Wharton's Rule

noun
Whar·​ton's Rule | \ ˈhwȯrt-ᵊnz- \

Legal Definition of Wharton's Rule

: a rule that prohibits the prosecution of two persons for conspiracy to commit a particular offense when the offense in question can only be committed by at least two persons

Note: Wharton's Rule does not apply when legislative intent is to the contrary (as when the legislation imposes a separate punishment for conspiracy to commit a particular crime).

History and Etymology for Wharton's Rule

after Francis Wharton (1820–89), American lawyer and author, who formulated it

Learn More About Wharton's Rule

Cite this Entry

“Wharton's Rule.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/Wharton%27s%20Rule. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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