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WILSON V. UNITED STATES, 232 U. S. 563 (1914)

U.S. Supreme Court

Wilson v. United States, 232 U.S. 563 (1914)

Wilson v. United States

Nos. 168, 169

Submitted October 23, 1913

Decided February 24, 1914

232 U.S. 563


The White-Slave Act of June 25, 1910, has been sustained as constitutional. Hoke v. United States, 227 U. S. 308.

Although the constitutional question on which a case has been brought to this Court on direct writ of error has been decided since the writ of error was sued out, this Court must retain jurisdiction for the purpose of passing upon the other questions in the record.

Under the White-Slave Act, the prohibition is not in terms confined to transportation by common carrier, nor need such a limitation be implied in order to sustain the constitutionality of the act.

The White-Slave Act has the quality of a police regulation although enacted in the exercise of the power to regulate interstate commerce, and it is wholly within the power of Congress to determine whether the prohibition should extend to transportation by others than common carriers.

The agency of one employed to bring prostitutes from one state to another without definite instructions includes power to decide upon the mode and route of transportation.

The cross-examination of a defendant in regard to taking morphine held in this case to be proper as it related not to general character, but to the condition of the witness at the moment.

Cross-examination as to the domestic difficulties of one of two defendants married to each other held in this case to have been material in order to corroborate the evidence of an accomplice and in other respects relevant to the testimony in chief.

Cross-examination of a defendant in a white slave case in regard to payments made to police officers held in this case to have been competent

Page 232 U. S. 564

and material to show the character of the house occupied by defendant.

In this case, held that the charge of the trial court in regard to presumptions of innocence of the accused and their right to acquittal in case of reasonable doubt was sufficiently favorable to the accused.

The offense under the White-Slave Act is complete when the transportation in interstate commerce has been accomplished. There is no locus poenitentiae thereafter.

The facts, which involve the validity of convictions and sentences under the White-Slave Act, are stated in the opinion.

Page 232 U. S. 565

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