United States v. Shabani

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United States v. Shabani
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued October 3, 1994
Decided November 1, 1994
Full case name United States, Petitioner v. Reshat Shabani
Citations 513 U.S. 10 (more)
115 S. Ct. 382, 130 L. Ed. 2d 225
Prior history Convicted, conspiracy to distribute cocaine; conviction overturned, 993 F. 2d 1419 (9th Circuit, 1993)
Subsequent history 9th Circuit Reversed by Supreme Court and conviction upheld
Holding
Absent contrary indications, Congress intends to adopt the common law definition of statutory terms. The common law understanding of conspiracy "does not make the doing of any act other than the act of conspiring a condition of liability."
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority O'Connor, joined by unanimous
Laws applied
21 U.S.C. § 846

United States v. Shabani, 513 U.S. 10 (1994), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States clarified standards for conspiracy liability under a federal drug conspiracy statute.[1] In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the Court held that government prosecutors need not prove evidence of an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy when prosecuting individuals under the drug conspiracy statute codified at 21 U.S.C. § 846.[2] Justice O'Connor wrote that Congress intended to "adopt the common law definition" of conspiracy for section 846, which did not require an overt act as a precondition of liability.[3] Justice O'Connor's opinion also compared the drug conspiracy statute to the general conspiracy statute,[4] which requires that a conspirator commit an over act in furtherance of the conspiracy, noting that "[i]n light of this additional element in the general conspiracy statute, Congress' silence in § 846 speaks volumes."[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ United States v. Shabani, 513 U.S. 10, 11 (1994).
  2. ^ Shabani, 513 U.S. at 13-17.
  3. ^ Shabani, 513 U.S. at 13-15.
  4. ^ Codified at 18 U.S.C. § 371.
  5. ^ Shabani, 513 U.S. at 14.

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