Brief Fact Summary. Defendants were convicted of conspiracy and violating a Federal statute prohibiting running gambling houses. Defendants argue that they cannot be convicted of both conspiracy and the violation they were alleged to have conspired to commit.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. When a plurality or several agents is necessary to commit a crime, a conspiracy charge cannot be maintained. This rule applies only to offenses that require concerted criminal activity.
Issue. Whether Wharton’s rule precludes a conviction for both conspiracy and the actual crime.
Held. Affirmed, both convictions can stand. .
Wharton’s rule: When a plurality or several agents is necessary to commit a crime, a conspiracy charge cannot e maintained. This rule applies only to offenses that require concerted criminal activity.
Traditionally the law has considered conspiracy and the completed substantive offense to be separate crimes. The crime of conspiracy poses distinct dangers quite apart from those of the substantive offense.
In sum, the danger which a conspiracy generates is not confined to the substantive offense which is the immediate aim of the enterprise.View Full Point of Law