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.
The California Legislature was concerned not only with the prevention of the harm that would result should the inducements prove successful, but with protecting inhabitants of this state from being exposed to inducements to commit or join in the commission of the crimes specified.View Full Point of Law
Issue. 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.
Discussion. 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