Tuesday, January 15, 2013

S.Ct.: Conspiracy SOL and Burden on Defense of Withdrawal

SUPREME COURT: Smith v. United States, --- S.Ct. ----, 2013 WL 85299 (U.S. Jan. 9, 2013). Held: A defendant bears the burden of proving a defense of withdrawal from a charged conspiracy. Allocating this burden to the defendant does not violate the Due Process Clause. Withdrawal does not negate an element of the conspiracy crimes charged here, but instead presupposes that the defendant committed the offense, thus the government has no constitutional duty to overcome the defense beyond a reasonable doubt.

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