Criminal Law Keyed to Dressler
Tison v. Arizona
The Petitioners are the sons of Gary Tison (Tison). Tison had been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a guard whom he killed in the course of a prison escape. After spending a number of years in jail, Tison’s wife, their three sons, Tison’s brother and other relatives engineered a prison escape. The escape was executed such that no shots were fired at the prison. However, after the escape, the getaway car had a flat tire. The group elected to flag down a passing motorist and steal a car. A car occupied by John Lyons, his wife Donnelda, his two-year-old son Christopher and his 15-year-old niece, Theresa Tyson, pulled over to render aid. Tison and his former cellmate Randy Greenawalt, intentionally shot and killed all four passengers. The Petitioners, despite not personally killing anyone, were convicted of capital murder in addition to armed robbery, kidnapping and car theft. Under Arizona law, a killing occurring during the perpetration of robbery or kidnapping i s capital murder and each participant in the kidnapping or robbery is legally responsible for the acts of his accomplices. The Petitioners each were sentenced to death for the four murders.
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