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NJSA 2C:11-3.   Murder.

 

a. Except as provided in N.J.S.2C:11-4, criminal homicide constitutes murder when:

 

(1) The actor purposely causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death; or

 

(2) The actor knowingly causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death; or

 

(3) It is committed when the actor, acting either alone or with one or more other persons, is engaged in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit robbery, sexual assault, arson, burglary, kidnapping, carjacking, criminal escape or terrorism pursuant to section 2 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C.2C:38-2), and in the course of such crime or of immediate flight therefrom, any person causes the death of a person other than one of the participants; except that in any prosecution under this subsection, in which the defendant was not the only participant in the underlying crime, it is an affirmative defense that the defendant:

 

(a) Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, request, command, importune, cause or aid the commission thereof; and

 

(b) Was not armed with a deadly weapon, or any instrument, article or substance readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury and of a sort not ordinarily carried in public places by law-abiding persons; and

 

(c) Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant was armed with such a weapon, instrument, article or substance; and

 

(d) Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious physical injury.

 

b.  (1)  Murder is a crime of the first degree but a person convicted of murder shall be sentenced, except as provided in subsection c. of this section, by the court to a term of 30 years, during which the person shall not be eligible for parole, or be sentenced to a specific term of years which shall be between 30 years and life imprisonment of which the person shall serve 30 years before being eligible for parole.

 

(2) If the victim was a law enforcement officer and was murdered while performing his official duties or was murdered because of his status as a law enforcement officer, the person convicted of that murder shall be sentenced, except as otherwise provided in subsection c. of this section, by the court to a term of life imprisonment, during which the person shall not be eligible for parole.

 

(3) A person convicted of murder and who is not sentenced to death under this section shall be sentenced to a term of life imprisonment without eligibility for parole if the murder was committed under all of the following circumstances:

 

(a) The victim is less than 14 years old; and

 

(b) The act is committed in the course of the commission, whether alone or with one or more persons, of a violation of N.J.S.2C:14-2 or N.J.S.2C:14-3.

 

(4) If the defendant was subject to sentencing pursuant to subsection c. and the jury or court found the existence of one or more aggravating factors, but that such factors did not outweigh the mitigating factors found to exist by the jury or court or the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict as to the weight of the factors, the defendant shall be sentenced by the court to a term of life imprisonment during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole.

 

With respect to a sentence imposed pursuant to this subsection, the defendant shall not be entitled to a deduction of commutation and work credits from that sentence.

 

c. Any person convicted under subsection a.(1) or (2) who committed the homicidal act by his own conduct; or who as an accomplice procured the commission of the offense by payment or promise of payment of anything of pecuniary value; or who, as a leader of a narcotics trafficking network as defined in N.J.S.2C:35-3 and in furtherance of a conspiracy enumerated in N.J.S.2C:35-3, commanded or by threat or promise solicited the commission of the offense,  or, if the murder occurred during the commission of the crime of terrorism, any person who committed the crime of terrorism, shall be sentenced as provided hereinafter:

 

(1) The court shall conduct a separate sentencing proceeding to determine whether the defendant should be sentenced to death or pursuant to the provisions of subsection b. of this section.

 

Where the defendant has been tried by a jury, the proceeding shall be conducted by the judge who presided at the trial and before the jury which determined the defendant’s guilt, except that, for good cause, the court may discharge that jury and conduct the proceeding before a jury empaneled for the purpose of the proceeding.  Where the defendant has entered a plea of guilty or has been tried without a jury, the proceeding shall be conducted by the judge who accepted the defendant’s plea or who determined the defendant’s guilt and before a jury empaneled for the purpose of the proceeding.  On motion of the defendant and with consent of the prosecuting attorney the court may conduct a proceeding without a jury.  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prevent the participation of an alternate juror in the sentencing proceeding if one of the jurors who rendered the guilty verdict becomes ill or is otherwise unable to proceed before or during the sentencing proceeding.

