Citation. 29 N.Y.2d 58,272 N.E.2d 331; 323 N.Y.S.2d 829; 1971 N.Y.
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Brief Fact Summary.
Defendants were convicted of solicitation to commit a felony. Defendants argue that the evidence did not support the conviction. The main evidence offered was the individual who was contacted by Defendants never intended to participate in the felony and contacted the police.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
For the crime of solicitation, the communication itself with intent the other engage in unlawful conduct is enough; it needs no corroboration.
Defendants were convicted after trial for solicitation to commit a felony. Defendants were in the jewelry business and owed Silverman $30,000 for diamonds on unpaid notes. Silverman approached Defendants for payment. Instead of payment, Defendants suggested that they all get together and participate in a scheme to declare bankruptcy and obtain money payments. Silverman told the police and the trial ensued.
Whether the evidence supported a conviction for solicitation to commit a felony under New York law.
The crime of solicitation does not require an overt act; it is complete when the solicitation is made. It is immaterial that the object of the solicitation is never consummated.
The communication itself with intent the other person engage in the unlawful conduct is enough, it needs no corroboration.
The Court agreed that the Government had presented sufficient evidence to support a conviction under the statute. The Court’s opinion focused on the inherent errors in the newly enacted statute that made solicitation a crime. First, that there needs not be any corroboration, e.g. second bystander etc. The Court notes that this could present difficulties discerning the difference between guilty parties and innuendos. Another problem with the statute the Court notes is that the communication does not have to reach the intended party, as long as it was meant to, the Government could prosecute. The opinion suggests that the statute and the court’s role in interpreting the statute need to be refin