in a way, aren’t we all interconnected? aren’t we all tacitly furthering every conspiracy ever committed by sharing this earth, this society, with one another?
We all particles of Ghengis Kahn in our systems, so we’ve all conquered China!
Yes. However, I would think that that turns out to be irrelevant once you take into account the distinction between cause-in-fact and proximate cause. For example, imagine that Abe fully intends to kill Bob. Abe drops a penny on the ground with the hope that The Butterfly Effect will lead to the penny hitting the ground causing an earthquake in the city that Bob lives in, which will kill Bob, and against all odds the penny hitting the ground really does cause an earthquake which really does kill Bob. Abe’s dropping the penny did ultimately cause Bob to die, and Abe dropped the penny with the necessary intent to kill Bob. Nevertheless, there is no way that anyone could have predicted that Abe’s actions would hurt anyone, let alone the person he actually intended to kill. So even though Abe’s dropping the penny is the cause in fact of Bob’s death and Abe did so with the necessary intent to be guilty of murder, Abe’s dropping the penny is not the proximate cause of Bob’s death. So the Actus Reus element is still not satisfied even though Abe did kill Bob because Abe had no way of knowing that his attempt to kill Bob would ever actually succeed, and neither did anyone else.
That sounds more like the voodoo defense to me.
Sorry. Now that I have re-read this page I see that the cause-in-fact, proximate-cause distinction is not relevant to conspiracy. The point that I was trying to make is that the state still has to prove that you had some way of knowing that you were actually agreeing to commit a crime before they can convict you of conspiracy, and even then they still have to prove that who ever committed any crimes that aided the conspiracy had some way of knowing that those crimes would facilitate the conspiracy. Unless there exists a strict liability conspiracy statute in some jurisdictions in which case furthering a conspiracy by the purest accident could hypothetically be punished.
In response to the 2nd to last paragraph in the frame: so if in one of those states, Alice, Bob, and Charlie conspire to steal some chickens from a farmer, and charlie, unexpectedly and unbeknownst to them, murders the farmer so they can steal the chickens without interference, Alice and Bob are now guilty of murder?
I strongly disagree with those states that accept the premise enshrined in the 2nd to last paragraph in the panel, as that requires that the answer to the chicken question would have to be “yes”, which is inherently unfair (immoral), and also should be violations of the 8th (no cruel and unusual punishment in this case), and the 14th (defendents have the right to due process, which finding Alice and Bob guilty of murder in this case would likely violate, as the typical due process for finding someone guilty of murder would be circumvented) amendments, and thus unconstitutional.
I should also add, to clarify: my posts of a similar vein to this one are not disagreements with the author of this comic, who I thank for making this educational and entertaining comic available. They are disagreements with the laws themselves that are like this, namely, unjust.