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Defendant Challenges Indictment

This is a case where the court affirmed that custody of the appellant to a representative of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, pursuant to a warrant issued by the Governor of New Jersey under section 5278, is valid and binding.

Appellant committed a robbery in Massachusetts on or about August 18, 1916, and having, by his own admission, been personally present there and in communication with the alleged co-conspirator at or about that time, and being afterwards found in the state of New Jersey. A New York DWI Lawyer said a hearing for habeas corpus was made to demand for appellant’s apprehension and extradition to Massachusetts.

A copy of the indictment states:

‘Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Suffolk, ss:
‘At the Superior Court Begun and Holden at the City of Boston, Within and for the County of Suffolk, for the Transaction of Criminal Business, on the First Monday of February, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Nineteen.

‘The jurors for the commonwealth of Massachusetts on their oath present that appellants, on the eighteenth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and sixteen, conspired together to steal the property, moneys, goods and chattels of the Market Trust Company, a banking corporation legally established and existing.’

It is objected that the indictment does not charge appellant with the commission of a crime in Massachusetts; but when it is read in the light of the laws of that commonwealth the difficulty disappears. Revised Laws of Massachusetts, c. 218, § 20, reads thus:

‘The time and place of the commission of the crime need not be alleged unless it is an essential element of the crime. A New York DWI Lawyer said the allegation of time in the caption shall, unless otherwise stated, be considered as an allegation that the act was committed before the finding of the indictment, after it became a crime, and within the period of limitations. The name of the county and court in the caption shall, unless otherwise stated, be considered as an allegation that the act was committed within the territorial jurisdiction of the court. All allegations of the indictment shall, unless otherwise stated, be considered to refer to the same time and place.’

The Court stated that were there is any doubt of the sufficiency of the indictment, as a pleading, it would not be open to inquiry on habeas corpus.

It was reiterated by the court that the suggestion that there is neither allegation nor proof of an overt act done by appellant in Massachusetts pursuant to the alleged conspiracy is without weight. A Nassau County DWI Lawyer said by the law of Massachusetts, as by the common law, a conspiracy to commit a crime is itself a criminal offense, although no overt act be done in pursuance of it; such acts, however important as evidence of conspiracy or as matters of aggravation, not being of the essence of the offense, since there is no statute making criminality dependent upon the commission of an overt act.

Appellant being charged by authentic indictment with a criminal offense and having, by his own admission, been personally present there and in communication with the alleged co-conspirator at or about that time, and being afterwards found in the state of New Jersey, there is adequate ground for his return as a fugitive from justice under section 5278, Rev. Stat. U. S., enacted to give effect to article 4, § 2, of the Constitution. Whether in fact he was a fugitive from justice was for the determination of the Governor of New Jersey. The warrant of arrest issued in compliance with the demand of the Governor of Massachusetts shows that he found appellant to be a fugitive; and this conclusion must stand unless clearly overthrown, which appellant has not succeeded in doing. To be regarded as a fugitive from justice it is not necessary that one shall have left the state in which the crime is alleged to have been committed for the very purpose of avoiding prosecution, but simply that, having committed there an act which by the law of the state constitutes a crime, he afterwards has departed from its jurisdiction and when sought to be prosecuted is found within the territory of another state.

Stephen Bilkis and Associates with its New York Criminal Lawyer has offices within New York Metropolitan area, including Corona, New York. It can provide you with adequate legal knowledge to support your claim against any wrongdoer.

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