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2474

Elements of aiding and abetting

The elements necessary to convict under aiding and abetting theory are

1. That the accused had specific intent to facilitate the commission of a crime by another;

2. That the accused had the requisite intent of the underlying substantive offense;

3. That the accused assisted or participated in the commission of the underlying substantive offense; and

4. That someone committed the underlying offense.

United States v. DePace, 120 F.3d 233 (11th Cir. 1997); United States v. Chavez, 119 F.3d 342 (5th Cir. 1997); United States v. Powell, 113 F.3d 464 (3d Cir. 1997); United States v. Sayetsitty, 107 F.3d 1405 (9th Cir. 1997); United States v. Leos-Quijada, 107 F.3d 786 (10th Cir. 1997); United States v. Stands, 105 F.3d 1565 (8th Cir.), cert. denied (October 6, 1997) (No. 96-9541); United States v. Pipola, 83 F.3d 556 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, __ U.S. __, 117 S.Ct. 183, 136 L.Ed.2d 122 (1996); United States v. Chin, 83 F.3d 83 (4th Cir. 1996); United States v. Lucas, 67 F.3d 956, 959 (D.C. Cir. 1995); United States v. Spinney, 65 F.3d 231 (1st Cir. 1995); United States v. Spears, 49 F.3d 1136 (6th Cir. 1995).

To convict as a principal of aiding and abetting the commission of a crime, a jury must find beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly and intentionally aided and abetted the principal(s) in each essential element of the crime. United States v. Bancalari, 110 F.3d 1425, 1429 (9th Cir. 1997). The government must prove that the defendant associated with the criminal venture, purposefully participated in the criminal activity, and sought by his actions to make the venture successful. United States v. Landerman, 109 F.3d 1053, 1068 n.22 (5th Cir. 1997); United States v. Griffin, 84 F.3d 912, 928 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, __ U.S. __, 117 S.Ct. 495, 136 L.Ed.2d 387 (1996); Pipola, 83 F.3d at 562; United States v. Lucas, 67 F.3d 956 (D.C. Cir. 1995); Spinney, 65 F.3d at 238; United States v. Williamson, 53 F.3d 1500, 1515 (10th Cir. 1995); United States v. Roach, 28 F.3d 729, 736-37 (8th Cir. 1991); United S tates v. Ritter, 989 F.2d 318, 322 (9th Cir. 1993). A defendant associates with a criminal venture if he shares in the criminal intent of the principal, and the defendant participates in criminal activity if he has acted in some affirmative manner designed to aid the venture. Landerman, 109 F.3d at 1068 n.22. The level of participation may be of relatively slight moment. Leos-Quijada, 107 F.3d at 794. Also, it does not take much evidence to satisfy the facilitation element once the defendant's knowledge of the unlawful purpose is established. United States v. Bennett, 75 F.3d 40, 45 (1st Cir. 1996).

[updated October 1998]