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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 120610 Find in a Library
Title: Conspiracy
Journal: American Criminal Law Review  Volume:26  Issue:3  Dated:(Winter 1989)  Pages:725-754
Author(s): A C Phelan
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 30
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the scope, nature, and proof required in a Federal conspiracy prosecution, emphasizing the co-conspirator hearsay exception, specific defenses to Federal conspiracy charges, and the enforcement of Federal conspiracy statutes.
Abstract: While section 371 of Title 18 of the United States Code defines the Federal offense of conspiracy and applies to any conspiracy whose object is to commit any offense against or defraud the United States, twenty-four additional Federal statutes proscribe conspiracy relating to specific substantive offenses. Essential elements of a criminal conspiracy are discussed in detail, along with the co-conspirator hearsay rule and relevant Federal case law. The prosecution must establish beyond a reasonable doubt the four essential elements of a conspiracy in order to convict a defendant. Defendants can challenge conspiracy charges by claiming failure to prove specific elements or by asserting other defenses such as withdrawal from the conspiracy. The article argues against a proposal to place the burden of disproving withdrawal on the prosecution, pointing out that it would be contrary to the established policy of placing on the defendant the burden of proving affirmative defenses. 203 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Conspiracy
Index Term(s): Defense; Federal Code; Hearsay evidence
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