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Legal Memorandum: Conviction for Aiding and Abetting

Issue: What is necessary for the U.S. Government to justify a conviction under aiding and abetting principles?

Area of Law: Criminal Law
Keywords: Aiding and abetting principles; Justify a conviction; Committing a crime
Jurisdiction: Federal, Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 10/01/2008

To justify a conviction under aiding and abetting principles, the Government must prove four elements:

1          “the person who is being aided must be intentionally committing a crime;”

2          “the aider or abettor must know that the other is committing a crime;”

3          “the aider or abettor must have the purpose to aid that other to commit the crime”; and

4          “the aider must in fact, render aid and assistance.”

United States v. Nolan, 718 F.2d 589, 592 (3d Cir. 1983) TA l "United States v. Nolan, 718 F.2d 589 (3d Cir. 1983)" s "United States v. Nolan (3d Cir. 1983)" c 1 ; see Gov’t of V.I. v. Davis, 35 V.I. 72, 80 (Terr. Ct. 1997) TA l "Gov’t of V.I. v. Davis, 35 V.I. 72 (Terr. Ct. 1997)" s "Gov’t of V.I. v. Davis (Terr. Ct. 1997)" c 1 .  Significantly “[t]he Government’s burden is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly and deliberately associated himself or herself with the crime charged in some way and that he or she participated, with the intent to commit the crime.”  Davis, 35 V.I. at 80 TA s "Gov’t of V.I. v. Davis (Terr. Ct. 1997)" . (emphasis added).  Moreover, in considering whether the evidence establishes these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, “care must be taken that speculation is not permitted to substitute for evidence.”  Gov’t of V.I. v. Navarro, 513 F. 2d 11, 15 (3d Cir. 1975) TA l "Gov’t of V.I. v. […]

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