Shuman v. United States

Decision Date03 January 1927
Docket NumberNo. 4799.,4799.
Citation16 F.2d 457
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit

Chandler C. Luzenberg, of New Orleans, La., for plaintiff in error.

Wayne G. Borah, U. S. Atty., and E. E. Talbot, Asst. U. S. Atty., both of New Orleans, La.

Before WALKER, BRYAN, and FOSTER, Circuit Judges.

FOSTER, Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff in error, hereafter called defendant, was convicted on an indictment charging him with unlawfully and knowingly receiving and concealing certain government property, to wit, ten brass hub propeller nuts, which had theretofore been stolen from the United States by two named persons.

In the course of the trial one of those named as having stolen the property was offered as a witness by the government, and after testifying that he had been arrested by a government officer, Osborne, was asked the question:

"Did you tell Mr. Osborne what you did with the nuts?"

This was objected to by defendant, on the ground that the statement was made outside the presence of the accused. The objection was overruled, and error is assigned to the admission of the witness' answer. The court instructed the witness that he need not say what he told Mr. Osborne, but might say if he told him what he did with the nuts, to which he answered:

"I told him afterwards."

It is quite evident that the assignment is without merit.

At the conclusion of the case the government requested the following instruction, which was given over the objection of defendant:

"As a matter of law the government is not bound to prove that defendant was told in so many words that the property bought by him was stolen property; but, if the facts and circumstances surrounding the purchase by him are of a suspicious nature, and are sufficient to indicate to a reasonably prudent man that the property in all probability was stolen property, then the proof of the government of guilty knowledge is sufficient."

Error is assigned to the giving of this instruction. It is contended by defendant that this charge had the effect of telling the jury that it was not necessary for the government to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant had knowledge that the property was stolen, and left it to them to infer that defendant's guilt might be established by a preponderance of the evidence. On the other hand, the government contends that the charge merely went to the extent of telling the jury that the defendant's knowledge that the articles were stolen could be shown by circumstantial evidence, and that it was not necessary to prove that knowledge by direct evidence.


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8 cases
  • U.S. v. Burns
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit
    • June 28, 1979
    ...Cir. 1949); Janow v. United States, 141 F.2d 1017 (5th Cir. 1944); Levi v. United States, 71 F.2d 353 (5th Cir. 1934); Shuman v. United States, 16 F.2d 457 (5th Cir. 1927). See also cases from our Circuit cited Infra.7 Since this case does not present the issue, we do not decide whether pro......
  • Valli v. United States, 3244.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — First Circuit
    • January 26, 1938
    ...68 L.Ed. 517; Armstrong v. United States, 9 Cir., 16 F.2d 62, certiorari denied 273 U.S. 766, 47 S.Ct. 571, 71 L.Ed. 881; Shuman v. United States, 5 Cir., 16 F.2d 457; Nash et al. v. United States, 2 Cir., 54 F.2d 1006. The defendants have failed to sustain this burden, since they have not ......
  • Torres v. United States
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit
    • October 20, 1959
    ...Cir., 1934, 71 F.2d 353, sales far below market price, motor numbers on automobiles altered, no records of sales kept; Shuman v. United States, 5 Cir., 1927, 16 F.2d 457, no facts reported; Nakutin v. United States, 7 Cir., 1925, 8 F.2d 491, contradictory statements as to where goods came f......
  • Milton v. United States
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit
    • February 26, 1940
    ...And see Nash v. United States, 2 Cir., 54 F.2d 1006, certiorari denied, 285 U.S. 556, 52 S.Ct. 457, 76 L.Ed. 945; Shuman v. United States, 5 Cir., 16 F.2d 457; Rice v. United States, 2 Cir., 35 F.2d 689, 695, certiorari denied, 281 U.S. 730, 50 S.Ct. 246, 74 L.Ed. 9 Graves v. United States,......
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1 books & journal articles
  • Brecht v. Abrahamson: harmful error in habeas corpus law.
    • United States
    • Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Vol. 84 No. 4, January 1994
    • December 22, 1994
    ...57-68 and accompanying text. (40) Compare, e.g., Valli v. United States, 94 F.2d 687, 690 (1st Cir. 1938) and Shuman v. United States, 16 F.2d 457, 458 (5th Cir, 1927) and Armstrong v. United States, 16 F.2d 62, 65 (9th Cir. 1926) and Rich v. United States, 271 F. 566, 570 (8th Cir. 1921) (......

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