How was it, Morrison wondered, that a 19-year-old man could be found guilty of murder despite everyone at the trial accepting he had not physically harmed anyone? After approaching his lawyers for answers a clearer picture began to emerge.
Alexander was under joint enterprise, a doctrine of common law used to convict entire groups of the same crime. If several people set out to commit a crime together, such as a robbery, and in the course of that crime someone is murdered, the entire group can be convicted of murder regardless of who dealt the fatal blow. All that needs to be proven is that the individuals present foresaw that the murder might occur.