This Article first examines the development of complicity law, noting its common law origins. The Model Penal Code has streamlined the law, but this is not evident until we recognize the maze of terms and concepts that preceded it. Thus, I point out the complex, but flawed, categories of actors that existed at common law and the significance of the accomplice’s location and temporal relationship to the criminal event.
Second, I show the harm wrought by this natural and probable consequence, or common design, doctrine. Magnifying the problematic issues of general complicity law, it extends accomplice liability to establish a form of guilt by association totally at odds with civilized notions of criminal liability. Here, an examination of the problems of one state, Illinois, exemplifies this unfortunate turn in the law and represents the general pathology of criminal law development. The thinking of the Code has been entirely subverted in this terribly critical area.