183 U.S. 365 (1902), 251, Stanton Carter v. McLaughry

Docket Nº:No. 251
Citation:183 U.S. 365, 22 S.Ct. 181, 46 L.Ed. 236
Party Name:Stanton Carter v. McLaughry
Case Date:January 06, 1902
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 365

183 U.S. 365 (1902)

22 S.Ct. 181, 46 L.Ed. 236

Stanton Carter

v.

McLaughry

No. 251

United States Supreme Court

January 6, 1902

Argued December 3-4, 1901

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED

STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS

Syllabus

The rule reiterated that civil tribunals will not revise the proceedings of courts martial except for the purpose of ascertaining whether they had jurisdiction of the person and of the subject matter, and whether, though having such jurisdiction, they have exceeded their powers in the sentences pronounced.

Where the punishment on conviction of any military offense is left to the discretion of the court-martial, the limit of punishment, in time of peace, prescribed by the President, applies to the punishment of enlisted men only.

Where the jurisdiction of the military court has attached in respect of an officer of the army, this includes not only the power to hear and determine the case, but the power to execute and enforce the sentence.

Where the sentence is rendered on findings of guilty of several charges with specifications thereunder, and the President, as the reviewing authority, has disapproved of the findings of guilty of some of the specifications, but approved the findings of guilty of a specification or specifications under each of the charges, and of the charges, and the President does not think proper to remand the case to the court-martial for revision, or to mitigate the sentence, or to pardon the accused, but approves the sentence, the judgment so rendered cannot be disturbed on the ground that the disapproval of some of the specifications vitiated the sentence.

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In this case, Charge I was "conspiring to defraud the United States in violation of the 60th article of war." Charge II was "causing false and fraudulent claims to be made against the United States in violation of the 60th article of war." These are separate and distinct offenses, and the military court was empowered to punish the accused as to one by fine and as to the other by imprisonment.

Charge III was "conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, in violation of the 61st article of war." This is not the same offense as the offenses charged under the 60th article of war. But, in view of articles 97 and 100, conviction of Charges I and II involves conviction under article 61, and the officer may be dismissed on conviction under either article.

Charge IV was "Embezzlement, as defined in section 5488 of the Revised Statutes, in violation of the 62d article of war." Held: (a) that the specified crime was not mentioned in the preceding articles. That the offenses of which the accused was convicted under the 60th article were distinct from the acts prohibited by section 5488. (b) That the crime alleged in this charge was not covered by subdivision 9 of article 60, because the embezzlement charged was not of money "furnished or intended for the military service." (c) Nor was the money applied to a purpose prescribed by law, and it was for the court-martial to determine whether the crime charged was "to the prejudice of good order and military discipline."

This was a petition for the writ of habeas corpus filed on behalf of Oberlin M. Carter in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Kansas, October 17, 1900, on which the writ was issued returnable October 26.

The petition alleged that Carter was imprisoned and restrained of his liberty by the warden of the United States prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, by virtue of a sentence imposed upon him by a general court-martial of the United States, approved by the Secretary of War, and approved and confirmed by the President of the United States on the 29th day of September, 1899.

That the warrant under which the warden detained petitioner was an order from the headquarters of the army -- that is to say, General Orders No. 172, dated September 29, 1899, and set forth at length.

From this it appeared that Captain Oberlin M. Carter, Corps of Engineers, United States Army, was arraigned and tried before a general court-martial on four charges with specifications under each.

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To the first specification of Charge I, the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth specifications of Charge II; the first, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first specifications of Charge III, and the second specification of Charge IV, he pleaded the statute of limitations, the 103d article of war, and the plea was sustained by the court. To the charges and the other specifications he pleaded not guilty, and was found not guilty on the eighth, tenth, twelfth, and twenty-third specifications under Charge III.

Omitting the above specifications and abbreviating those disapproved by the President, as stated hereafter, the charges and specifications were as follows:

Charge I -- "Conspiring to defraud the United States, in violation of the 60th article of war."

Specification II --

In that Captain Oberlin M. Carter, Corps of Engineers, United States Army, devising and intending to defraud the United States, and to aid the Atlantic Contracting Company, a corporation, and John F. Gaynor, William T. Gaynor, and Edward H. Gaynor, and Anson M. Bangs, and divers other persons, all of whom were likewise with him, the said Carter, devising and intending to defraud the United States, did, with the corporation and persons named, unlawfully combine and conspire to defraud the United States of divers large sums of money by aiding the said The Atlantic Contracting Company to obtain the allowance and payment of certain false and fraudulent claims hereinafter described, and in pursuance of the said conspiracy the said Oberlin M. Carter, in the months of June, July, and August, September, and October, 1896, being an officer of the United States in charge of the river and harbor district usually called the Savannah District, and of the improvement by the United States of rivers and harbors in said district, did, with the knowledge and consent of the said other parties named, so advertise for proposals for contracts for certain works of improvement in the harbor of Savannah, [22 S.Ct. 183] Georgia, in said district, and so manage and conduct said advertising, and the matter of giving out information in regard to the contract to be let, and the matter of receiving proposals and awarding

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the contract, as to enable the said The Atlantic Contracting Company to secure the contract for said work, and to have the same entered into by the United States with it October 8, 1896, and in further pursuance of the said conspiracy the said The Atlantic Contracting Company afterwards, to-wit, from about the 8th day of October, 1896, to July 31, 1897, did furnish and put into said work certain mattresses, stone, and other material which were different in kind and character from the mattresses, stone, and other material contracted for in said contract, and very much less costly to the said The Atlantic Contracting Company, as well as of less value to the United States, which said mattresses, stone, and other material so furnished and put into the work the said Captain Carter, in further pursuance of said conspiracy, did receive and accept, and cause to be received and accepted, for the United States, as and for the mattresses, stone, and other material contracted for, and did, on or about July 6, 1897, cause to be paid, out of the moneys of the United States, $230,749.90 to the said The Atlantic Contracting Company, on account of the said furnishing and delivery of the same, and as if the said mattresses, stone, and other material had been such as were stipulated for in the contract, and at the same rate, cost, and price as if they had been.

And in further pursuance of the said conspiracy, the said Captain Carter, about June, July, August, September, and October, 1896, did advertise for proposals for a contract for improving Cumberland Sound, Georgia, in said river and harbor district, and so manage and conduct the matter of such advertising, and the matter of giving out information in regard to the contract to be let, and the matter of receiving proposals and awarding the contract, as to enable the said The Atlantic Contracting Company to secure the contract for said work and to have the same entered into by the United States with it October 8, 1896, and in further pursuance of the said conspiracy, the said The Atlantic Contracting Company, from about the 8th day of October, 1896, to the 31st day of July, 1897, did furnish and put into said work certain mattresses, stone, and other materials which were different in kind and character from the mattresses, stone, and other materials contracted for in said

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contract, and very much less costly to the said The Atlantic Contracting Company, as well as of less value to the United States; which said mattresses, stone, and other material so furnished and put into the work the said Captain Carter, in further pursuance of said conspiracy, did receive and accept, and cause to be received and accepted, for the United States, as and for the mattresses, stone, and other material contracted for, and did, on or about July 6, 1897, cause to be paid, out of the moneys of the United States, $345,000.00 to the said The Atlantic Contracting Company, on account of said furnishing and delivery of the same, and as if the said mattresses, stone, and other material had been such as were stipulated for in the contract, and at the same rate, cost, and price as if they had been.

This on the 6th day of June, 1896, and thereafter to the 1st day of August, 1897.

Charge II -- "Causing false and fraudulent claims to be made against the United States, in...

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