Posted by: Stephen Mostrom
April 18, 2015
Conspiracy is a staple of the United States judicial system. The term “conspiracy,” in the legal sense, means an agreement between two or more people to commit an illegal act. In essence, a conspiracy is a meeting of the minds with a sinister purpose, and it is this small, yet important, area of criminal law that keeps many criminals from going unpunished.
Consider, for example, the getaway driver for a high-stakes bank robbery. The driver is involved in the planning of the heist. He is integral in the act of the heist. And yet, did he walk into the bank with a gun himself? No. But it still seems fair that the getaway driver share in the punishment of the other robbers. That is where conspiracy law comes in—reaching those criminals who were integral to the action of a crime, but did not commit the action themselves.
There are countless other examples of conspiracy law hard at work in the real world—drug cartels, organized crime, embezzlement. But while application of conspiracy principles is relatively straightforward in most areas, courts have struggle much more in the area of online marketplaces. Enter the Silk Road case. Continue reading