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People v. Burleson

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Burleson appealed his conviction on two counts of conspiracy claiming that making the same agreement to rob a bank on two separate dates constitutes a single conspiracy charge. 

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A person cannot be convicted of both conspiracy and attempt because conspiracy is a lesser-included offense of attempt. However, a person can be convicted of multiple counts of conspiracy if that individual made more than one agreement to commit a crime. 

    Facts.

    Burleson and Brown agreed to rob a bank but failed to enter the bank because too many people were around. Burleson and Brown later made a second agreement to rob the bank. On their second attempt to rob the bank, Burleson and Brown failed to enter the bank and fled. Burleson was caught by police and charged with two counts of conspiracy for both agreements to rob the bank and one count of attempted robbery. Burleson appealed his conviction claiming that he should be charged with one count of conspiracy.

     

    Issue.

    Whether a person can be convicted of multiple counts of conspiracy if that individual made more than one agreement to commit a crime and one of those agreements resulted in an attempt?

     

    Held.

    Yes. Burleson may be charged with more than one count of conspiracy because he agreed to rob the bank on more than one occasion. The first conspiracy charge is vacated and the other convictions for conspiracy and attempt are affirmed.

     

    Discussion.

    Burleson can be convicted of both counts of conspiracy because he planned to rob the bank on two separate dates. However, because Burleson was charged with conspiracy and attempt for the first agreement to rob the bank, he cannot be simultaneously charged with the first conspiracy conviction because conspiracy is a lesser-included offense of attempt. 


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