 

(2)  (a)  At the proceeding, the State shall have the burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of any aggravating factors set forth in paragraph (4) of this subsection. The defendant shall have the burden of producing evidence of the existence of any mitigating factors set forth in paragraph (5) of this subsection but shall not have a burden with regard to the establishment of a mitigating factor.

 

(b) The admissibility of evidence offered by the State to establish any of the aggravating factors shall be governed by the rules governing the admission of evidence at criminal trials.  The defendant may offer, without regard to the rules governing the admission of evidence at criminal trials, reliable evidence relevant to any of the mitigating factors.  If the defendant produces evidence in mitigation which would not be admissible under the rules governing the admission of evidence at criminal  trials, the State may rebut that evidence without regard to the rules governing the admission of evidence at criminaltrials.

 

(c) Evidence admitted at the trial, which is relevant to the aggravating and mitigating factors set forth in paragraphs (4) and (5) of this subsection, shall be considered without the necessity of reintroducing that evidence at the sentencing proceeding; provided that the fact finder at the sentencing proceeding was present as either the fact finder or the judge at the trial.

 

(d) The State and the defendant shall be permitted to rebut any evidence presented by the other party at the sentencing proceeding and to present argument as to the adequacy of the evidence to establish the existence of any aggravating or mitigating factor.

 

(e) Prior to the commencement of the sentencing proceeding, or at such time as he has knowledge of the existence of an aggravating factor, the prosecuting attorney shall give notice to the defendant of the aggravating factors which he intends to prove in the proceeding.

 

(f) Evidence offered by the State with regard to the establishment of a prior homicide conviction pursuant to paragraph (4)(a) of this subsection may include the identity and age of the victim, the manner of death and the relationship, if any, of the victim to the defendant.

 

(3) The jury or, if there is no jury, the court shall return a special verdict setting forth in writing the existence or nonexistence of each of the aggravating and mitigating factors set forth in paragraphs (4) and (5) of this subsection.  If any aggravating factor is found to exist, the verdict shall also state whether it outweighs beyond a reasonable doubt any one or more mitigating factors.

 

(a) If the jury or the court finds that any aggravating factors exist and that all of the aggravating factors outweigh beyond a reasonable doubt all of the mitigating factors, the court shall sentence the defendant to death.

 

(b) If the jury or the court finds that no aggravating factors exist, or that all of the aggravating factors which exist do not outweigh all of the mitigating factors, the court shall sentence the defendant pursuant to subsection b.

 

(c) If the jury is unable to reach a unanimous verdict, the court shall sentence the defendant pursuant to subsection b.

 

(4) The aggravating factors which may be found by the jury or the court are:

 

(a) The defendant has been convicted, at any time, of another murder. For purposes of this section, a conviction shall be deemed final when sentence is imposed and may be used as an aggravating factor regardless of whether it is on appeal;

 

(b) In the commission of the murder, the defendant purposely or knowingly created a grave risk of death to another person in addition to the victim;

 

(c) The murder was outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in that it involved torture, depravity of mind, or an aggravated assault to the victim;

 

(d) The defendant committed the murder as consideration for the receipt, or in expectation of the receipt of anything of pecuniary value;

 

(e) The defendant procured the commission of the murder by payment or promise of payment of anything of pecuniary value;

 

(f) The murder was committed for the purpose of escaping detection, apprehension, trial, punishment or confinement for another offense committed by the defendant or another;

 

(g) The murder was committed while the defendant was engaged in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit murder, robbery, sexual assault, arson, burglary, kidnapping, carjacking  or the crime of contempt in violation of N.J.S.2C:29-9b.;

 

(h) The defendant murdered a public servant, as defined in N.J.S.2C:27-1, while the victim was engaged in the performance of his official duties, or because of the victim’s status as a public servant;

 

(i) The defendant:  (i) as a leader of a narcotics trafficking network as defined in N.J.S.2C:35-3 and in furtherance of a conspiracy enumerated in N.J.S.2C:35-3, committed, commanded or by threat or promise solicited the commission of the murder or (ii) committed the murder  at the direction of a leader of a narcotics trafficking network as defined in N.J.S.2C:35-3 in furtherance of a conspiracy enumerated in N.J.S.2C:35-3;

 

(j) The homicidal act that the defendant committed or procured was in violation of paragraph (1) of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:17-2;

 

(k) The victim was less than 14 years old; or

 

(l) The murder  was committed during the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit, terrorism pursuant to section 2 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C.2C:38-2).

