Friday, September 14, 2012

Pinkerton v. United States case brief

Pinkerton v. United States: Two brothers ran an illegal whiskey smuggling business where they evaded paying taxes to the IRS. Daniel was arrested and placed in jail while Walter continued to run the business. Can Daniel’s participation in the conspiracy of the crime itself be enough to sustain a conviction for the substantive offence committed by his brother Walter in furtherance of the conspiracy? The court finds that there is evidence of a continuous conspiracy and no evidence of Daniel’s withdrawal from it. An overt act is an essential ingredient of the crime of conspiracy. IF that act can be supplied by the act of one partner, the court failed to see why the same or other acts in furtherance of the conspiracy are likewise attributable to the others for the purpose of holding them responsible for the substantive offense.
  • An overt act of one partner may be the act of all without any new agreement specifically directed to the act. The governing principal is the same when the substantive offense is committed by on of the partners in furtherance of the unlawful project. The criminal intent to do the act is established by the formation of the conspiracy.
  • Compare to Luperallo: what if what Walker does once Daniel is in prison is not keep doing the same thing (i.e. he shoots an IRA agent).
    • This case doesn’t seem like Luperallo b/c what is being done pre-jail with the smuggling is the same as what goes on post- jail. But the real question is what if what is being done is not your purpose?
      • Pinkerton is effectively the same as the Luperallo question. What happens when something happens that is beyond what you agreed to?

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