crim law - a few questions about conspiracy

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shmoo597
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Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:31 pm

crim law - a few questions about conspiracy

Postby shmoo597 » Sun May 02, 2010 2:36 pm

Hello everyone, got a few more crim law questions:

1. Conspiracy ends when the object of the conspiracy is achieved...but what if this is ongoing? What if the conspiracy is to import drugs. Is there a new conspiracy with every drug shipment? What if the agreement is to establish an ongoing criminal organizational that imports drugs daily? I'm guessing that conspiracies of this nature go on forever?

2. If you join a conspiracy, you are ALSO aiding and abetting, right? (Just by agreeing to help a crime) And if you aid and abet, and agree to help the defendant, you are also guilty of conspiracy right?

3. Conspiracy requires knowledge/intent to the result and act, but not to the attendant circumstances? So - if you conspire to kill the person standing in front of the bank, and it turns out that person was a cop, you, as a conspirator, are liable for cop killing (more than regular killing) even though you did not intend this? Is this true under the MPC?


Sorry if any of these are unclear - any help would be much appreciated, thanks!

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annapavlova
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Re: crim law - a few questions about conspiracy

Postby annapavlova » Sun May 02, 2010 3:06 pm

shmoo597 wrote:Hello everyone, got a few more crim law questions:

1. Conspiracy ends when the object of the conspiracy is achieved...but what if this is ongoing? What if the conspiracy is to import drugs. Is there a new conspiracy with every drug shipment? What if the agreement is to establish an ongoing criminal organizational that imports drugs daily? I'm guessing that conspiracies of this nature go on forever?

I don't entirely remember the details of this, so keep that in mind, but yes, conspiracies of this nature will go on forever but are likely to be counted individually. There is a case (can't remember the damn name) where two brothers are charged with like 27 counts of conspiracy to commit tax fraud and evasion over a period of years, which would lead me to infer that if the conspiracy is ongoing, you can still be charged for every count.


2. If you join a conspiracy, you are ALSO aiding and abetting, right? (Just by agreeing to help a crime) And if you aid and abet, and agree to help the defendant, you are also guilty of conspiracy right?

It's all about the agreement. If there is an agreement between the two parties to commit the target offense, they are a part of the conspiracy. But keep in mind that a D may only be charged with Accomplice Liability if they did not agree to the target offense. Driving the car for a bank robber is aiding and abetting (in most jurisdictions), but if they didn't AGREE to assist in the bank robbery, then they are a not a co-conspirator.

3. Conspiracy requires knowledge/intent to the result and act, but not to the attendant circumstances? So - if you conspire to kill the person standing in front of the bank, and it turns out that person was a cop, you, as a conspirator, are liable for cop killing (more than regular killing) even though you did not intend this? Is this true under the MPC?

Yes you are in trouble for killing the cop. I don't remember the exact wording, but it has to do with the foreseeable result of your actions. Is it foreseeable that you would kill a cop during a bank robbery, even if you didn't intend to kill the cop when you went in? Yes, so you would get hit with that charge. I didn't learn MPC specifically, but I believe that this is the case in the modern law as well.

Though I got an A in crim law, I haven't though about it for about five months, so take this response with knowledge of that.


Sorry if any of these are unclear - any help would be much appreciated, thanks!

Carnival1860
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:42 pm

Re: crim law - a few questions about conspiracy

Postby Carnival1860 » Sun May 02, 2010 4:09 pm

shmoo597 wrote:Hello everyone, got a few more crim law questions:

2. If you join a conspiracy, you are ALSO aiding and abetting, right? (Just by agreeing to help a crime) And if you aid and abet, and agree to help the defendant, you are also guilty of conspiracy right?

Sorry if any of these are unclear - any help would be much appreciated, thanks!


Not necessarily true. Aiding and abetting requires actual assistance while conspiracy only requires an agreement to participate in an act. Think of this example, A is a cashier working in a shop and he secretly hated the shop owner. During a shop robbery committed by B, A, intending to help B to take revenge of the shop owner, cut the phone line so that the police department could not have reached the shop soon enough to stop the robbery. Here A can be held liable for the bank robbery based on the aiding/abetting theory (he had the mens rea of purposefully helping B and the actus reus of assisting B's robbery), but apparently A is not liable for a conspiracy to commit bank robbery because there was no prior agreement.

You can always think of hypos where conspiracy but not aid/abetting is present, although the two usually overlap with each other.

shmoo597
Posts: 301
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:31 pm

Re: crim law - a few questions about conspiracy

Postby shmoo597 » Sun May 02, 2010 7:04 pm

Thanks to both of you, excellent answers.




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