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An accessory cannot be tried, without his consent, before the principal. Even when the accessory waives the right, and may be tried before the principal, if he is convicted it is necessary to respite judgment until the trial of the principal because a subsequent acquittal of the latter would annul this conviction. 1 Hale P.C. *623. The principal and the accessory may be tried jointly, unless the accessory is entitled to a severance, but if they are tried together the trier of fact must first inquire into the guilt of the principal, and, if it finds him not guilty, the accessory must be acquitted. 

Only upon finding the principal guilty may the trier of fact consider whether the accessory is guilty. An acquittal of the principal, of course, bars a subsequent trial of the accessory. Perkins, Criminal Law at 672-673 (2d ed. 1969) . Professor Perkins finds this aspect of the principal-accessory concept to be 'quite absurd.' He points out: 'Anything which prevents conviction of the principal makes impossible the conviction of the accessory. Hence, if the principal is never apprehended, or if before the moment of conviction he should die or be pardoned, the accessory must ...

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