 

(5) The mitigating factors which may be found by the jury or the court are:

 

(a) The defendant was under the influence of extreme mental or emotional disturbance insufficient to constitute a defense to prosecution;

 

(b) The victim solicited, participated in or consented to the conduct which resulted in his death;

 

(c) The age of the defendant at the time of the murder;

 

(d) The defendant’s capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law was significantly impaired as the result of mental disease or defect or intoxication, but not to a degree sufficient to constitute a defense to prosecution;

 

(e) The defendant was under unusual and substantial duress insufficient to constitute a defense to prosecution;

 

(f) The defendant has no significant history of prior criminal activity;

 

(g) The defendant rendered substantial assistance to the State in the prosecution of another person for the crime of murder; or

 

(h) Any other factor which is relevant to the defendant’s character or record or to the circumstances of the offense.

 

(6) When a defendant at a sentencing proceeding presents evidence of the defendant’s character or record pursuant to subparagraph (h) of paragraph (5) of this subsection, the State may present evidence of the murder victim’s character and background and of the impact of the murder on the victim’s survivors.  If the jury finds that the State has proven at least one aggravating factor beyond a reasonable doubt and the jury finds the existence of a mitigating factor pursuant to subparagraph (h) of paragraph (5) of this subsection, the jury may consider the victim and survivor evidence presented by the State pursuant to this paragraph in determining the appropriate weight to give mitigating evidence presented pursuant to subparagraph (h) of paragraph (5) of this subsection.  As used in this paragraph “victim and survivor evidence” may include the display of a photograph of the victim taken before the homicide.

 

d. The sentencing proceeding set forth in subsection c. of this section shall not be waived by the prosecuting attorney.

 

e. Every judgment of conviction which results in a sentence of death under this section shall be appealed, pursuant to the Rules of Court, to the Supreme Court.  Upon the request of the defendant, the Supreme Court shall also determine whether the sentence is disproportionate to the penalty imposed in similar cases, considering both the crime and the defendant.  Proportionality review under this section shall be limited to a comparison of similar cases in which a sentence of death has been imposed under subsection c. of this section. In any instance in which the defendant fails, or refuses to appeal, the appeal shall be taken by the Office of the Public Defender or other counsel appointed by the Supreme Court for that purpose.

 

f. Prior to the jury’s sentencing deliberations, the trial court shall inform the jury of the sentences which may be imposed pursuant to subsection b. of this section on the defendant if the defendant is not sentenced to death.  The jury shall also be informed that a failure to reach a unanimous verdict shall result in sentencing by the court pursuant to subsection b.

 

g. A juvenile who has been tried as an adult and convicted of murder shall not be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of subsection c. but shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of subsection b. of this section.

 

h. In a sentencing proceeding conducted pursuant to this section, no evidence shall be admissible concerning the method or manner of execution which would be imposed on a defendant sentenced to death.

 

i. For purposes of this section the term “homicidal act” shall mean conduct that causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death.

 

j. In a sentencing proceeding conducted pursuant to this section, the display of a photograph of the victim taken before the homicide shall be permitted.

 

Amended 1979, c.178, s.21; 1981, c.290, s.12; 1982, c.111, s.1; 1985, c.178, s.2; 1985, c.478; 1992, c.5; 1992, c.76; 1993, c.27; 1993, c.111; 1993, c.206; 1994, c.132; 1995, c.123; 1996, c.115, s.1; 1997, c.60, s.1; 1998, c.25; 1999, c.209; 1999, c.294, s.1; 2000, c.88; 2002, c.26, s.10.

 

NJSA 2C:11-3a.  Adoption of court rules concerning photo of homicide victim.

