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HAAS V. HENKEL, 216 U. S. 462 (1910)

U.S. Supreme Court

Haas v. Henkel, 216 U.S. 462 (1910)

Haas v. Henkel

No. 367

Argued January 6, 7, 1910

Decided February 21, 1910

216 U.S. 462


Notwithstanding the hardship necessarily entailed upon the accused in being tried in a district other than that in which he resides, there is no principle of constitutional law that entitles him to be tried in the place of his residence.

Art. III, § 2 of, and the Sixth Amendment to, the Constitution secure to the accused the right to a trial in the district where the crime is committed, and one committing a crime in a district where he does not reside cannot object to his removal thereto for trial.

Where one has been indicted for the same offense in two or more districts, in one of which he resides, it is the duty of the prosecuting officer to bring the case to trial in the district to which the facts most strongly point, and if the court first obtaining jurisdiction of the person of the accused does not object, the accused cannot object

Page 216 U. S. 463

to his being removed under § 1014, Rev.Stat., from the district of his residence to the district in which the government elects to first bring the case to trial.

Where the statute is plain, and Congress has made no exception in its application, the Court cannot make one.

Under § 1014, Rev.Stat., the duty of the commissioner is to determine whether a prima facie case is made out that a crime has been committed, indictable and triable in the district to which removal is sought, and if so determined, there is no discretion; nor is the fact that the accused is under bail in the district where he resides a bar to the removal.

A conspiracy to defraud the United States under § 5440, Rev.Stat., does not necessarily involve a direct pecuniary loss to the United States. The statute includes any conspiracy to impair, obstruct or defeat the lawful function of any department of the government -- e.g., the promulgation of officially acquired information in regard to the cotton crop.

Regulations of a department of the government promulgated under § 161, Rev.Stat., have the force of law, and bribery of an officer of the United States to violate such regulations is included under § 5451, Rev.Stat., making it a crime to bribe such officer to violate his lawful duty.

Matters exclusively relating to defense either substantive or in abatement are properly determinative by the court into which the indictments are returned, and where the case will be tried; they cannot be considered on an appeal from the order of removal made under § 1014, Rev.Stat.

Introduction before the commissioner of an indictment found in the district to which removal is sought makes a prima facie case for removal which is not overcome by an indictment found in another district, although the locus is differently stated in each indictment.

167 F. 211 affirmed.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 216 U. S. 471

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