State v. Ramierz

In State v. Ramirez, the New Jersey Supreme Court attempted to settle the standard for accomplice liability under N.J.S.A. 2C:2-6(c)(1). That statute governs accomplice liability for the failure to prevent the commission of an offense when under a legal duty to do so. This case involved the tragic death of the defendants’ toddler. The trial court reluctantly crafted its instruction for manslaughter based on an Appellate Division case from the ’80s. But that instruction did not indicate that the actor must have the purpose of promoting the crime instead of simply doing nothing to stop the crime. The Supreme Court determined that the actor’s “purpose” is key. As such, the Court reversed the defendants’ convictions.

Ramirez-Orozco