Parties to a Conspiracy

  1. militarydefenselawyers424Two or more persons are required in order to have a conspiracy. MCM, pt. IV, 5c(1).
    1. Co-conspirators need not be subject to the UCMJ. United States v. Rhodes , 29 C.M.R. 551 (C.M.A. 1960) (co-conspirator was a foreign national).
    2. At least two parties must be culpably involved. There must be a “meeting of minds” regarding the criminal object of the conspiracy. United States v. Valigura , 54 M.J. 187 (C.A.A.F. 2000) (adhering to the traditional “bilateral theory” and rejecting the modern “unilateral theory”; no conspiracy where only co-conspirator was an undercover agent; affirming conviction for attempted conspiracy); United States v. LaBossiere , 32 C.M.R. 337 (C.M.A. 1962). (“it is well settled that there can be no conspiracy when a supposed participant merely feigns acquiescence with another’s criminal proposal in order to secure his detection and apprehension by proper authorities.”).
  2. Acquittal of accused’s co-conspirators in a separate trial does not preclude conspiracyconviction of the accused. United States v. Garcia , 16 M.J. 52 (C.M.A. 1983) (overruling the former “rule of consistency”).