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Commonwealth v. Nee

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
935 N.E.2d 1276 (2010)


Facts

In September 2004, Joseph Nee (defendant), Daniel Farley, and Joseph Sullivan, students at Marshfield High School, attended a meeting with Marshfield police officers. Nee told the officers that Tobin Kerns, another Marshfield student, had formed a plan to blow up the school. During the meeting, Nee described Kerns’s plan in detail but denied all involvement. Kerns was arrested, and a search of his home revealed a list of supplies and computer searches about weapons and other explosives. Farley and Sullivan subsequently testified at Kerns’s trial pursuant to grants of immunity. Specifically, Farley testified that it was actually Nee who developed the plot and that Nee recruited Kerns, Farley, and Sullivan to join. Nee and Kerns then created a list of supplies, including ingredients for explosives, as well as a list of the names of students and teachers they would target. Police also discovered that Nee had attempted to build and test a pipe bomb. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts (plaintiff) charged Nee for his role in the plot. A jury convicted Nee, and he appealed, contending that the trial judge improperly declined to apply the renunciation defense to conspiracy.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, C.J.)

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