Brief Fact Summary. Defendants were found guilty of several counts of conspiracy. The Defendants allege that violations they partook in were part of a single agreement, which should only be one conspiracy charge.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The one agreement cannot be taken to be several agreements and hence several conspiracies just because it involves the violation of several laws.
For such a violation, only the single penalty prescribed by the statute can be imposed.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Whether a single agreement to commit acts in violation of several laws is to be punished as one or several conspiracies.
Held. Reversed, the single agreement is the prohibited, and however many laws are violated is not relevant because it is a violation of a single statute prohibiting conspiracy.
When a single agreement to commit one or more substantive crimes is evidences by an overt act, the precise nature and extent of the conspiracy must be determined.
The one agreement cannot be taken to be several agreements and hence several conspiracies because it involves the violation of several statutes and not just one.
Discussion. The court focused analysis on the fact that although the Defendants violated several statutes, their conspiracy involved a single agreement to do so. Each separate violation of the law was not a separate agreement to conspire to violate that law. Rather, the Defendants entered into one agreement that contemplated violation of several laws, thus they could only be found guilty of one count of conspiracy.