360 U.S. 672, 680 (1959) (quoting
Direct Sales Co. v. United States
, 319 U.S. 703, 711(1943)).
B.Conspiracy Law and the First Amendment
In order to sustain a conviction for conspiracy, the Government must prove thateach Defendant: (1) agreed to violate the law; (2) possessed the knowledge and intentto join the conspiracy; and (3) participated in the conspiracy.
See United States v.Sliwo
, 620 F.3d 630, 633 (6th Cir. 2010);
Sixth Circuit Pattern Jury Instructions§§ 3.01A, 3.03 (To prove a conspiracy, the government must show that (1) two or moreindividuals conspired to commit the crime; and (2) that each defendant voluntarily joinedthe conspiracy, knowing of its main purpose and intending to help advance its goals.).In addition, a conspiracy requires a specific plan.
See Pinkerton v. United States
, 145F.2d 252, 254 (5th Cir. 1944) (holding that a criminal conspiracy requires (1) an objectto be accomplished; (2) a plan or scheme embodying means to accomplish that object;(3) an agreement by two or more defendants to accomplish the object; and (4) an overtact, where applicable);
see also United States v. Bostic
, 480 F.2d 965, 968 (6thCir.1973).“The elements of a conspiracy may be proven entirely by circumstantialevidence, but each element of the offense must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”
United States v. Wexler
, 838 F.2d 88, 90 (3d Cir. 1988) (citations omitted). Indeed, it iscommon for a conspiracy to be proved by circumstantial evidence; a criminal agreementis rarely explicit. Thus, in the absence of “proof of a formal agreement among theconspirators . . . a tacit or mutual understanding . . . is sufficient to show a conspiracy.”
United States v. Lee
, 991 F.2d 343, 348 (6th Cir. 1993). “One of the requisite elements
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