People v. Plath

CourtNew York Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtRUGER
Citation3 N.E. 790,100 N.Y. 590
Decision Date08 December 1885
PartiesPEOPLE v. PLATH.

100 N.Y. 590
3 N.E. 790

PEOPLE
v.
PLATH.1

Court of Appeals of New York.

Filed December 8, 1885.



[100 N.Y. 591]William F. Howe, for appellant.

De Lancey Nicoll, Asst. Dist. Atty., for the People.


[100 N.Y. 592]RUGER, C. J.

The defendant was indicted, and upon trial convicted, of the crime of abduction, in that he, ‘with force and arms, feloniously did take one Katie Kavanaugh for the purpose of prostitution; she, the said Katie Kavanaugh, being then and there a female under the age of sixteen years.’ It was essential to the support of this conviction that the people show, not only a taking by the defendant within the meaning of the statute, but also that such taking was for the purpose of prostitution.

[3 N.E. 791]

Penal Code, § 282, as amended by section 2, c. 46, Laws 1884. If the evidence establishes only a taking, and fails to show that it was for the prohibited purpose, it is insufficient to sustain the cinviction; and so proof of the fact that the person of the female was used for purposes of prostitution, without proof of the abduction, would not bring the accused within the condemnation of the statute. It is elementary, when a specific intent is required to make an act an offense, that the doing of the act does not raise a presumption that it was done with the specific intent. Lawson, Ev. 472. Neither can a conviction under this act be sustained upon the unsupported evidence of the female abducted. Pen. Code, § 283. In cases where corroboration is required, there has been some diversity of opinion in the authorities as to the particular facts which should be corroborated, and the extent of the corroboration needed, in order to comply with the rule; but it is now conceded[100 N.Y. 593]to be the general rule that it should tend to show the material facts necessary to establish the commission of a crime, and the identity of the person committing it. When an offense was formerly proven by accomplices it was the usual practice of trial courts to advise an acquittal unless such evidence was in some respects corroborated by other testimony, (although at common law a conviction upon the evidence of the accomplice alone was sustainable.) In those cases the extent and degree of corroboration rested in the discretion of the trial court, and necessarily varied according to the circumstances of the case. Although such cases are not strictly analogous to those where corroboration is required by statute, they yet furnish some help in determining the degree of proof required in the latter case. The rule as to the corroboration of an accomplice is stated, in Roscoe, Crim. Ev. 122, as follows: ‘That there should be some fact deposed to, independently altogether of the evidence of the accomplice, which, taken by itself, leads to the inference, not only that a crime has been committed, but that the prisoner is implicated in it.’ Russell, Cr. 962, says ‘that it is not sufficient to corroborate an accomplice as to the facts of the case generally, but that he must be corroborated as to some material fact or facts which go to prove that the prisoner was connected with the crime charged.’ 1 Greenl. Ev. § 381, lays down the rule, as held by some, that it is ‘essential that there should be corroborating proof that the prisoner actually participated in the offense, and that, when several prisoners are to be tried, confirmation is to be required as to all of them before all can be safely convicted; the confirmation of the witness as to the commission of the crime being regarded as no confirmation at all as it respects the prisoner.’

The policy of the statute under consideration would seem to forbid the conviction of a person of the crime of abduction upon the unsupported evidence of the subject of the...

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37 practice notes
  • People v. Byrnes
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • February 14, 1974
    ...N.Y.[308 N.E.2d 437] 272, 56 N.E. 750; People v. Terwilliger, 74 Hun 310, 26 N.Y.S. 674, affd. 142 N.Y. 629, 37 N.E. 565; People v. Plath, 100 N.Y. 590, 3 N.E. 790; see, also, People Page 916 v. Radunovic, 21 N.Y.2d 186, 287 N.Y.S.2d 33, 234 N.E.2d 212; People v. English, 16 N.Y.2d 719, 262......
  • State v. Bond
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • June 19, 1906
    ...it must be as to material facts. (Kenyon v. People, 26 N.Y. 203, 84 Am. Dec. 177; People v. Plath, 100 N.Y. 593, 53 Am. St. Rep. 236, 3 N.E. 790; People v. Courtney, 28 Hun (N. Y.), 589; People v. Williams, 29 Hun (N. Y.), 520; State v. Spencer, 15 Utah 49, 49 P. 302; People v. Thompson, 50......
  • People v. Block
    • United States
    • New York County Court
    • October 26, 1972
    ...Penal Law § 2460(9), leads to the same conclusion. (People v. Jelke, 1 N.Y.2d 321, 152 N.Y.S.2d 479, 135 N.E.2d 213; People v. Plath, 100 N.Y. 590, 3 N.E. 790; People v. Draper, 169 App.Div. 479, 154 N.Y.S. 1034; People v. Loocerello, 34 Misc.2d 1087, 233 N.Y.S.2d 206, reversed on other gro......
  • Walton v. State
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • June 6, 1903
    ...Pro. §§ 282-362-366; Myers, Fed. Dec. vol 12, § 1433; 53 N.Y. 573; 67 N.Y. 19. The corroborating evidence was insufficient. 40 Ark. 484; 3 N.E. 790; 109 Ia. 641; 93 Va. 815; 16 S.W. 511; 42 N.W. 933; 80 N.Y. 1068; 50 Ia. 317; 81 Ia. 152; 10 S.W. 841; 132 Ind. 219; 4 Minn. 325; 107 N.C. 841;......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
37 cases
  • People v. Byrnes
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals
    • February 14, 1974
    ...N.Y.[308 N.E.2d 437] 272, 56 N.E. 750; People v. Terwilliger, 74 Hun 310, 26 N.Y.S. 674, affd. 142 N.Y. 629, 37 N.E. 565; People v. Plath, 100 N.Y. 590, 3 N.E. 790; see, also, People Page 916 v. Radunovic, 21 N.Y.2d 186, 287 N.Y.S.2d 33, 234 N.E.2d 212; People v. English, 16 N.Y.2d 719, 262......
  • State v. Bond
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • June 19, 1906
    ...it must be as to material facts. (Kenyon v. People, 26 N.Y. 203, 84 Am. Dec. 177; People v. Plath, 100 N.Y. 593, 53 Am. St. Rep. 236, 3 N.E. 790; People v. Courtney, 28 Hun (N. Y.), 589; People v. Williams, 29 Hun (N. Y.), 520; State v. Spencer, 15 Utah 49, 49 P. 302; People v. Thompson, 50......
  • People v. Block
    • United States
    • New York County Court
    • October 26, 1972
    ...Penal Law § 2460(9), leads to the same conclusion. (People v. Jelke, 1 N.Y.2d 321, 152 N.Y.S.2d 479, 135 N.E.2d 213; People v. Plath, 100 N.Y. 590, 3 N.E. 790; People v. Draper, 169 App.Div. 479, 154 N.Y.S. 1034; People v. Loocerello, 34 Misc.2d 1087, 233 N.Y.S.2d 206, reversed on other gro......
  • Walton v. State
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • June 6, 1903
    ...Pro. §§ 282-362-366; Myers, Fed. Dec. vol 12, § 1433; 53 N.Y. 573; 67 N.Y. 19. The corroborating evidence was insufficient. 40 Ark. 484; 3 N.E. 790; 109 Ia. 641; 93 Va. 815; 16 S.W. 511; 42 N.W. 933; 80 N.Y. 1068; 50 Ia. 317; 81 Ia. 152; 10 S.W. 841; 132 Ind. 219; 4 Minn. 325; 107 N.C. 841;......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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