Sunday, July 27, 2008

DA's Brief Opposing Cuadra's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (XI. Criminal Conspiracy)

XI. Criminal Conspiracy

Pursuant to 18 Pa.C §903, a person is guilty of criminal conspiracy with another person to commit a crime if, with the intent of promoting or facilitating its commission, he:

(1) agrees with such other person or persons that they or one or more of them will engage in conduct which constitutes such crime or an attempt or solicitation to commit such crime; or
(2) agrees to aid such other person or persons in the planning or commission of such crime or of an attempt or solicitation to commit such crime.

18 Pa.C.S.A. § 903

“Conspiracy is a continuing offense or course of conduct within the purview of the statute, which provides that such an offense is “committed” for limitations purposes when the course of conduct or the defendant’s complicity therein is terminated.” PAJUR CRIMLAW § 32:52, footnotes omitted.

To sustain a conviction for criminal conspiracy, the Commonwealth must establish that the defendant (1) entered an agreement to commit or aid in an unlawful act with another person or persons, (2) with a shared criminal intent, and that (3) an overt act was done in furtherance of the conspiracy. The overt act need not be committed by the defendant but need only be committed by a coconspirator. Once there is evidence of the presence of a conspiracy, conspirators are liable for the acts of co-conspirators committed in furtherance of the conspiracy.

16 PAPRAC § 14:3, footnotes omitted,

Once a conspiracy has been established, each conspirator represents the other with respect to the act to be accomplished. Everything said or done in pursuance of the common purpose is admissible against all. Commonwealth v. Sullivan 371 A.2d 468 (Pa. 1977), citing 1 Henry, Pennsylvania Evidence § 442 p. 436 (1953).