Continuing Criminal Enterprise, Conspiracy, and the Multiple Punishment Doctrine

This Note argues that the Multiple Punishment Doctrine prohibits the imposition of concurrent convictions and sentences upon criminal defendants found guilty of engaging in a CCE and conspiring to violate narcotics laws. Part I surveys the values underlying the Multiple Punishment Doctrine and traces the evolution of the Supreme Court’s application of the doctrine to modern criminal law. Part II examines the various methods employed by the circuit courts of appeals to deal with simultaneous convictions and sentences for CCE and conspiracy. Part III reviews the test, identified in Part I, that the Supreme Court has implicitly utilized to analyze Multiple Punishment Claims and evaluates CCE and conspiracy convictions under this standard. This Note concludes that the majority approach – mandating the vacation of conspiracy convictions and sentences obtained simultaneously with a CCE conviction – is the only method utilized by the courts of appeals that comports with the Multiple Punishment Doctrine.