No one disputes that police shot and killed A’Donte Washington in 2015, but Lakeith Smith, now 18, was sentenced under the state’s accomplice law

Unlike in the vast majority of fatal shootings by police officers, someone is going to prison for the 2015 death of 16-year-old A’Donte Washington in Alabama. It just isn’t the police officer who shot him.

Lakeith Smith was sentenced last week to 30 years for A’Donte’s murder, even though no one disputes it was an officer’s bullet that killed him. Smith is not even accused of having possessed a weapon. Under the state’s accomplice law, co-defendants can be guilty of murder if a death occurs when they are in the midst of committing a felony.

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Read More Alabama police shot a teen dead, but his friend got 30 years for the murder

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