474 U.S. 971 (1985), 85-5046, Adams v. United States

Docket Nº:No. 85-5046
Citation:474 U.S. 971, 106 S.Ct. 336, 88 L.Ed.2d 321
Party Name:Tyrone ADAMS v. UNITED STATES.
Case Date:November 04, 1985
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 971

474 U.S. 971 (1985)

106 S.Ct. 336, 88 L.Ed.2d 321

Tyrone ADAMS

v.

UNITED STATES.

No. 85-5046

United States Supreme Court.

November 4, 1985

OPINION

On petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

The petition for writ of certiorari is denied.

Justice WHITE, with whom THE CHIEF JUSTICE joins, dissenting.

This case presents the issue of the agreement necessary to support a conviction for so-called RICO conspiracy. For his part in a large-scale narcotics distribution scheme, petitioner Adams was convicted of both the substantive RICO offense defined by 18

Page 972

U.S.C. § 1962(c)[*] and conspiracy to commit this offense. Petitioner requested a jury instruction that he could not be found guilty on the conspiracy count unless the evidence showed that he had personally agreed to commit two acts of racketeering activity. The District Judge refused this instruction. In affirming petitioner's RICO conspiracy conviction, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that, to be convicted of conspiracy to violate § 1962(c), a defendant need only agree to the commission of two predicate acts of racketeering activity, and need not agree to personally commit those acts. 759 F.2d 1099, 1116 (1985).

The Courts of Appeals disagree as to the proper interpretation of 18 U.S.C.§ 1962(d), the RICO conspiracy statute. Some require, as the predicate for conviction under § 1962(d) of conspiracy to violate § 1962(c), an agreement to personally commit two acts of racketeering activity. See, e.g., United States v. Ruggiero, 726 F.2d 913, 921 (CA2), cert. denied sub nom. Rabito v. United States, 469 U.S. 831, 105 S.Ct. 118, 83 L.Ed.2d 60 (1984); United States v. Winter, 663 F.2d 1120, 1136 (CA1 1981), cert. denied, 460 U.S. 1011, 103 S.Ct. 1249, 75 L.Ed.2d 479 (1983). Other Courts of Appeals agree with the Third Circuit that § 1962(d) also makes unlawful an agreement that another violate § 1962(c) by committing two acts of racketeering activity. See, e.g., United States v. Carter, 721 F.2d 1514, 1529-1531 (CA11), cert. denied sub nom. Morris v. United States, 469 U.S. 819, 105 S.Ct. 89, 83 L.Ed.2d 36 (1984).

Surprisingly, even the Government's interpretation of the RICO conspiracy statute has not been wholly consistent. In Winter, supra, the Government conceded that a count under § 1962(d)...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP