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Criminal Resource Manual 1086 Strongly Corroborative Circumstances

1086

Strongly Corroborative Circumstances

Congress listed examples of "strongly corroborating circumstances" that are "highly probative" of intent to solicit a Federal crime of violence:
    1. the fact that the defendant offered or promised payment or some other benefit to the person solicited if he would commit the offense;
    2. the fact that the defendant threatened harm or other detriment to the person solicited if he would not commit the offense;
    3. the fact that the defendant repeatedly solicited the commission of the offense, held forth at length in soliciting the commission of the offense, or made express protestations of seriousness in soliciting the commission of the offense;
    4. the fact that the defendant believed or was aware that the person solicited had previously committed similar offenses;
    5. the fact that the defendant acquired weapons, tools, or information suited for use by the person solicited in the commission of the offense, or made other apparent preparations for the commission of the offense by the person solicited.

    S. Rep. No. 307, 97th Cong., 1st Sess. 183 (1982). See United States v. McNeill, 887 F.2d at 450; United States v. Gabriel, 810 F.2d 627, 635 (7th Cir. 1987) ("the surrounding circumstances in general must indicate that the solicitor is serious that the person solicited actually carry out the crime").

    While the foregoing factors provide guidance on the question of intent, they are not "exclusive or conclusive indicators of intent to solicit." Id. at 635. Indeed, the Senate Committee emphasized that "the existence of strongly corroborating circumstances [is] a question of fact for the jury." S. Rep. No. 307, 97th Cong., 1st Sess. 183 (1982). See United States v. McNeill, 887 F.2d at 450; United States v. Gabriel, 810 F.2d at 635 n.5.

    [cited in USAM 9-60.500]

    Updated February 19, 2015