Victim went to the projects to visit her boyfriend, but he was not at home. Victim started talking to D and his brother instead in a public area.
They talked for a while. D and his brother told victim their real names and where they worked. Later, they went to the convenience store to get more cigarettes.
On the way, in the woods, victim fell. D's brother jumped on top of her and raped her. D sat down and watched it happen.
D was charged with conspiracy to commit rape.
Trial court found D guilty of conspiracy to commit rape.
MA Appeals Court reversed, D not guilty.
Can a D be convicted of conspiracy when there is no evidence of an agreement and if there is only evidence showing D's complicity in the crime as an accomplice?
A D cannot be convicted of conspiracy when there is no evidence of an agreement and when there is only evidence showing D's complicity in the crime as an accomplice.
The prosecutor must prove the existence of an agreement and that the D was aware of the objective of the conspiracy.
There is no way that a plan could be hatched while they were all talking to each other since the victim was there.
There is no evidence that D or his brother had anything to do with victim falling. After that, the situation implied spontaneity, not purposeful execution of a plan.
The fact that D may have aided and abetted the crime does not establish a conspiracy.
Proof of a tacit agreement may be sufficient to prove a conspiracy. In this case, it is just as reasonable to conclude that this was done without planning, so neither can be proved.
One can be an accomplice aiding in the commission of a substantive offense without necessarily conspiring to commit it.
To warrant a conviction for conspiracy, the evidence must disclose something further than participating in the offense which is the object of the conspiracy; there must be proof of the unlawful agreement, either express or implied, and participation with knowledge of the agreement.
Holding any other way would expand the already elastic doctrine of conspiracy.