December 7, 2019

Commonwealth v. Peaslee | Case Brief Law Student - 177 Mass. 267

FACTS: Defendant had arranged combustibles in a building such that they were ready to be lighted. The Defendant offered to pay a young man to carry out the plan, but as the young man drove towards the building he changed his mind and drove away.

HISTORY: Indictment for an attempt to burn bldg.

ISSUE: Were the acts near enough to the accomplishment of the substantive offense to be punishable?


RATIONALE: Attempt "suggests an act seemingly sufficient to accomplish the end." Here the preparation might not be an attempt b/c there was farther to go. But intent was still there.

DISPOSITION: Conviction reversed on grounds indictment failed to allege solicitation of the employee not b/c of lack of evidence of attempt.