269 F. 215 (9th Cir. 1920), 3540, Gowling v. United States

Docket Nº:3540.
Citation:269 F. 215
Case Date:December 06, 1920
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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269 F. 215 (9th Cir. 1920)




No. 3540.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

December 6, 1920

Frank A. Duryea, of San Francisco, Cal., for plaintiff in error.

Frank M. Silva, U.S. Atty., and Wilford H. Tully, Asst. U.S. Atty., both of San Francisco, Cal.

Before GILBERT, MORROW, and HUNT, Circuit Judges.

HUNT, Circuit Judge.

Gowling was convicted under an indictment of five counts, the first of which charged that he willfully and feloniously transported and aided and assisted in transporting in interstate commerce from Reno, Nev., to Sloat, Cal., by means of an automobile running over the public highways of the United States, the automobile being driven and controlled by Gowling, Mrs. M. Northcutt, otherwise known as Mrs. W. E. Gowling, for a certain immoral purpose, debauchery. The counts vary only in the allegation of the purpose of the alleged transportation.

A general and special demurrer was overruled, and the action of the court is assigned as error. The argument is that the indictment

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fails to allege that the alleged transportation was in interstate commerce, within the meaning and intent of the act of Congress of June 25, 1910 (Comp. St. Secs. 8812-8819), for the prevention of white slave traffic. But as the indictment charges that the defendant transported and aided and assisted in transporting the woman in interstate commerce in and by means of a certain automobile running over the public highways of the United States, the automobile then and there being in such transportation, and operated and controlled by the defendant, it is sufficient. In Wilson v. United States, 232 U.S. 563, 34 Sup.Ct. 347, 58 L.Ed. 728, the Supreme Court held that it is not essential in order to constitute the offense that the transportation be by common carrier; the court saying:

'The prohibition is not in terms confined to transportation by common carrier, nor need such limitation be implied * * * to sustain the constitutionality of the enactment. As has already been decided, it has the quality of a police regulation, although enacted in the exercise of the power to regulate interstate commerce (Hoke v. United States, 227 U.S. 308, 323; Gloucester Ferry Co. v. Pennsylvania, 114 U.S. 196, 215); and since this power is complete in itself, it was discretionary with Congress whether the prohibition should be extended to transportation by others than common carriers.'

We think the allegations of the indictment are too plain to call for further discussion. Caminetti v. United States, 242 U.S. 470, 37 Sup.Ct. 192, 61 L.Ed. 442, L.R.A. 1917F, 502, Ann. Cas. 1917B, 1168.

Passing to the other more important assignments, we will take them up in the order in which they are presented by the brief of plaintiff in error.

A witness, in testifying for the defendant, said that he knew the reputation of defendant in the place in which he had lived. The court asked...

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