The charge of second degree murder would have run up against the statute of limitations and Connolly acquitted had not the gun charge reclassified the penalty and time for bringing the charges. The enhancement brought it within the statute.
The facts most favorable to the state are simple. John Callahan was murdered by Martorano on July 31, 1982. Martorano said he murdered Callahan because three weeks before the murder Connolly passed word to others that the FBI was looking for Callahan. Connolly said if he cooperated he would be able to implicate Martorano and others in a murder committed by Martorano in Oklahoma. He said Martorano should handle it. At the time he met the others in Boston he was wearing his FBI gun.
The Florida enhancement statute states: ” . . .whenever a person is charged with a felony, except . . . , and during the commission of such a felony the defendant carries, displays, uses, threatens, or attempt to use any weapon or firearm, . . . the felony for which the person is charged shall be reclassified . . . . “
The issue was whether wearing the gun in Boston three weeks before the murder in Florida Connolly was carrying a gun during the commission of the murder.
The Florida court stated Connolly’s: “second degree murder conviction was reclassified based solely on the firearm the defendant carried during the commission of the murder, and not some other offense. Further, unlike the defendant in Lemus, he carried his weapon while the crime of second degree murder was ongoing.”
In other words, when Connolly suggested that Callahan be taken care of the murder was ongoing even though it was three weeks before the actual murder took place.
Thus in Florida under this ruling a felony is ongoing, or being committed, at the time someone suggests it be done. Or, a felony is being committed if two people sit down in a room and plan to do it. It is hard to understand how a murder or any felony could be ongoing if it does not happen.
More simply how can something exist that doesn’t exist. If there is no murder how can it be ongoing. If Callahan was not murdered then how could his murder have been ongoing for three weeks.
I’m not discussing being a conspirator or an accessory before the fact. I’m discussing being the principal, the one committing the act. Although those who plan with, or aid and abet the principal may be punished like the principal they don’t become the principal.
Three thugs sitting in an automobile on Monday planning to rob a bank on the following Thursday have not committed a bank robbery at that point. Nor is the bank robbery ongoing. They may be conspiring to do it. They may if they take steps based on their agreement be accessories to it but they are not robbing the bank. The bank is not robbed until the money is taken. If they are stopped before going into the bank by the cops they can be charges with attempted bank robbery but not the robbery even though the Florida case would have it that the robbery was ongoing at that time.
Common sense tells us that no murder or robbery takes place until it is actually committed. Florida tells us it happens as soon as someone suggests it be done. Hamlet complained about the laws delays; better in deciding whether to be or not to be he complained about its absurdity.