 

3. The Supreme Court may adopt court rules pertaining to the display of a photograph of a homicide victim in court as permitted in N.J.S.2C:11-3 concerning murder and in  section 3 of P.L.1985, c.249 (C.52:4B-36) concerning other homicide prosecutions.  These court rules may include, but shall not be limited to, the following matters to ensure uniformity in all homicide prosecutions:

 

a. the size of the photograph;

 

b. the duration of the display;

 

c. the location of the photograph in the courtroom.

 

L.1999,c.294,s.3.

 

NJSA 2C:11-4  Manslaughter.

 

a.  Criminal homicide constitutes aggravated manslaughter when:

 

(1) The actor recklessly causes death under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life; or

 

(2) The actor causes the death of another person while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer in violation of subsection b. of  N.J.S.2C:29-2.  Notwithstanding the provision of any other law to the contrary, the actor shall be strictly liable for a violation of this paragraph upon proof of a violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-2 which resulted in the death of another person.  As used in this paragraph, “actor” shall not include a passenger in a motor vehicle.

 

b. Criminal homicide constitutes manslaughter when:

 

(1) It is committed recklessly; or

 

(2) A homicide which would otherwise be murder under section 2C:11-3 is committed in the heat of passion resulting from a reasonable provocation.

 

c. Aggravated manslaughter under paragraph (1) of subsection a. of this section is a crime of the first degree and upon conviction thereof a person may, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-6, be sentenced to an ordinary term of imprisonment between 10 and 30 years.  Aggravated manslaughter under paragraph (2) of subsection a. of this section is a crime of the first degree.  Manslaughter is a crime of the second degree.

 

Amended 1979, c.178, s.21A; 1981, c.290, s.13; 1986, c.172, s.1; 1991, c.341, s.1; 2001, c.412.

 

NJSA 2C:11-5.  Death by auto or vessel.

 

a. Criminal homicide constitutes vehicular homicide when it is caused by driving a vehicle or vessel recklessly.

 

Proof that the defendant fell asleep while driving or was driving after having been without sleep for a period in excess of 24 consecutive hours may give rise to an inference that the defendant was driving recklessly.  Proof that the defendant was driving while intoxicated in violation of  R.S.39:4-50 or was operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs in violation of section 3 of P.L.1952, c.157 (C.12:7-46) shall give rise to an inference that the defendant was driving recklessly. Nothing in this section shall be construed to in any way limit the conduct or conditions that may be found to constitute driving a vehicle or vessel recklessly.

 

b. Except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, vehicular homicide is a crime of the second degree.

 

(1) If the defendant was operating the auto or vessel while under the influence of any intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or with a blood alcohol concentration at or above the prohibited level as prescribed in R.S.39:4-50, or if the defendant was operating the auto or vessel while his driver’s license or reciprocity privilege was suspended or revoked for any violation of R.S.39:4-50, section 2 of P.L.1981, c.512 (C.39:4-50.4a), by the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles pursuant to P.L.1982, c.85 (C.39:5-30a et seq.), or by the court for a violation of R.S.39:4-96, the defendant shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment by the court.  The term of imprisonment shall include the imposition of a minimum term.  The minimum term shall be fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed by the court or three years, whichever is greater, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole.

 

(2) The court shall not impose a mandatory sentence pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection unless the grounds therefor have been established at a hearing.  At the hearing, which may occur at the time of sentencing, the prosecutor shall establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant was operating the auto or vessel while under the influence of any intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or with a blood alcohol concentration at or above the level prescribed in R.S.39:4-50 or that the defendant was operating the auto or vessel while his driver’s license or reciprocity privilege was suspended or revoked for any violation of R.S.39:4-50, section 2 of P.L.1981, c.512 (C.39:4-50.4a), by the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles pursuant to P.L.1982, c.85 (C.39:5-30a et seq.), or by the court for a violation of R.S.39:4-96.  In making its findings, the court shall take judicial notice of any evidence, testimony or information adduced at the trial, plea hearing, or other court proceedings and shall also consider the presentence report and any other relevant information.

