CR09-401 06/14/12

 

CONSPIRACY, 13 V.S.A. 1404

The State has charged (Def)_______________ with conspiracy to commit (underlying offense)____________________, as follows:

[Read the charge.]

Every crime is made up of essential elements. Before (Def)_______________ can be found guilty of the charge, the State must have proven each of the essential elements beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, the essential elements are that on the date and at the place alleged,

(1) (Def)_______________;

(2) wilfully agreed to enter into a conspiracy with one or more other persons to [commit] [cause the commission of] (underlying offense)_______________;

(3) (Def)_______________ joined in the conspiracy with the purpose of [committing] [causing the commission of] (underlying offense)_______________;

(4) (Def)_______________ and at least one other co-conspirator [were persons who] were neither law enforcement officials acting in official capacity nor persons acting in cooperation with a law enforcement official; and

(5) that, after (Def)_______________ joined the conspiracy, either (Def)_______________, or a co-conspirator who was neither a law enforcement official acting in official capacity nor a person acting in cooperation with a law enforcement official, performed a substantial overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.

The first essential element is that (Def)_______________ is the person who committed the alleged acts.

The second essential element is that (Def)_______________ wilfully agreed to enter into a conspiracy with one or more other persons to [commit] [cause the commission of] (underlying offense)_______________. To act wilfully means to act intentionally. In other words, it means to do an act on purpose, and not inadvertently, because of mistake, or by accident.

A conspiracy is a type of criminal partnership, where two or more persons wilfully agree to join together to commit a particular offense. The State must have proven that (Def)_______________ and at least one other person came to a mutual understanding that they would cooperate with one another to accomplish an unlawful act. You need not find that the alleged members of the conspiracy actually met and entered into any express or formal agreement. The agreement may consist of a mutual understanding that the members would commit some illegal activity by means of a common plan or course of action, as alleged by the State. Co-conspirators need not be charged with the crime of conspiracy in order for you to find that (Def)_______________ had an agreement with the others to commit some illegal act. However, before you may find (Def)_______________ guilty of conspiracy, you must all agree about the purpose of the alleged conspiracy.

[Insert description of underlying offense.]

The third essential element is that (Def)_______________ joined in the conspiracy with the purpose of [committing] [causing the commission of] (underlying offense)_______________. You may find that (Def)_______________ acted purposely if it was [his] [her] conscious objective to [commit] [cause the commission of] (underlying offense)_______________. In determining (Def)_______________s purpose, you should consider all the surrounding facts and circumstances.

The fourth essential element is that (Def)_______________ and at least one other co-conspirator [were persons who] were neither law enforcement officials acting in official capacity nor persons acting in cooperation with a law enforcement official. (Def)_______________ cannot be found guilty of conspiracy if the other persons involved in the agreement were law enforcement officials acting in their official capacity or persons acting in cooperation with law enforcement officials.

Here the term law enforcement official means any state police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, special deputy sheriff, municipal police officer, constable, game warden, or other person authorized to make an arrest. A law enforcement official acts in [his] [her] official capacity if [he] [she] acts within [his] [her] authority under law. A law enforcement official was not acting in [his] [her] official capacity if [he] [she] was pursuing [his] [her] own interests.

The last essential element is that, after (Def)_______________ joined the conspiracy, either (Def)_______________, or a co-conspirator who was neither a law enforcement official acting in official capacity nor a person acting in cooperation with a law enforcement official, performed a substantial overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.

An overt act is any act knowingly committed by one of the conspirators in an effort to accomplish some object or purpose of the conspiracy. A person acts knowingly if [he] [she] is aware that [his] [her] actions are practically certain to further the common purpose. A substantial overt act is one that accomplishes a significant step to further the unlawful agreement. The overt act need not be criminal in nature, when considered separately from the conspiracy. However, it must be an act which tends to accomplish some part of the common plan, and it must be done for the purpose of furthering the conspiracy. Conduct which helps prepare the conspirators to carry out their agreement can be an overt act. Finally, the overt act must have occurred after (Def)_______________ joined the conspiracy.

If the State has not proven each of the essential elements of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt, then you must find (Def)_______________ not guilty. However, if the State has proven all of the essential elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you must return a verdict of guilty.