116 F.2d 690 (7th Cir. 1940), 7315-7317, United States v. Glasser

Docket Nº:7315-7317.
Citation:116 F.2d 690
Party Name:UNITED STATES v. GLASSER et al.
Case Date:December 13, 1940
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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Page 690

116 F.2d 690 (7th Cir. 1940)

UNITED STATES

v.

GLASSER et al.

Nos. 7315-7317.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

December 13, 1940

Rehearing Denied Jan. 23, 1941.

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John Elliott Byrne, Joseph R. Roach, and Alfred E. Roth, all of Chicago, Ill., for appellants.

William J. Campbell, Martin Ward, and Francis J. McGreal, U.S. Attys., all of Chicago, Ill., for appellee.

Before SPARKS, TREANOR and KERNER, Circuit Judges.

KERNER, Circuit Judge.

This is an appeal from a judgment rendered on a verdict of guilty upon an indictment charging the above named defendants, together with Anthony Horton and Louis Kaplan, with a conspiracy to defraud the United States under Section 37 of the Criminal Code, R.S. Sec. 5440, 18 U.S.C.A. § 88. All of the defendants were found guilty. Glasser, Kretske and Kaplan were each sentenced to imprisonment for a term of 14 months, Horton was placed on probation, and Roth was ordered to pay a fine of $500. Only Glasser, Kretske and Roth separately appealed.

The defendants demurred to the indictment and entered a motion to quash on the grounds: (1) That the grand jury was illegally constituted because women were excluded therefrom; (2) that the indictment was not properly returned in open court; and (3) that it was defective. The demurrers and the motion to quash were overruled.

On oral argument the principal point stressed was that the evidence failed to sustain the verdict of the jury, although other points were raised in the briefs. All of these will be discussed in due course.

The Motion to Quash. It is claimed that the District Court erred in overruling the motion to quash the indictment, because the grand jury that found and presented the indictment was not lawfully constituted, in that the commissioner appointed to select the grand jury selected no women to serve on the grand jury.

The indictment was filed on September 29, 1939. On May 12, 1939, the Legislature of the State of Illinois enacted an Act 1 making women eligible for jury. The constitutionality of that Act was sustained on August 8, 1939, in People v. Traeger, 372 Ill. 11, 22 N.E.2d 679. The Northern District of Illinois is composed of 18 countries of the State of Illinois. Under the Act in question the county boards of 17 of these counties were privileged to wait until September 1, 1939, before including women on the jury lists. The members of the September 1939 grand jury were summoned for duty on August 25, 1939. It follows that there was no irregularity in not including women on the jury list. Moreover in the affidavits filed in support of the motion to quash, it was not alleged that the appellants have been prejudiced in any way or that anyone of the grand jurors was incompetent or in any way disqualified. Under such circumstances irregularities in the selection of jurymen are to be disregarded. Wolfson v. United States, 5 Cir., 101 F. 430; Moffatt v. United States, 8 Cir., 232 F. 522; and Petition of Salem, 231 Wis. 489, 286 N.W. 5. The reason for this rule is that the grand jurors do not try the case but merely charge the accused. The manner of their selection is of no consequence to him, he being entitled to claim only fair and impartial grand jurors who possess the necessary qualifications, whereas it is of great consequence that the administration of justice shall not be delayed by mere technical objections. People v. Lieber, 357 Ill. 423, 436, 192 N.E. 331.

Was the Indictment Properly Presented? The point is made that to constitute a valid indictment, it must appear that the indictment

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was presented in open court and the fact entered of record.

It is true that a defendant cannot rightfully be put upon trial for a criminal offense prosecuted by an indictment unless the record shows that the indictment was returned into open court by a grand jury. It need not, however, appear by any set form of phraseology that the grand jury appeared in open court and returned the indictment. All that is necessary is that by apt words it must be made to appear from the record that the grand jury appeared in open court and returned into court the indictment to which the defendant is required to plead. The record now before us shows that it contains a placita in regular form showing the convening of the court and recites the presence of the Judges of the Court of the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, the United States Marshal and the Clerk of the Court; that on September 29, 1939, at a regular term of the District Court of the United States for the Eastern Division of the Northern District of Illinois, the grand jury returned four indictments in open court. On the face of the indictment in this case in the handwriting of the Clerk of the Court is the statement, 'Filed in open court this 29th day of September, A.D. 1939, Hoyt King, Clerk,' and preceding this statement is a notation 'A true bill,' 'George A. Hancock, Foreman.' We are of the opinion that the record in this case is sufficient, and the contention cannot be sustained.

Is the Indictment Defective? The indictment charged a conspiracy to defraud the United States under Section 37 of the Criminal Code, 18 U.S.C.A. Section 88, which provides that: 'If two or more persons conspire * * * to defraud the United States in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such parties do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. ' Now, the appellants make the point that the indictment is defective, because (a) it is duplicitous, (b) it is repugnant and inconsistent, and (c) it is vague and indefinite.

The indictment in substance charged that the defendants and divers other persons to the grand jurors unknown, conspired to defraud the United States of and concerning its governmental function to be honestly, faithfully and dutifully represented in the Courts of the United States by an Assistant United States Attorney, to prosecute certain delinquents for crimes and offenses cognizable under the authority of the United States as the same should be presented and determined according to law and justice, free from corruption, improper influence, dishonesty or fraud, and more particularly its right to a conscientious, faithful and honest representation of its interest in certain suits and causes brought and pending in the United States in the Northern District of Illinois by promising, offering, causing and procuring to be promised and offered, money and other things of value to an officer of the United States, and to persons acting for and on behalf of the United States in an official function under and by authority of a department and office of the Government of the United States in an official function under and by authority of a department and office of the Government of the United States, with intent to influence his decision and action on certain questions and causes which were at times pending, and which were by law brought before such officer in his official capacity, and with the intent to influence to commit and in committing, and to collude in committing certain frauds on the United States, and to induce such officer to do and to omit from doing certain acts in violation of his lawful duty.

The indictment further alleged that Glasser was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, employed to prosecute all delinquents fro crimes and offenses cognizable under the authority of the United States, and as such he did act for and on behalf of the United States in certain official functions under and by authority of the Department of Justice of the United States, and as such officer he had certain decisions to make and actions to take on certain questions, causes and proceedings brought before him in the performance of his duties as such Assistant United States Attorney; that it was part of the conspiracy that the defendants would solicit certain persons named in the indictment, charged with violating or about to be charged with violating the laws of the United States, to promise or cause to promise money to be paid or pledged to the defendants to be used to influence and corrupt Glasser in his official capacity in his decisions on certain questions, causes and proceedings, with the intent that the defendants would accept and sue said money to corruptly, wrongfully and improperly influence Glasser in his decisions and thus allow a fraud to be

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committed on the United States in violation of his lawful duties as an Assistant United States Attorney.

The indictment further alleged that Glasser would meet and hold conversations with the other defendants and inform them what they should do to carry out the conspiracy and would instruct them as to what steps or action each of them would take in the matters in which he was representing the United States Government and thus Glasser conspired with the other defendants to defraud the United States of and concerning its governmental function to be honestly, faithfully and dutifully represented in the courts of the United States by an Assistant United States Attorney.

The Government furnished the appellants with a bill of particulars in which many overt acts were specified, in each of which one or more of the alleged conspirators is alleged to have participated.

It is claimed that the indictment is duplicitous because, it is said, it charges two offenses. With this contention we cannot agree for the reason that in our opinion the indictment charges merely a conspiracy to defraud the United States...

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