124 U.S. 483 (1888), U.s. v. Hess

Citation:124 U.S. 483, 8 S.Ct. 571, 31 L.Ed. 516
Case Date:January 30, 1888
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 483

124 U.S. 483 (1888)

8 S.Ct. 571, 31 L.Ed. 516




United States Supreme Court.

January 30, 1888

On a Certificate of Division in Opinion between the Judges of the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.

[8 S.Ct. 572] This case comes before us from the circuit court for the Southern district of New York on a certificate of division of opinion between the judges. The defendant was indicted in tat court for an alleged offense, described in general terms as that of devising 'a scheme to defraud divers other persons,' to the jurors unknown, and intending to effect it by inciting

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them to open communication with him through the post-office establishment. The indictment contained two counts, but, upon the plea of not guilty, the case was submitted to the jury upon the second count alone. That count was as follows: 'And the jurors aforesaid, on their oath aforesaid, do further present that Sigismund Hess, otherwise called Samuel Hayes, late of the city and county of New York, in the district and circuit aforesaid, yeoman, heretofore, to-wit, on the third day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven, at the Southern district of New York, and within the jurisdiction of this court, having theretofore devised a scheme to defraud divers other persons to the jurors aforesaid as yet unknown, which said scheme he, the said Sigismund Hess, otherwise called Samuel Hayes, then and there intended to effect by inciting such other persons to open communication with him, the said Sigismuch Hess, otherwise called Samuel Hayes, by means of the post-office establishment of the said United States, did unlawfully, in and for attempting to execute said scheme, receive from the post-office of the United States at the city of New York a certain letter in the words and figures following, that is to say:

"BONILLA, D. T., 2, 25, '87.

"DR. SIR: If there is any money to be made at it, then count me in. Send on all the confidential terms you have, and you will never be betrayed by

"Yours, truly,


"Return this letter.'

--Which said letter was then and there inclosed in a sealed envelope, addressed and directed in words and figures following, that is to say: 'S. Brunk, Esq., 270 West 40th St., New York City, New York, c. o. Boot-Black;' against the peace of the United States and their dignity, and contrary to the form of the statute of the said United States in such case made and provided.'

The jury found the defendant guilty, and a motion was

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made for a new trial, and in arrest of judgment, when the following questions occurred...

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