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State v. Gladstone

    Brief Fact Summary. Defendant was found guilty of aiding and abetting another in the unlawful sale of marijuana.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. The aider/abettor must do something in association or connection with the principal to accomplish the crime.

    Facts. Defendant was found guilty of aiding and abetting another in the unlawful sale of marijuana. Government’s case rested solely on evidence of a conversation between Defendant and undercover agent concerning the possible purchase of marijuana. Defendant was alleged to have given the undercover agent directions and a name from which he could purchase marijuana from. The undercover agent actually conducted the purchase.

    Issue. Whether Defendant had the requisite mental state for the crime of aiding or abetting the unlawful sale of marijuana.

    Held. Remanded with directions to dismiss.
    An aider/abettor does not have to be physically present at the commission of the crime to be held as guilty as the principal. But his conviction depends on proof that he did something in association or connection with the principal to accomplish the crime.

    Dissent. The dissent argued that the statute does not have a requirement that the aider/abettor entertain a conscious intent that his action will instigate, induce, or procure the crime. The dissent stated that when Defendant provided the undercover agent with a recommendation on a source to purchase marijuana from, he had the intent that his action would instigate a sale and thus is guilty of aiding or abetting the crime.

    Discussion. The Court ruled that there existed no evidence that Defendant in any way aided or abetted the undercover agent in the purchase of the marijuana. The Court stated that Defendant did not counsel him, encourage him or direct him in the sale, nor did he derive any benefit from the purchase of the marijuana. The Court ruled that Defendant did not have any understanding, agreement or purpose, intention or design to participate in the purchase.


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