In this situation the accuseds single act must demonstrate beyond a reasonable

In this situation the accuseds single act must

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In this situation the accused's single act must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that he intended to join the larger conspiracy. The state argues that the defendant's participa- tion in the single wrongful activity is sufficient evidence of his intent to promote the goals of the conspiracy beyond that one occasion. Courts faced with prosecutions utilizing this line of argument often have sent the issue to the jurors to determine whether they can infer from the single act the requisite intent to join the larger conspiracy. The diffi- culty with this approach is that the jury often finds, from the single transaction, not only the defendant's intent to join the larger agreement, but also the intent to foster the broad goals of that agreement. This finding, however, is made on the basis of a single act, and although the act is criminal in itself, it offers little evidence as to the state of mind of the defendant in relation to the other defendants and the larger con- spiracy. Recently some courts have become reluctant to sustain convictions in these single-act cases. Although the courts recognize that in many cases prosecutors can convict true conspirators only through such evi- dence, the courts are genuinely and justifiably reluctant to allow convic- tions in the one transaction situation to stand. In United States v. Sperling 52 the defendant, Garcia, violated the narcotics laws on a single occasion by delivering illegal drugs to a member of a larger ongoing conspiracy. Garcia argued that "there was insufficient evidence from which the jury could have concluded that [he was] aware that the scope of the conspiracy was larger than [his] participation .... " 53 Noting that the delivery of cocaine, by itself, on one occasion, was "not the kind of single transaction which itself supports an inference of knowledge of a broader conspiracy on the part of [Garcia]," 54 the court recognized the possibility that some single acts might be sufficient evidence of participation in a conspiracy. For a single act to be sufficient to draw an actor within the ambit of a conspiracy to violate the federal narcotics laws, there must be Pinkerton Court held that one could be liable for substantive crimes if the crimes were committed in furtherance of the agreement as understood by the parties and if the crimes were reasonably foreseeable to the parties. 52. 506 F.2d 1323 (2d Cir. 1974). 53. ld. at 1342. 54. Id.
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No.3] CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY 639 independent evidence tending to prove that the defendant in ques- tion had some knowledge of the broader conspiracy, or the single act itself must be one from which such knowledge may be in- ferred. 56 The type of single act that the court in Sperling said could be the basis for the necessary inference is not entirely clear.
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