The Illustrated Guide to Criminal Law Chapter 10: We’ll All Go Down Together Conspiracy pg 22: Advanced Accomplice Liability
Now back to Chase for a moment.
Vignette of Chase
Let’s say he didn’t have the necessary intent to carry out the theft. Maybe he didn’t care one way or the other. But he still thought it was likely that Dr. S. was planning a crime. Should Chase be let off the hook, just because he didn’t have the necessary mens rea to be an accomplice?
Some courts are going to say he intended to aid in the commission, and simply apply that intent to give him accomplice liability.
A straightforward approach used by some other states, however, is to make such indifferent assistance a crime itself.
So places like New York define a crime of “criminal facilitation,” a misdemeanor, when you believe you’re helping someone commit a felony, and actually do help out.
Again, however, being an accomplice is not a separate crime. Instead, it’s what makes you liable for the crime you helped to commit.
[SUGGESTED EDIT: Change “helped to commit” to “helped commit”]