Smith V. US: Impact On Defense Of Conspiracy Charges

Law360, New York (January 31, 2013, 12:32 PM EST) -- On Jan. 9, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Smith v. United States, held that a person accused of having participated in a criminal conspiracy has the burden of proving withdrawal from the conspiracy outside of the statute of limitations period to avoid criminal conviction. According to Justice Antonin Scalia, an accused’s “change of heart ... c[an] not put the conspiracy genie back in the bottle.”

Normally, a defendant who joins a criminal conspiracy is held responsible for any criminal acts committed by other members of...
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