Conspiracy and Double Jeopardy

          In the case of Negron Gil De Rubio versus the State of Florida, Mr. Negron was convicted of both conspiracy to commit racketeering and conspiracy to commit drug trafficking after evidence was presented at his trial that he and others were involved in smuggling cocaine into Florida from Puerto Rico and then taking money back to Puerto Rico.

 

          Negron appealed to Florida's Second District Court of Appeal on the ground that his two conspiracy convictions violated the Double Jeopardy Clause.

 

          The appellate court began its analysis by noting that the Double Jeopardy Clause prohibits multiple convictions and multiple punishments for the same crime.  The court continued on to state that a person commits the crime of criminal conspiracy when he agrees with another person or persons to commit a crime.  However, if there is only one agreement, then there is only one conspiracy even if that conspiracy happens to involve the committing of several crimes.

 

          In Negron's case, the prosecution proved that Negron took part in only one conspiracy that happened to involve the commission of two different crimes--racketeering and drug trafficking.  And because no evidence was presented at his trial suggesting that a first conspiracy was completed, abandoned, or otherwise ended before the formation of a second conspiracy, the Second District Court of Appeal reversed Negron's conviction and sentence for  conspiracy to commit racketeering.

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