 

(3) Vehicular homicide is a crime of the first degree if the defendant was operating the auto or vessel while in violation of R.S.39:4-50 or section 2 of P.L.1981, c.512 (C.39:4-50.4a) while:

 

(a) on any school property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board, or within 1,000 feet of such school property;

 

(b) driving through a school crossing as defined in R.S.39:1-1 if the municipality, by ordinance or resolution, has designated the school crossing as such; or

 

(c) driving through a school crossing as defined in R.S.39:1-1 knowing that juveniles are present if the municipality has not designated the school crossing as such by ordinance or resolution.

 

A map or true copy of a map depicting the location and boundaries of the area on or within 1,000 feet of any property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board produced pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1987, c.101 (C.2C:35-7) may be used in a prosecution under subparagraph (a) of this paragraph.

 

It shall be no defense to a prosecution for a violation of subparagraph (a) or (b) of this paragraph that the defendant was unaware that the prohibited conduct took place while on or within 1,000 feet of any school property or while driving through a school crossing.  Nor shall it be a defense to a prosecution under subparagraph (a) or (b) of this paragraph that no juveniles were present on the school property or crossing zone at the time of the offense or that the school was not in session.

 

(4) If the defendant was operating the auto or vessel in violation of R.S.39:4-50 or section 2 of P.L.1981, c.512 (C.39:4-50.4a), the defendant’s license to operate a motor vehicle shall be suspended for a period of between five years and life, which period shall commence upon completion of any prison sentence imposed upon that person.

 

c. For good cause shown, the court may, in accepting a plea of guilty under this section, order that such plea not be evidential in any civil proceeding.

 

d. Nothing herein shall be deemed to preclude, if the evidence so warrants, an indictment and conviction for aggravated manslaughter under the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:11-4.

 

As used in this section, “auto or vessel” means all means of conveyance propelled otherwise than by muscular power.

 

e. Any person who violates paragraph (3) of subsection b. of this section shall forfeit the auto or vessel used in the commission of the offense, unless the defendant can establish at a hearing, which may occur at the time of sentencing, by a preponderance of the evidence that such forfeiture would constitute a serious hardship to the family of the defendant that outweighs the need to deter such conduct by the defendant and others.  In making its findings, the court shall take judicial notice of any evidence, testimony or information adduced at the trial, plea hearing, or other court proceedings and shall also consider the presentence report and any other relevant information.  Forfeiture pursuant to this subsection shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, civil forfeiture pursuant to chapter 64 of this title.

 

Amended 1981, c.312, s.1; 1983, c.39; 1984, c.212; 1985, c.97, s.1; 1988, c.75, s.1; 1989, c.211; 1991, c.237, s.1; 1995, c.285; 1999, c.185, s.1; 2003, c.143.

2C:11-5.1 Knowingly leaving scene of motor vehicle accident resulting in death, second degree crime.

1.A motor vehicle operator who knows he is involved in an accident and knowingly leaves the scene of that accident under circumstances that violate the provisions of R.S.39:4-129 shall be guilty of a crime of the second degree if the accident results in the death of another person.

 

If the evidence so warrants, nothing in this section shall be deemed to preclude an indictment and conviction for aggravated manslaughter under the provisions of N.J.S.2C:11-4 or vehicular homicide under the provisions of N.J.S.2C:11-5.

 

Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:1-8 or any other provisions of law, a conviction arising under this section shall not merge with a conviction for aggravated manslaughter under the provisions of N.J.S.2C:11-4 or for vehicular homicide under the provisions of N.J.S.2C:11-5 and a separate sentence shall be imposed upon each such conviction.

 

Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:44-5 or any other provisions of law, when the court imposes multiple sentences of imprisonment for more than one offense, those sentences shall run consecutively.

 

For the purposes of this section, neither knowledge of the death nor knowledge of the violation are elements of the offense and it shall not be a defense that the operator of the motor vehicle was unaware of the death or of the provisions of R.S.39:4-129.

 

L.1997, c.111, s.1; amended 2003, c.55, s.2; 2007, c.83, s.1.

