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Common purpose (law)

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Common purpose is a legal doctrine stating that all participants in a crime are responsible for its consequences, even if it wasn't the original intention. Thus, for example, if a gang of criminals agree to rob a building by knocking out the security guard, they are all deemed to be guilty of murder if the knocker-out kills the guard. One of the more notorious uses of common purpose was the trial of the Sharpeville sixWikipedia's W.svg, a group of protesters in Apartheid-era South Africa sentenced to death when the mob they were part of murdered a local politician.