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Bannon and Mulkey v. United States, 156 U.S. 464 (1895)

Bannon and Mulkey v. United States

No. 807

Argued January 23, 1895

Decided March 4, 1895

156 U.S. 464


A conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States is not a felony at common law, and if made a felony by statute, an indictment for so conspiring is not defective by reason of failing to aver that it was feloniously entered into.

In an indictment for a conspiracy under Rev.Stat. § 5440, the fact of conspiring must be charged against all the conspirators, but the doing of overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy may be charged only against those who committed them.

It is unnecessary to consider in detail errors which do not appear in the bill of exceptions, or which do not appear to have been excepted to on the trial, or which seem to have been quite immaterial so far as excepted to.

This was a writ of error to review a conviction of the plaintiffs in error, who were jointly indicted with twenty-five others for a conspiracy "to commit an offense against the United States" in aiding and abetting the landing in the United States of Chinese laborers in violation of the exclusion act by furnishing such laborers false, fraudulent, and pretended evidences of identification and by counseling, advising, and directing said laborers, and furnishing them information and advice touching the questions liable to be asked them upon their application for permission to land, and by various other means to the grand jury unknown. The times, places, manner, and means of such conspiracy are set forth in the indictment.

Most of the defendants were arrested on the day the indictment was filed, and demurred to the same for failing to set forth facts sufficient to constitute an offense against the laws of the United States. The demurrer being overruled, the trial proceeded against twenty of the defendants, and was concluded by a verdict finding the plaintiffs in error, together with one Dunbar, guilty as charged in the indictment. The others were acquitted, except two, as to whom the jury were

Page 156 U. S. 465

unable to agree. The usual motions for a new trial having been made and overruled, plaintiff in error Mulkey was sentenced to pay a fine of $5,000 and to be imprisoned for one year, and Bannon was also sentenced to imprisonment for six months. Whereupon they sued out this writ of error.

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