The bilateral theory of conspiracy requires more than one conspirator and where one intended at all times to assist law enforcement, he could not be charged as a conspirator.
Defendant approached another man and invited the man to participate in a robbery. The man feigned interest as defendant detailed the plan, and contacted the police when defendant appeared to be ready to implement the plan. Defendant, accompanied by the man, was arrested at the victim's residence. Defendant was convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery, but the conviction was reversed when the lower appellate court determined that the conspiracy statute, Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 38, para. 8-2 (1981), required actual agreement between at least two persons to support a conspiracy conviction; such element was missing in the instant case because the man merely feigned agreement. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court of Illinois.
Was the decision of the lower appellate court proper?
The court affirmed thelower appellate court's reversal and held that para. 8-2 encompassed the bilateral theory of conspiracy, and there was insufficient evidence to convict defendant under the bilateral theory. At best the jury could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that the man considered defendant's offer before going to the police. Illinois had a solicitation statute which embraced every situation in which one could be convicted of conspiracy under the unilateral theory.