Corrupt-Motive Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

Corrupt motive doctrine is a principle of criminal law that says that conspiracy is punishable only if the agreement was entered into with an evil purpose. Mere intention to do the act prohibited in ignorance of the prohibition will not suffice. Persons, who agree to do an act in good faith without the use of criminal means, are not converted into conspirators, because it turns out that the contemplated act was prohibited by statute. The actual criminal intention must be shown to justify a conviction for conspiracy. The principle originated in the case People v. Powell, 63 N.Y. 88 (N.Y. 1875) and therefore is also known as Powell Doctrine.

However, this doctrine has been rejected by the Model Penal Code.