2C:5-1. Criminal attempt

a. Definition of attempt. A person is guilty of an attempt to commit a crime if, acting with the kind of culpability otherwise required for commission of the crime, he:

 

(1) Purposely engages in conduct which would constitute the crime if the attendant circumstances were as a reasonable person would believe them to be;

 

(2) When causing a particular result is an element of the crime, does or omits to do anything with the purpose of causing such result without further conduct on his part; or

 

(3) Purposely does or omits to do anything which, under the circumstances as a reasonable person would believe them to be, is an act or omission constituting a substantial step in a course of conduct planned to culminate in his commission of the crime.

 

b. Conduct which may be held substantial step under subsection a. (3). Conduct shall not be held to constitute a substantial step under subsection a. (3) of this section unless it is strongly corroborative of the actor's criminal purpose.

 

c. Conduct designed to aid another in commission of a crime. A person who engages in conduct designed to aid another to commit a crime which would establish his complicity under section 2C:2-6 if the crime were committed by such other person, is guilty of an attempt to commit the crime, although the crime is not committed or attempted by such other person.

 

d. Renunciation of criminal purpose. When the actor's conduct would otherwise constitute an attempt under subsection a. (2) or (3) of this section, it is an affirmative defense which he must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he abandoned his effort to commit the crime or otherwise prevented its commission, under circumstances manifesting a complete and voluntary renunciation of his criminal purpose. The establishment of such defense does not, however, affect the liability of an accomplice who did not join in such abandonment or prevention.

 

Within the meaning of this chapter, renunciation of criminal purpose is not voluntary if it is motivated, in whole or in part, by circumstances, not present or apparent at the inception of the actor's course of conduct, which increase the probability of detection or apprehension or which make more difficult the accomplishment of the criminal purpose. Renunciation is not complete if it is motivated by a decision to postpone the criminal conduct until a more advantageous time or to transfer the criminal effort to another but similar objective or victim. Renunciation is also not complete if mere abandonment is insufficient to accomplish avoidance of the offense in which case the defendant must have taken further and affirmative steps that prevented the commission thereof.

 

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:5-1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

2C:5-2 Conspiracy.

 

2C:5-2. Conspiracy. a. Definition of conspiracy. A person is guilty of conspiracy with another person or persons to commit a crime if with the purpose of promoting or facilitating its commission he:

 

(1)Agrees with such other person or persons that they or one or more of them will engage in conduct which constitutes such crime or an attempt or solicitation to commit such crime; or 

 

(2)Agrees to aid such other person or persons in the planning or commission of such crime or of an attempt or solicitation to commit such crime.

 

b.Scope of conspiratorial relationship. If a person guilty of conspiracy, as defined by subsection a. of this section, knows that a person with whom he conspires to commit a crime has conspired with another person or persons to commit the same crime, he is guilty of conspiring with such other person or persons, whether or not he knows their identity, to commit such crime.

 

c.Conspiracy with multiple objectives. If a person conspires to commit a number of crimes, he is guilty of only one conspiracy so long as such multiple crimes are the object of the same agreement or continuous conspiratorial relationship. It shall not be a defense to a charge under this section that one or more of the objectives of the conspiracy was not criminal; provided that one or more of its objectives or the means of promoting or facilitating an objective of the conspiracy is criminal.

 

d.Overt act. No person may be convicted of conspiracy to commit a crime other than a crime of the first or second degree or distribution or possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog as defined in chapter 35 of this title, unless an overt act in pursuance of such conspiracy is proved to have been done by him or by a person with whom he conspired.

 

e.Renunciation of purpose. It is an affirmative defense which the actor must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he, after conspiring to commit a crime, informed the authority of the existence of the conspiracy and his participation therein, and thwarted or caused to be thwarted the commission of any offense in furtherance of the conspiracy, under circumstances manifesting a complete and voluntary renunciation of criminal purpose as defined in N.J.S.2C:5-1d.; provided, however, that an attempt as defined in N.J.S.2C:5-1 shall not be considered an offense for purposes of renunciation under this subsection.

