Brief Fact Summary. Defendant was present and participated in a diversion with other individuals that eventually led to the burglary of a store. Defendant was convicted of conspiracy to commit burglary and second degree burglary.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. There are two mental state requirements to find Defendant guilty of complicity (1) culpable mental state required for the underlying crime and (2) encouraging the commission of the crime with intent to facilitate the commission of the crime.
Where two or more are involved in the commission of a criminal offense and one helps the other, though not actually performing all the acts necessary to the commission of the offense, all are, nevertheless, principal offenders and are punishable as though all have committed the necessary acts.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Whether the jury instructions reflected the two required mental states for complicity.
There is a dual mental state requirement of the Complicitor that must be proven: (1) Complicitor has the culpable mental state required for the underlying crime committed by the principal; (2) Complicitor assists or encourages the commission of the crime committed by the principal with the intent to facilitate such commission.
It’s not enough that Defendant intentionally engaged in the acts which ultimately assisted the principal, rather the Complicitor must intend that his conduct have the effect of assisting the principal.
Discussion. The court detailed the analysis behind the complicity theory. The reason for the two mental state requirements is that Defendant could not have intended his participation to further the crime unless he also intended the crime to occur. Because although the jury instructions were lengthy, they encompassed both mental state determinations and thus the conviction could be upheld.