CHARGE # TWO - Where defendant is charged as accomplice and jury is instructed as to lesser included charges. 1 The indictment charges/or the State alleges 2 that the defendant is legally responsible for the criminal conduct of X, 3 in violation of a law which reads in pertinent part as follows:
A person is guilty of an offense if it is committed by his own conduct or the conduct of another person for which he is legally accountable or both.
A person is legally accountable for the conduct of another person when he/she is an accomplice of such other person in the commission of an offense.
A person is an accomplice of another person in the commission of an offense, if, with the purpose of promoting or facilitating the commission of the offense, he/she (a) solicits such other person to commit it and/or (b) aids or agrees or attempts to aid such other person in planning or committing it.
This provision of the law means that not only is the person who actually commits the criminal act responsible for it but one who is legally accountable as an accomplice is also responsible. Now this responsibility as an accomplice may be equal and the same as he/she who actually committed the crime(s) or there may be responsibility in a different degree depending on the circumstances as you may find them to be. The Court will further explain this distinction in a moment.
In this case, the State alleges that the defendant is equally guilty of the crime(s) committed by X because he/she acted as his/her accomplice with the purpose that the specific crime(s) charged be committed. In order to find the defendant guilty of the specific crime(s) charged, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt each of the following elements:
1. That X committed the crime(s) of ______________________. I will shortly explain (or have already explained) the elements of this/these offense(s).
2. That this defendant solicited him/her to commit it/them and/or did aid or agree or attempt to aid him/her in planning or committing it/them.
3. That this defendant’s purpose was to promote or facilitate the commission of the offense(s).
4. That this defendant possessed the criminal state of mind that is required to be proved against the person who actually committed the criminal act.
Remember that one acts purposely with respect to his/her conduct or a result thereof if it is his/her conscious object to engage in conduct of that nature or to cause such a result.
“Solicit” means to strongly urge, suggest, lure or proposition. “Aid” means to assist, support, or supplement the efforts of another. “Agree to aid” means to encourage by promise of assistance or support. “Attempt to aid” means that a person takes substantial steps in a course of conduct designed to or planned to lend support or assistance in the efforts of another to cause the commission of a substantive offense.
If you find that the defendant, with the purpose of promoting or facilitating the commission of the offense(s), solicited X to commit it/them and/or aided or agreed or attempted to aid him/her in planning or committing it/them, then you should consider him/her as if he/she committed the crime(s) himself/herself. (If more than one offense is charged, instruct jury that accomplice status should be considered separately as to each charge).
To prove the defendant’s criminal liability, the State does not have to prove his/her accomplice status by direct evidence of a formal plan to commit a crime. There does not have to be verbal agreement by all who are charged. The proof may be circumstantial. Participation and agreement can be established from conduct as well as the spoken words.