Conspiracy mens rea wasn’t defined clearly at common law, and most modern legislatures haven’t made it any clearer. This leaves the courts to define it. The traditional definition of the inchoate crime of conspiracy includes the attendant circumstance element that agreements involve two or more parties agreeing or combining to commit a crime. Most modern statutes have replaced this traditional definition with a unilateral approach that doesn’t require that all conspirators agree–or even know–the other conspirators.
Review the case United States v. Garcia, (9th Cir. 1998), pages 281-283, and answer the following questions:
* What acts did Garcia do that amounted to a conspiracy?
* What was the government’s evidence that supports the conspiracy?
* What reasons did the Court give to reject the government’s arguments and order that Garcia should go free?
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