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A and B are employees at a firm managed by multiple partners, one of whom is C. A and B strongly dislike both C himself and how C and the other partners operate the firm. Specifically, A and B believe that the partners underpay their employees and frequently neglect the employees’ needs. One day, during an informal lunch, A and B joke about stealing from C to make up for what they believe to be their unfairly low salaries.
Nothing ever materializes—until a holiday party that C hosts for the firm’s employees at his private home. C is an art connoisseur; he keeps a number of highly valued original paintings in his home. At one point during the holiday party, while chatting with different groups, B catches A’s eye and signals with his head toward the most expensive painting on C’s wall. A nods back and smiles, but no words are exchanged between the two.
During the party, A falls asleep in a guest bedroom in C’s house. When he wakes up, there are no guests around, but B is standing over A’s head and holding the painting B had pointed to earlier. A gets up. He looks first at B, then at the painting, and says: “Well done! We’ve gotta get out of here. I’m parked behind the house.” The two leave, and then A drives B to B’s house. B takes the painting inside.
In a common law jurisdiction, A is arrested and charged with one count of conspiracy to commit larceny. Larceny is defined as “the taking and carrying away of the property of another with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property.” In this jurisdiction, a person acts intentionally if “it is the person’s conscious desire to cause the social harm of the offense.”
Assume the prosecution can prove the above facts at A’s trial.
Is A liable for conspiracy to commit larceny? Explain, applying only the common law, but do not analyze B’s liability, do not apply the Model Penal Code, and do not analyze A’s liability for any other crime.