Ryan Holle is a Criminal, not an Innocent Bystander.
I’m sick of seeing this bullshit story by AlterNet. They claim this gentleman went to prison for life because he “lent his car to a friend and then went to bed”. I will agree that is factually correct, so why am I calling it bullshit?
I’m calling this bullshit because AlterNet is deliberately giving a false impression by phrasing their facts in a devious way. Ironically if Fox News did this in a story AlterNet would scream like hell, but hey I guess it’s okay when it’s done for the right reasons?
Consider this sentence: “John Hinkley shot Ronald Reagan, who later died.” Is there anything untruthful in that statement? No. But if you knew nothing else of the incident what would you think the cause of Reagan’s death was? This is the same thing AlterNet is doing.
The AlterNet story claims Mr. Holle “…lent his car to his roommate and went to sleep. He had lent his car to his roommate many times before with no negative consequences.”
They go on to say the roomates, “…and others went to a house where they knew a woman was selling marijuana from a safe. They planned to get the marijuana, but in the course of their break-in a teenage girl was killed.”
So after reading the AlterNet coverage of the story you would think that Mr. Holle’s friends asked to borrow his car, perhaps to pick up some beer or snacks from a local 7-11, and went to bed. When he awoke he was shocked to find a “burglary” had been committed with his car, and that a teenage girl had been bludgeoned to death during the burglary.
The truth is Ryan Holle knew his car was being used in the burglary/robbery of a drug dealer, AND he knew that the burglars planned to beat the people in the house. So he knew he was participating in a violent crime, one that any reasonable person should have known could end in a death.
The true irony here….
The true irony here is that AlterNet, and others pushing this “pure as the driven snow” narrative, are not helping, in my opinion. I agree life without parole is probably too steep a price to pay. But once I realize I am being lied to I lose any interest I had in Mr. Holle’s plight.
I would agree the felony murder rule is too strict and leads to injustice, but I don’t like being lied to.
For those asking for more sources please see the Google News Archives. The Sarasota Herald Tribune of December 5, 2007 has a good article. I can’t link directly to the particular article but it is easy to find by the paper name and date once you are in the archives.
This very brief story from 2004 doesn’t have much detail, but does make it clear that Holle was convicted because the jury thought he had prior knowledge of the robbery: http://www.wjhg.com/news/headlines/904287.html
This NY Times article makes states that Holle made statements to the police admitting prior knowledge, but that he later claimed he thought it was a “joke”. Note they admit that the statements exist while down playing them and advocating for Mr. Holle’s release, a little more honest than AlterNet wouldn’t you say?
To be fair to AlterNet I should also point out that the article is originally from The Nation magazine, and was reprinted in AlterNet. I’m picking on AlterNet because their reprint is getting all the attention on the web. The Nation is mostly read by aging hippies who pick it up at the macro biotic food co-op on the way home from a drum circle.