Pinkerton v. United States

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Pinkerton v. United States
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued May 1, 1946
Decided June 10, 1946
Full case name Pinkerton v. United States
Citations 328 U.S. 640 (more)
66 S.Ct. 1180, 90 L.Ed. 1489
Holding
When a defendant is joined in a conspiracy, substantive crimes committed to advance that conspiracy can be charged to all defendants as long as they are still part of the conspiracy when those crimes are committed.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Douglas
Concur/dissent Rutledge, joined by Frankfurter
Jackson took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

Pinkerton v. United States, 328 U.S. 640 (1946), is a case in the Supreme Court of the United States. The case enunciated the principle of Pinkerton liability, a prominent concept in the law of conspiracy.

History[edit]

Walter and Daniel Pinkerton both lived separately on Daniel Pinkerton's farm. They were indicted for violations of the Internal Revenue Code. Walter Pinkerton was found guilty of nine counts of violating the tax code and one count of conspiracy. His brother Daniel was found guilty of 6 substantive counts of violating the tax code and one count of conspiracy. Daniel Pinkerton appealed, claiming that because only his brother had committed the substantive crimes he was incorrectly convicted. The actual crime committed may have been moonshining and the government chose to prosecute for tax evasion. They were suspected of "unlawful possession, transportation and dealing of whiskey.[1]

Issue[edit]

At issue is whether a defendant can be held liable for substantive crimes committed by another in the furtherance of a conspiracy in which they are joined.

Holding[edit]

The Court held that when a defendant is joined in a conspiracy, substantive crimes committed to advance that conspiracy can be charged to all defendants as long as they are still part of the conspiracy when those crimes are committed.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ STRADER, KELLY (2009). WHITE COLLAR CRIME: Cases, Materials, and PRoblems. Newark, NJ: Lexis Nexis. p. 80. ISBN 9781422427415. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Goldstein, Abraham S. (1959). "Conspiracy to Defraud the United States". The Yale Law Journal (The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 68, No. 3) 68 (3): 405–463. doi:10.2307/794457. JSTOR 794457.