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Complicity

To be complicit is to be culpably involved in an activity with someone—typically, an activity that is illegal or immoral. The laws holds a person (the “complicitor”) accountable for an act of a principal if the person intended to aid, abet, or otherwise encourage the principal in planning or committing the wrongdoing.

A core question for legal liability is determining what intention is needed to find someone guilty of complicity. The majority understanding is that the complicitor only needs to know that the principal is engaging in, or about to engage in, criminal conduct. A minority position is that in addition to knowing about the prohibited behavior, the complicitor needs to intend that his or her conduct actually assists or encourages the principal in committing or ...

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