 

f.Duration of conspiracy. For the purpose of N.J.S.2C:1-6d.:

 

(1)Conspiracy is a continuing course of conduct which terminates when the crime or crimes which are its object are committed or the agreement that they be committed is abandoned by the defendant and by those with whom he conspired; and

 

(2)Such abandonment is presumed with respect to a crime other than one of the first or second degree if neither the defendant nor anyone with whom he conspired does any overt act in pursuance of the conspiracy during the applicable period of limitation; and

 

(3)If an individual abandons the agreement, the conspiracy is terminated as to him only if and when he advises those with whom he conspired of his abandonment or he informs the law enforcement authorities of the existence of the conspiracy and of his participation therein.

 

g.Leader of organized crime. A person is a leader of organized crime if he purposefully conspires with others as an organizer, supervisor, manager or financier to commit a continuing series of crimes which constitute a pattern of racketeering activity under the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:41-1, provided, however, that notwithstanding 2C:1-8a. (2), a conviction of leader of organized crime shall not merge with the conviction of any other crime which constitutes racketeering activity under 2C:41-1. As used in this section, "financier" means a person who provides money, credit or a thing of value with the purpose or knowledge that it will be used to finance or support the operations of a conspiracy to commit a series of crimes which constitute a pattern of racketeering activity, including but not limited to the purchase of materials to be used in the commission of crimes, buying or renting housing or vehicles, purchasing transportation for members of the conspiracy or otherwise facilitating the commission of crimes which constitute a pattern of racketeering activity.

 

L.1978, c.95; amended 1979, c.178, s.17; 1981, c.167, s.3; 1981, c.290, s.10; 1981, c.511, s.1; 1987, c.106, s.4; 2002, c.26, s.8.

2C:5-4 Grading of criminal attempt and conspiracy, mitigation in cases of lesser danger.

 

2C:5-4. Grading of Criminal Attempt and Conspiracy; Mitigation in Cases of Lesser Danger. a. Grading. Except as provided in subsections c., d., and e., an attempt or conspiracy to commit a crime of the first degree is a crime of the second degree; except that an attempt or conspiracy to commit murder or terrorism is a crime of the first degree, provided, however, that if the person attempted or conspired to murder five or more persons, the person shall be sentenced by the court to a term of 30 years, during which the person shall not be eligible for parole, or to a specific term of years which shall be between 30 years and life imprisonment, of which the person shall serve not less than 30 years before eligibility for parole. Otherwise an attempt is a crime of the same degree as the most serious crime which is attempted, and conspiracy is a crime of the same degree as the most serious crime which is the object of the conspiracy; provided that, leader of organized crime is a crime of the second degree. An attempt or conspiracy to commit an offense defined by a statute outside the code shall be graded as a crime of the same degree as the offense is graded pursuant to N.J.S.2C:1-4 and N.J.S.2C:43-1.

 

b.Mitigation. The court may impose sentence for a crime of a lower grade or degree if neither the particular conduct charged nor the defendant presents a public danger warranting the grading provided for such crime under subsection a. because:

 

(1)The criminal attempt or conspiracy charged is so inherently unlikely to result or culminate in the commission of a crime; or

 

(2)The conspiracy, as to the particular defendant charged, is so peripherally related to the main unlawful enterprise.

 

c.Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section, conspiracy to commit a crime set forth in subsection a., b., or d. of N.J.S.2C:17-1 where the structure which was the target of the crime was a church, synagogue, temple or other place of public worship is a crime of the first degree.

 

d.Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section, conspiracy to commit a crime as set forth in P.L.1994, c.121 (C.2C:21-23 et seq.) is a crime of the same degree as the most serious crime that was conspired to be committed.

 

e.Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section, conspiracy to commit a crime of human trafficking as set forth in section 1 of P.L.2005, c.77 (C.2C:13-8) is a crime of the first degree.

 

amended 1979, c.178, s.18; 1981, c.167, s.4; 1981, c.290, s.11; 1981, c.511, s.2; 1986, c.190; 1997, c.34; 1999, c.25, s.2; 2002, c.26, s.9; 2013, c.51, s.6.