Pinkerton liability

Pinkerton Liability

Pinkerton liability

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The Pinkerton liability rule was pronounced in Pinkerton v. United States, a case in the Supreme Court of the United States. Walter and Daniel Pinkerton were brothers who were charged with violations of the Internal Revenue Code. The indictment alleged the Pinkertons committed one conspiracy count and the ten substantive counts. A jury found each of them guilty of the conspiracy and several of the substantive counts. The main issue arose from the facts that there was no evidence to show Daniel Pinkerton participated directly in the commission of the substantive offenses although there was evidence showing these substantive offenses were in fact committed by Walter Pinkerton in furtherance of the unlawful agreement or conspiracy existing between the brothers.

The question was submitted to the jury on the theory that each brother could be found guilty of the substantive offenses if it were found at the time those offenses were committed the brothers were parties to an unlawful conspiracy and the substantive offenses were, in fact, committed in furtherance of it. Daniel Pinkerton was not indicted as an aider or abettor, nor was his case submitted to the jury on that theory.

Daniel argued United States v. Sall in support of his contention that participation in the conspiracy is not in itself...
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