Facts: Petitioner William Jensen was convicted of four counts of solicitation to commit murder in the Superior Court for King County after soliciting a fellow inmate and an undercover police officer to murder four members of his family while he was jailed for threatening his wife. Jensen subsequently appealed three of his convictions, asserting that the unit of prosecution under Washington Revised Code §9A.28.030(1) is the enticement to commit a crime rather than the number of potential victims. The Washington Court of Appeals affirmed Jensen’s convictions. Jensen appealed this decision to the Supreme Court of Washington.
Question(s): Is the unit of prosecution under §9A.28.030(1) the enticement to commit a crime or the number of potential victims?
Conclusion: Justice Madsen’s opinion for the Court reversed the Washington Court of Appeals, vacated two of Jensen’s convictions, and remanded the case to the trial court for resentencing, concluding that a single enticement to commit multiple crimes is a single solicitation for purposes of §9A.28.030(1). Thus, as Jensen had initially enticed a fellow inmate to murder three members of his family and subsequently enticed an undercover police officer purporting to represent the fellow inmate to expand the agreement to include his son as well, the Court held that Jensen had committed two solicitations.
Petitioner: William Jensen
(Counsel: Jeffrey Erwin Ellis)
Respondent: State of Washington
(Counsel: Julie Anne Kays and James Morrissey Whisman)
Argument: Thursday, May 22, 2008 9:00am
[Source: TVW, http://tvw.org]
Audio: Washington Supreme Court
Decided: Thursday, November 6th, 2008
Prevailing Party: William Jensen (Petitioner)
Court: Alexander4 Court (2008-2009)
Note: We post only slip opinion(s) as published at the time of the decision. Please consult Washington Reports printed volumes for the opinion(s) in their final form. Each opinion should appear next to the Justice who authored it.