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in law, agreement of two or more persons to commit a criminal or otherwise unlawful act. At common lawcommon law,
system of law that prevails in England and in countries colonized by England. The name is derived from the medieval theory that the law administered by the king's courts represented the common custom of the realm, as opposed to the custom of local jurisdiction that
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, the crime of conspiracy was committed with the making of the agreement, but present-day statutes require an overt step by a conspirator to further the conspiracy. It is not necessary for guilt that the act be fully consummated. Many acts that would not be criminal if accomplished by an individual alone may nevertheless be the object of a conspiracy. With the rise of the labor movement in the 19th cent., British and American courts used this legal consent against unions; courts held that while an individual employee might lawfully abstain from work, the concerted stoppage of a group of employees, as in a strike, might be criminal. In 1875, Britain passed a law exempting unions from prosecution for conspiracy, and in 1932 the U.S. Congress passed a law that limited the power of federal courts to restrain union activity. Other controversial aspects of conspiracy laws include the modification of the rules of evidenceevidence,
in law, material submitted to a judge or a judicial body to resolve disputed questions of fact. The rules discussed in this article were developed in England for use in jury trials.
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 and the potential for a dragnet. A statement of a conspirator in furtherance of the conspiracy is admissible against all conspirators, even if the statement includes damaging references to another conspirator, and often even if it violates the rules against hearsay evidence. The conspiracy can be proved by circumstantial evidence. Any conspirator is guilty of any substantive crime committed by any other conspirator in furtherance of the enterprise. It is a federal crime to conspire to commit any activity prohibited by federal statute, whether or not Congress imposed criminal sanctions on the activity itself. An individual injured by a conspiracy may sue the conspirators to recover damages.


See also Intrigue.
Constancy (See LOYALTY.)
Babington Plot
abortive plot to assassinate Elizabeth I; sealed Mary Stuart’s fate (1586). [Br. Hist.: NCE, 202]
Black Friday
(September 24, 1869) gold speculation led to financial panic. [Am. Hist.: Van Doren, 259]
plotted against Caesar with Cassius and Casca. [Br. Lit.: Julius Caesar]
intriguer and accomplice in plot against Caesar. [Br. Lit.: Julius Caesar]
conspires against Cardinal Richelieu. [Fr. Lit.: Cinq-Mars]
Cointet brothers
use a corrupt lawyer to ruin a young printer and cheat him of his invention. [Fr. Lit.: Balzac Lost Illusions in Magill II, 595]
Doctors’ Plot
physicians falsely tried for trying to poison Stalin. [Jew. Hist.: Wigoder, 160]
Duke of Buckingham
Richard III’s “counsel’s consistory”; assisted him to throne. [Br. Lit.: Richard III]
Fawkes, Guy
(1570–1606) leader of Gunpowder Plot to blow up Houses of Parliament (1605). [Br. Hist.: EB, IV: 70, 801]
Gunpowder Plot
See Fawkes, Guy.
Joseph’s brothers
sold him into slavery out of envy and hatred. [O.T.: Genesis 37:18–28]
(1720–1769) brains behind widespread American Indian uprising (1762). [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 398]
plots and successfully executes overthrow of Zechariah. [O.T.: II Kings 15:10]
political intrigue leading to resignation of Pres. Nixon. [Am. Hist.: EB, X: 568–569]
Woman in White, The
Laura Fairlie is unjustly confined to an insane asylum in a plot to obtain her money. [Br. Lit.: Magill I, 1125]
References in periodicals archive ?
From January 2011 through August 2017, Goodson, Garvin, and five other conspirators not identified in the criminal complaint ran a short sale mortgage fraud conspiracy that targeted dozens of New Jersey properties with mortgages that were in default.
Conspirators were first arrested in April 2012 but the proceedings were declared a nullity because the prosecution had failed to get the Attorney General's consent to prosecute the Scottish side of the case.
Welcoming the execution of Afzal Guru, BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had said Guru was "a conspirator in waging war against the nation and responsible for attack on the temple of democracy (Parliament) in India.
MOVING: Alexis Bledel as Sarah Weston in The Conspirator and, inset, Rebecca De Mornay as Natalie 'Mother' Koffin in Mother's day, both on DVD
The Conspirator explores the national reaction to Lincoln's assassination in the aftermath of what was, at the time, the most shocking murder in US history.
The Conspirator is a true story in America's legal history.
His brother Berthold, also executed as a conspirator, said under interrogation that he and his brother "had basically approved of the racial principle of National Socialism, but considered it to be exaggerated and excessive .
The prosecution alleges they were conspirator Philip Sherkle and Daniel Kinahan, from Ireland, who faces no charges.
Towards the chapter's end, he discusses one of the dangers a conspirator might encounter after having succeeded in killing the prince: namely, someone who might vindicate his death.
In Baptista-Rodriguez, the defendant was found to be a conspirator because he was at a meeting arranged for the sole purpose of planning the crime.
However, as early as the fall of 1801, Sancho, a conspirator attached to the Petersburg wing of Gabriel's conspiracy who had managed to escape the earlier dragnet, began planning a conspiracy even bolder than Gabriel's.
Caius Cassius, another leading conspirator, one of the prime movers in the scheme.