Scalia waxes about conspiracy

January 9th, 2013

I really liked this concluding paragraph in Smith v. United States from Justice Scalia’s unanimous opinion for the Court.

Having joined forces to achieve collectively more evil than he could accomplish alone, Smith tied his fate to that of the group. His individual change of heart (assuming it occurred) could not put the conspiracy genie back in the bottle. We punish him for the havoc wreaked by the unlawful scheme, whether or not he remained actively involved. It is his withdrawal that must be active, and it was his burden to show that.

Boy can he write.