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Name: People v. Jasso
Case #: H028593
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/12/2006

When several criminal acts are committed to accomplish one objective, the jury must determine whether the acts constituted one conspiracy or several distinct conspiracies. The defendant, a state prison inmate, was convicted of three counts of conspiracy based on acts involving the wives of prisoners attempting to smuggle drugs into the prison. On appeal he argued that the court erred in failing to instruct the jury sua sponte regarding the need to determine whether these acts constituted a single conspiracy. The objective here was to smuggle drugs into the prison, and the evidence could have reasonably supported a finding that only a single conspiracy existed. Had the jury been properly instructed, it was reasonably probable that the defendant would have been convicted of only one count of conspiracy, and his convictions were therefore reversed.