Monday, May 06, 2013

People v. Williams (Cal. Supreme Ct. - May 6, 2013)

It seems so easy at first.  Scam someone in a drug deal.  Buy some kilos of cocaine with bundles of "cash" wrapped in plastic that are actually ripped up phone books in the shape of bills.

Yeah, in theory, that works.  A theory that sounds even more attractive when you've been smoking a ton of weed when you come up with the plan.

But one of the many deficiencies of the plan -- and by no means the biggest, I might add -- is that one of the guns you bring with you to the scam might accidentally go off and shoot someone.  At which point you may feel compelled to deliberately kill the remaining witness, as you're already guilty of felony murder.  All of the sudden you find yourself convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to death, and although the prosecutor strikes the first five African-American women in the jury box, the California Supreme Court affirms.  Sure, you've still got federal habeas.  Good luck with that.  Not exactly what you'd hoped for when you had the bright idea to acquire some cocaine with ripped up phone books.

Working at McDonald's and the like may not be fun, and you'll definitely not get rich quickly (if at all).  But at least you won't be sentenced to death.  (Or, hopefully, kill anyone.)