Ex parte Karstendick

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtWAITE
Citation23 L.Ed. 889,93 U.S. 396
Decision Date01 October 1876
PartiesEX PARTE KARSTENDICK

93 U.S. 396
23 L.Ed. 889
EX PARTE KARSTENDICK.
October Term, 1876

PETITION for habeas corpus.

Page 397

Mr. David C. Labatt for the petitioner.

Mr. Solicitor-General Phillips, contra.

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE delivered the opinion of the court.

Karstendick, the petitioner, was indicted for a conspiracy, and convicted May 1, 1876, in the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Louisiana, under sect. 5440 of the Revised Statutes. The punishment for his offence, prescribed by the statute, is a penalty of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000, and imprisonment not more than two years. The sentence, as passed by the court, so far as it is material to the present inquiry, is as follows:——

'And, it having been in due form determined and ascertained that there is no penitentiary within the district of Louisiana, suitable for the confinement of persons convicted of crime in the courts of the United States, in said district of Louisiana, and the Attorney-General of the United States having, in due form, and by and with competent authority, designated the penitentiary at Moundsville, in West Virginia, as the place of confinement, subsistence, and employment of all persons convicted, or who may hereafter be convicted, by the courts of the United States, of crime against the United States of America, in said district of Louisiana, and such designation having been in due form notified to the court and entered upon the record thereof, . . . it is considered, by reason of the verdict herein, . . . that the said Otto H. Karstendick be confined in the penitentiary of the State of West Virginia, at Moundsville, in said State, for and during the full period of sixteen calendar months from and after this day, and that he do also further pay a fine of $2,000,' &c.

In execution of this sentence, Karstendick is now imprisoned in the penitentiary at Moundsville, and he seeks through this application to obtain a discharge, alleging for cause that the order of the court for his imprisonment in a penitentiary, and without the State of Louisiana, is not authorized by law, and consequently void.

Sect. 5440 of the Revised Statutes is a reproduction of sect. 30 of an act of Congress, passed March 2, 1867, 'to amend

Page 398

existing laws relating to internal revenue, and for other purposes.' 14 Stat. 484. At that time another act, passed March 3, 1865, 'regulating proceedings in criminal cases, and for other purposes,' was in force, which provided, in sect. 3, that 'in every case where any person convicted of any offence against the United States shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period longer than one year, it shall be lawful for the court, by which the sentence is passed, to order the same to be executed in any State prison or penitentiary within the district or State where such court is held, the use of which prison or penitentiary is allowed by the legislature of such State for such purposes.' 13 Stat. 500. This provision is also reproduced in sect. 5541 of the Revised Statutes, save only that the words 'State jail' are substituted for the words 'State prison,' where they occur in the original act.

As early as 1834 Congress enacted that, whenever any criminal convicted of any offence against the United States shall be imprisoned in pursuance of such conviction, or of the sentence thereupon, in the prison or penitentiary of any State or Territory, such criminal shall, in all respects, be subject to the same discipline and treatment as convicts sentenced by the courts of the State or Territory in which such prison or penitentiary is situated, and, while so confined in such prison, shall also be exclusively under the control of the officers having charge of the same, under the laws of such State or Territory. 4 Stat. 739.

This provision is re-enacted in sect. 5539 of the Revised Statutes, the word 'jail,' however, being substituted in the revision for 'prison,' where it occurs in the original.

All these several statutes, being in pari materia, were, when in force before the revision, to be construed together. The same is true of the corresponding revised sections, and, under this rule, the same effect must be given to sect. 5440, that it would have if it read as follows: 'All the parties to such a conspiracy shall be liable to a penalty of not less than $1,000 and not more than $10,000, and to imprisonment not more than two years.' Sect. 5440. If the sentence of imprisonment shall be for a longer term than one year, the court passing the same may order it to be executed in any State jail or penitentiary

Page 399

within the district or State where said court is held (sect. 5541), and the criminal so imprisoned shall, in all respects, be subject to the same discipline and treatment as convicts sentenced by the courts of the State or Territory in which such jail or penitentiary is situated, and shall, while so confined therein, be exclusively under the control of the officers having charge of the same under the laws of the State. Sect. 5539.

