More than 13 years ago, 21-year-old Florida resident Ryan Holle was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for premeditated murder. The incident that led to his imprisonment occurred in March of 2003 when Holle lent his vehicle to a roommate and went to sleep in his apartment. During the night, Holle’s roommate and three others drove to the home of a drug dealer and attempted to rob him. During the robbery, the men murdered the dealer’s 18-year-old daughter.
Although Holle was asleep at his apartment during the robbery and killing, he was still convicted of premeditated murder because he lent his friend the vehicle used during the crime. The prosecution even acknowledged the fact that Holle was nowhere near the scene when it happened, but despite the evidence proving his innocence, he was sent to jail. A decade later, Holle is still behind bars, and it seems his case is being brought back into the spotlight.
Charles Grodin, a Golden Globe winning actor and comedian, has been outspoken in his support for Holle and objection of the Felony Murder Rule under which the now 31-year-old was jailed. The Felony Murder Rule basically says that any person involved in committing a felony where somebody was killed is guilty of murder. The armed robbery that Holle’s roommate committed with his car was a felony, and because Holle lent his car to his friend, he was therefore convicted of murder despite not actually being involved. Grodin recently expressed his feelings about Holle’s case in an article published by The Nation.
“I have been advocating on behalf of clemency for Ryan, who was first offered a plea deal of ten years but chose to go to trial,” wrote Grodin in the piece. “I’m sure it was difficult for a young man, who had never been arrested, and who believed he had done nothing to accept that he should go to prison for ten years, so he went to trial, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. He is now in his eleventh year of incarceration.”