question.jpgIn Criminal Law

Who are conspirators?

Unlike an accomplice, a conspirator is not someone who simply helps someone commit a crime, but actually participates in the crime itself. Thus, two or more people who agree to steal a Porche are conspirators. What’s more, to be convicted of conspiracy, the conspirers do not even have to complete the crime — conspirators can be convicted simply for planning to commit a crime. Therefore, a group of terrorists who are planning to bomb a building can be convicted of conspiracy even if they never actually committed the crime. To prove conspiracy, however, the government has to show that an “overt act” was committed in the commission of the crime, i.e., an act that in someway move the crime forward, such as a phone call, a letter, or the purchase of a product to be used in the crime.

Keep in mind, also, that conspirators can not only be convicted of conspiracy to commit a crime, but if they actually do commit the crime, they can also be punished for it. In other words, if two people conspire to murder someone, and they actually commit the murder, they can be convicted of both “murder” and “conspiracy to murder.”