Can ''Not Reporting a Crime'' Alone Be Enough to Find Someone Guilty of the Crime ?
Is active participation in a crime required to be guilty on an accountability theory ?
In People v. Taylor, 164 Ill. 2d 131, 140, 207 Ill. Dec. 1, 646 N.E.2d 567 (1995), the court noted that active participation is not required to find a defendant guilty of a crime on an accountability theory. Taylor, 164 Ill. 2d at 141.
The court recognized that Taylor did not have a weapon, did not plan to murder the victim, and did not provide any instruments in furtherance of the plan. Taylor, 164 Ill. 2d at 141.
However, before the shooting took place, the defendant was aware of the plan to kill the victim and went with the shooter to get another weapon.
He voluntarily stayed with the group during the commission of the crime, did not discourage or disapprove of the crime, fled when the police arrived and did not report the crime.
The Taylor court held that the trier of fact could rationally conclude that defendant was part of a common design to murder the victim to which he assented and was guilty of murder based upon a theory of accountability. Taylor, 164 Ill. 2d at 142.
The court in Taylor noted that a common design can be inferred from circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime, including presence during the perpetration of the crime, maintaining a close affiliation with the co-perpetrators after the commission of the crime, and failure to report the crime. Taylor, 164 Ill. 2d at 141.