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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.
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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]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Sinister Forces: The Conspiratorial Mood in 1990s Science Fiction Television" is the subject of chapter five, with an exploration of Millennium, The Lone Gunmen, and Star Trek.
It has openly perpetrated terrorism to bring down the governments of the countries incurring its displeasure by force of arms and politically-motivated state-sponsored terrorism against them by employing conspiratorial methods.
"We are the representatives of the fighting formations in Aleppo and we declare our rejection of the conspiratorial project, the so-called national alliance," he said in the video.
Reconstruction historiography is vast and complex, but if there is one enduring question that rests just beneath the surface of all the literature written over the past three or so generations it is simply: "Why did Reconstruction fail?" Although the overwhelming bulk of A Dangerous Stir focuses on the paranoid and conspiratorial tone of American politics in the years between 1865 and 1868, Mark Wahlgren Summers nonetheless weighs in provocatively with yet another explanation as to why Reconstruction collapsed.
However, this is merely the tip of a conspiratorial iceberg.
"I note that each room will have a double bed," said Councillor John Clancy, winking in that conspiratorial way while nudging the colleague next to him.
Those who have a conspiratorial mindset may think it is because he was acquitted in a tax evasion court case in the 1980s.
(Expect, say the organizers, "a certain level of occupation.") For conspiratorial crib notes, consult the catalogue essays by Ina Blom, Michael Bracewell, Gary Lachman, Marco Pasi, Jan Verwoert, and the curators.
One of his former newspaper colleagues, Brad Warthen, wrote of Hitt's nomination: "Bobby is a unique individual, from his thick Charleston accent to that slightly mad, conspiratorial, insinuating grin that explodes out of his scruffy red beard at the least provocation.
Summary: Rabat - The Advisory Council on Human Rights (CCDH) has released a statement to the national and international public opinion about the "hostile and conspiratorial" statements of the Chairman of the so-called Algerian National Human Rights Institution regarding Laayoune's events.
The second conspiratorial suggestion is that there has been inadequate investigation of the "hygiene hypothesis" - the idea that exposure to small amounts of bacteria in milk can strengthen the immune system.
North Korea dismissed South Korea's announcement Thursday that a multinational team of investigators has found North Korea responsible for the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship in March, calling it a ''conspiratorial farce'' and ''charade.''