218 U.S. 601 (1910), 390, United States v. Kissell & Harned

Docket Nº:No. 390
Citation:218 U.S. 601, 31 S.Ct. 124, 54 L.Ed. 1168
Party Name:United States v. Kissell & Harned
Case Date:December 12, 1910
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 601

218 U.S. 601 (1910)

31 S.Ct. 124, 54 L.Ed. 1168

United States

v.

Kissell & Harned

No. 390

United States Supreme Court

December 12, 1910

Argued November 10, 11, 1910

ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

Syllabus

Under the Criminal Appeals Act of March 2, 1907, c. 2564, 34 Stat. 1246, when the indictment is quashed, this Court is confined to a consideration of the grounds of decision mentioned in such statute, United States v. Keitel, 211 U.S. 370, and there is a similar limit when the case comes up from a judgment sustaining a special plea in bar.

Although mere continuance of result of a crime does not continue the crime itself, if such continuance of result depends upon continuous cooperation of the conspirators, the conspiracy continues until the time of its abandonment or success.

A conspiracy in restraint of trade is more than a contract in restraint of trade; the latter is instantaneous, but the former is a partnership in criminal purposes, and as such may have continuance in time, and so held in regard to a conspiracy made criminal by the Anti-Trust Act of July 2, 1890.

Whether the indictment in this case charges a continuing conspiracy with technical sufficiency is not before the Court on the appeal taken under the Criminal Appeals Act of March 2, 1907, from a judgment sustaining special pleas of limitation in bar.

Allegations in the indictment consistent with other facts alleged that a conspiracy continued until the date of filing must be denied under the general issue, and cannot be met by special plea in bar.

This Court, having on an appeal under the Criminal Appeals Act of March 2, 1907, held that allegations as to continuance of a conspiracy cannot be met by special plea in bar, all defenses, including that of limitations by the ending of the conspiracy more than three

Page 602

years before the finding of the indictment, will be open under the general issue and unaffected by this decision.

173 F. 823 reversed.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

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HOLMES, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.

This is a writ of error brought by the United States to reverse a judgment of the circuit court sustaining pleas in bar, pleaded to an indictment by the defendants in error. 173 F. 823. The first count of the indictment alleges that the defendants in error and others named, on December 30, 1903, and from that day until the day of presenting the indictment (July 1, 1909), have engaged in an unlawful conspiracy in restraint of trade in refined sugar among the several states of the Union -- that is to say, to eliminate free competition and prevent all competition with the American Sugar Refining Company,

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one of the defendants, by a would-be competitor, the Pennsylvania Sugar Refining Company. It then sets forth at length the means by which the alleged purpose was to be accomplished, and what are put forward as overt acts done in pursuance of the plan. In other counts, referring to the first, the defendants are alleged to have conspired to monopolize the trade in refined sugar among the states. There are similar counts as to the trade in raw sugar and molasses, and as to trade with foreign nations. The offenses aimed at, of course, are the conspiracies punished by the Act of July 2, 1890, c. 647, 26 Stat. 209, commonly known as the Sherman Act.

There are other counts in the indictment, but the argument was devoted mainly to these. The defendants severally pleaded to all of them the limitation of three years fixed by Rev.Stat. § 1044, alleging that, for more than three years before the finding of the indictment on July 1, 1909, they did not engage in, or do any act in aid of, such conspiracies. The defendant Kissel added averments that all the overt acts alleged to have been done within three years before July 1, 1909, were done without his participation, consent, or knowledge. He also pleaded that, since October 6, 1906, the Pennsylvania Sugar Refining Company had been in the hands of a duly appointed receiver.

We deem it unnecessary to state the pleadings with more particularity, because the only question before us under the Act of March 2, 1907, c. 2564, 34 Stat. 1246, is whether the plea in bar can be sustained. That this Court is confined to a consideration of the grounds of decision mentioned in the statute when an indictment is quashed was decided in United States v. Keitel, 211 U.S. 370, 399. We think that there is a similar limit when the case comes up under the other clause of the act, from a "judgment sustaining a special plea in bar, when the defendant has not been put in jeopardy." This being so, we are not concerned with the technical sufficiency or redundancy...

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