State v. Hayes, 105 Mo. 76, 16 S.W. 514 (1891)

Case Name: State v. Hayes
Citation: 105 Mo. 76, 16 S.W. 514 (1891)

Facts: Hayes, the defendant, proposed to Hill to rob a general store. The store was owned by Hill’s relatives but Hill agreed in order to entrap Hayes. Hayes opened up the window and Hill climbed in, handed Hayes a side of bacon. Hayes was then arrested.

State’s argument: Hayes was guilty of burglary because he, with a felonious intent, assisted and aided Hill to enter the building.

Defendant’s argument: Hayes cannot be guilty of the act of Hill because Hill’s act was not criminal. Hill did not enter the store with intent to steal and therefore, Hill did not commit a crime.

Holding: Judgment was reversed and remanded for a new trial on a count of petit larceny for “taking and removing the bacon after it was handed to him.”

Reasoning: The intent of the conspirators matters. “To make defendant responsible for the acts of Hill, they must have had a common motive and common design.”

The Common Law required mutuality or the same mens rea. Under the Model Penal Code (MPC), both parties do not need the same mens rea. Therefore, Hayes could be convicted under the MPC.

Pinkerton v. United States, 328 US 640 (1946)

Case Name: Pinkerton v. United States
Citation: 328 US 640 (1946)

Facts: Defendant, Daniel Pinkerton, was convicted on substantive counts that his brother, Walter committed through conspiracy. The crimes were for violations of the Internal Revenue Code (“dealing in whiskey” according to the dissent). Walter committed many of the crimes when Daniel was in prison.

State’s argument: Daniel Pinkerton can be found guilty on the substantive counts if it was found at the time of the offenses, both defendants were parties to an unlawful conspiracy and the substantive offenses were in fact committed in furtherance of it.

Defendant’s argument: In addition to evidence that the offense was committed in furtherance of the conspiracy, the state must introduce evidence of direct participation in the commission of the substantive offense or other evidence from which participation might fairly be inferred was necessary.

Reasoning: Pinkerton joined in the unlawful scheme and there was no evidence that he had disavowed or defeated the purpose of the conspiracy.

Dissent: There was no evidence that Daniel participated in, aided or abetted Water in committing the substantive crimes. Also, if the court requires an action by the defendant to show withdrawal from the conspiracy, shouldn’t going to prison be enough?


Pinkerton doctrine: A defendant who is guilty of conspiring to commit one offense may be convicted of other offenses that his co-conspirators commit in furtherance of the conspiracy, as long as those other offenses are reasonably foreseeable consequences of the conspiratorial agreement.