Wharton's Rule


Whar·​ton'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).

Word History


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

Cite this Entry

“Wharton's Rule.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/Wharton%27s%20Rule. Accessed 19 May. 2024.

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