This language is explicit, and, taken by itself, is certainly sufficient to authorize imprisonment in a penitentiary, at the discretion of the court, in all cases where the sentence is for a longer term than one year. But the counsel for the petitioner, in their argument, refer to other sections of the statute, which in terms provide for punishment by imprisonment at hard labor, and they seek to confine the power of imprisonment in a penitentiary to such cases; because, as they claim, imprisonment in a penitentiary necessarily implies imprisonment at hard labor; and where the punishment provided for by the statute is imprisonment alone, a sentence to confinement at a place where hard labor is imposed as a consequence of the imprisonment, is in excess of the power conferred.

We have not been able to arrive at this conclusion. In cases where the statute makes hard labor a part of the punishment, it is imperative upon the court to include that in its sentence. But where the statute requires imprisonment alone, the...

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54 practice notes
  • U.S. v. Volungus, No. 09-1596.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • January 8, 2010
    ...One example of this ancillary authority is Congress's power to construct and operate a prison system. See, e.g., Ex parte Karstendick, 93 U.S. 396, 400, 23 L.Ed. 889 (1876); Estabrook v. King, 119 F.2d 607, 610 (8th Cir.1941). A related (and subsidiary) example is Congress's authority to co......
  • U.S. v. Ramirez, No. 75-1395
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • September 16, 1976
    ...labor as a punishment prescribed by the sentencing judge preceded the 1909 revisions of the criminal law. In Ex Parte Karstendick (1876) 93 U.S. 396, 23 L.Ed. 889, the Supreme Court upheld a sentence to a state prison in which hard labor was a disciplinary measure, even though the statute c......
  • United States v. Comstock, No. 08–1224.
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 17, 2010
    ...and direct that all persons sentenced to imprisonment under the laws of the United States shall be confined there.” Ex parte Karstendick, 93 U.S. 396, 400, 23 L.Ed. 889 (1876). Moreover, Congress, having established a prison system, can enact laws that seek to ensure that system's safe and ......
  • Harvin v. United States, No. 22317.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • May 7, 1971
    ...for a term of years was one served in a state prison or penitentiary,1 which, as early as 1865, 13 Stat. 500, see Ex parte Karstendick, 93 U.S. 396, 23 L.Ed. 889 (1876), Mackin v. United States, supra, was a place of confinement for those sentenced for an offense against the United States f......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
54 cases
  • U.S. v. Volungus, No. 09-1596.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • January 8, 2010
    ...One example of this ancillary authority is Congress's power to construct and operate a prison system. See, e.g., Ex parte Karstendick, 93 U.S. 396, 400, 23 L.Ed. 889 (1876); Estabrook v. King, 119 F.2d 607, 610 (8th Cir.1941). A related (and subsidiary) example is Congress's authority to co......
  • U.S. v. Ramirez, No. 75-1395
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • September 16, 1976
    ...labor as a punishment prescribed by the sentencing judge preceded the 1909 revisions of the criminal law. In Ex Parte Karstendick (1876) 93 U.S. 396, 23 L.Ed. 889, the Supreme Court upheld a sentence to a state prison in which hard labor was a disciplinary measure, even though the statute c......
  • United States v. Comstock, No. 08–1224.
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • May 17, 2010
    ...and direct that all persons sentenced to imprisonment under the laws of the United States shall be confined there.” Ex parte Karstendick, 93 U.S. 396, 400, 23 L.Ed. 889 (1876). Moreover, Congress, having established a prison system, can enact laws that seek to ensure that system's safe and ......
  • Harvin v. United States, No. 22317.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • May 7, 1971
    ...for a term of years was one served in a state prison or penitentiary,1 which, as early as 1865, 13 Stat. 500, see Ex parte Karstendick, 93 U.S. 396, 23 L.Ed. 889 (1876), Mackin v. United States, supra, was a place of confinement for those sentenced for an offense against the United States f......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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