Masciale v. United States, No. 84

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtWARREN
Citation78 S.Ct. 827,356 U.S. 386,2 L.Ed.2d 859
Docket NumberNo. 84
Decision Date19 May 1958
PartiesFrank MASCIALE, Petitioner, v. UNITED STATES of America

356 U.S. 386
78 S.Ct. 827
2 L.Ed.2d 859
Frank MASCIALE, Petitioner,

v.

UNITED STATES of America.

No. 84.
Argued Jan. 16, 1958.
Decided May 19, 1958.
Rehearing Denied June 23, 1958.

See 357 U.S. 933, 78 S.Ct. 1367.

Mr. Merrell E. Clark, Jr., New York City, for the petitioner.

Mr. James W. Knapp, Washington, D.C., for the respondent.

Mr. Chief Justice WARREN delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case presents the same issue as Sherman v. United States, 356 U.S. 369, 78 S.Ct. 819: Should petitioner's conviction be set aside on the ground that as a matter of law the defense of entrapment was established? Cf. Sorrells v. United States, 287 U.S. 435, 53 S.Ct. 210, 77 L.Ed. 413. Petitioner was convicted on three counts, two of which charged him with the illegal sale of narcotics and one with conspiracy to make a sale.1 The issue of entrapment went to the jury,2

Page 387

and conviction followed. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed. 236 F.2d 601. We granted certiorari. 352 U.S. 1000, 77 S.Ct. 568, 1 L.Ed.2d 545.

The evidence discloses the following events. On January 14, 1954, petitioner was introduced to government agent Marshall by a government informer, Kowel. Although petitioner had known kowel for approximately four years, he was unaware of Kowel's undercover activities. Marshall was introduced as a big narcotics buyer. Both Marshall and petitioner testified concerning the ensuing conversation. Marshall testified that he immediately made it clear that he wanted to talk about buying large quantities of high-grade narcotics and that if petitioner were not interested, the conversation would end at once. Instead of leaving, petitioner questioned Marshall on his knowledge of the narcotics traffic and then boasted that while he was primarily a gambler, 'he knew someone whom he considered high up in the narcotics traffic to whom he would introduce me (Marshall) and that I was able to get and I can quote this—'88 per cent pure heroin' from this source.' Marshall also stated that petitioner gave him a telephone number where he could be reached. In his testimony petitioner admitted that he was a gambler and had told Marshall that through his gambling contacts he knew about the narcotics traffic. He denied that he had then known any available source of narcotics or that he said he could obtain narcotics for Marshall at that time. Petitioner explained that he met marshall only to help Kowel impress Marshall. Petitioner also said that it was Marshall who gave him the telephone number. It is noteworthy that nowhere in his testimony did petitioner state that during the conversation either Marshall or Kowel tried to persuade him to enter the narcotics traffic. In the six weeks following the conversation just related Marshall and petitioner met or spoke with each other at least ten times; petitioner kept

Page 388

telling Marshall that he was...

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157 practice notes
  • U.S. v. Navarro, Nos. 83-1602
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • June 14, 1984
    ...defendants' testimony, arguably exculpatory, to the extent not contradicted by the government's witnesses. Masciale v. United States, 356 U.S. 386, 388, 78 S.Ct. 827, 827, 2 L.Ed.2d 859 (1958); Kaminski, 703 F.2d at 1008-09; United States v. Guevara, 598 F.2d 1094, 1099 (7th Cir.1979). In s......
  • Walker v. United States, No. 18254.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • January 21, 1961
    ...be imprisoned for not less than ten or more than forty years and, in addition, may be fined not more than $20,000." 2 Masciale v. U. S., 356 U.S. 386, 78 S.Ct. 827, 2 L.Ed.2d 3 Accardi v. U. S., 5 Cir., 257 F.2d 168. 4 Cratty v. U. S., 82 U.S.App.D.C. 236, 163 F.2d 844, 851. 5 See the discu......
  • United States v. Russell 8212 1585, No. 71
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 24, 1973
    ...v. United States, 287 U.S. 435, 53 S.Ct. 210, 77 L.Ed. 413 (1932); Sherman v. United States, supra. Cf. Masciale v. United States, 356 U.S. 386, 78 S.Ct. 827, 2 L.Ed.2d 859 (1958); Lopez v. United States, supra. But the Court has been sharply divided as to the proper basis, scope, and focus......
  • Osborn v. United States Hoffa v. United States Lewis v. United States, Nos. 29
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • December 12, 1966
    ...happened was, as stated above, quite different, and the truth of the matter was for the jury to determine.10 Masciale v. United States, 356 U.S. 386, 78 S.Ct. 827, 2 L.Ed.2d 859. Surely it was not a 'trap for the unwary innocent,' Sherman v. United States, 356 U.S. 369, 372, 78 S.Ct. 819, 8......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
157 cases
  • U.S. v. Navarro, Nos. 83-1602
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • June 14, 1984
    ...defendants' testimony, arguably exculpatory, to the extent not contradicted by the government's witnesses. Masciale v. United States, 356 U.S. 386, 388, 78 S.Ct. 827, 827, 2 L.Ed.2d 859 (1958); Kaminski, 703 F.2d at 1008-09; United States v. Guevara, 598 F.2d 1094, 1099 (7th Cir.1979). In s......
  • Walker v. United States, No. 18254.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • January 21, 1961
    ...be imprisoned for not less than ten or more than forty years and, in addition, may be fined not more than $20,000." 2 Masciale v. U. S., 356 U.S. 386, 78 S.Ct. 827, 2 L.Ed.2d 3 Accardi v. U. S., 5 Cir., 257 F.2d 168. 4 Cratty v. U. S., 82 U.S.App.D.C. 236, 163 F.2d 844, 851. 5 See the discu......
  • United States v. Russell 8212 1585, No. 71
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 24, 1973
    ...v. United States, 287 U.S. 435, 53 S.Ct. 210, 77 L.Ed. 413 (1932); Sherman v. United States, supra. Cf. Masciale v. United States, 356 U.S. 386, 78 S.Ct. 827, 2 L.Ed.2d 859 (1958); Lopez v. United States, supra. But the Court has been sharply divided as to the proper basis, scope, and focus......
  • Osborn v. United States Hoffa v. United States Lewis v. United States, Nos. 29
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • December 12, 1966
    ...happened was, as stated above, quite different, and the truth of the matter was for the jury to determine.10 Masciale v. United States, 356 U.S. 386, 78 S.Ct. 827, 2 L.Ed.2d 859. Surely it was not a 'trap for the unwary innocent,' Sherman v. United States, 356 U.S. 369, 372, 78 S.Ct. 819, 8......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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