24 Brook. L. Rev. 1 (1957-1958)
Conspiracy--The Prosecutor's Darling

handle is hein.journals/brklr24 and id is 9 raw text is: BROOKLYN
LAW REVIEW

VOLUME XXIV                  DECEMBER, 1957                NUMBER 1
CONSPIRACY-THE PROSECUTOR'S DARLING
If there are still any citizens interested in protecting human
liberty, let them study the conspiracy laws of the United States.
-CLARENCE DAutowl
T HE development of the law of criminal conspiracy exemplifies
the workings of an Hegelian philosophy of history whereby
the tendency of every principle is to create its own antithesis or
rival.2 In 14th century England, conspiracy was confined within
the compass of a reasonably clear statute designed to prevent the
abuse of legal procedure.3 That statute, known as the Ordinance of
Conspirators, sought to protect the innocent from false and malicious
prosecutions effected by conspiratorial means. It declared in part
that:
Conspirators be they that do confeder or bind themselves by
oath or covenant or other alliance that every of them shall aid and
sustain the enterprise of the other falsely and maliciously to indict
or cause to be indicted, or falsely to acquit people, or falsely to
move or maintain pleas .... 4
Under this statute, as interpreted by the courts, proof of an agree-
ment between two or more individuals to promote a false prosecu-
tion was insufficient to support a charge of criminal conspiracy. The
crime was not complete until the conspirators caused an indictment
to be found and until the person indicted had been tried and ac-
quitted.s Thus, Coke in his Institutes defined conspiracy as a con-
1 DARROW, THE STORY OF My LIFE 64 (1934).
2 CARDozo, THE PA.DoxEs OF LEGAL SCIENCE 62 (1928).
3 WINFIELD, HISTORY OF CONSPIRACY AND ABUSE OF LEGAL PROCEDURE 2 (1921);
HARRISON, LAW OF CONSPRACY 2 (1924); Note, The Conspiracy Dilemma; Prosecu-
tion of Group Crime or Protection of Individual Defendants, 62 HARv. L. REv. 276,
277 (1949).
4 Ordinance of Conspirators, 33 Edw. I (1305); Sayre, Criminal Conspiracy, 35
HARv. L. REv. 393, 394-396 (1922).
5 Harrison, op. cit. supra note 3 at 9. See also, ENCYCLOPEDIA BmITANICA on
CONSPIRACY.

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