United States v. Gicinto, 18424.

Decision Date20 July 1953
Docket NumberNo. 18424.,18424.
CourtU.S. District Court — Western District of Missouri

Edward L. Scheufler, U. S. Atty., Hugh A. Miner, Asst. U. S. Atty., Kansas City, Mo., for plaintiff.

Homer A. Cope and Donald W. Browne, Kansas City, Mo., for defendant.

REEVES, District Judge.

Diligent and able counsel has filed an extensive motion for a new trial and supported same with a carefully prepared brief. Counsel should be commended for his diligence and labor in a case where he was appointed by the court to defend an indigent defendant.

Counsel perceives numerous errors in the trial of the case, and because of these he believes that a new trial should be granted, and, moreover, it is his contention that the testimony was insufficient to justify the court in submitting the case to the jury. All of these will be noticed.

1. There is a renewed suggestion that the indictment itself is insufficient for the reason that it does not contain a formal conclusion, that is to say that each of the offenses charged were committed against the United States of America. The answer to this complaint is that, by Rule 7 Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and by paragraph (c) thereof, 18 U.S.C., the nature and contents of an indictment are prescribed. It is specifically provided concerning the indictment that, "It need not contain a formal commencement, a formal conclusion emphasis mine or any other matter not necessary to such statement." Even before the adoption and promulgation of this specific rule concerning indictment and when the old forms of indictment were in use, the Supreme Court of the United States in Frisbie v. United States, 157 U.S. 160, loc. cit. 168, 15 S.Ct. 586, loc. cit. 589, 39 L.Ed. 657, said:

"So far as respects the objection that the count does not conclude that the offense charged was `contrary to the form of the statutes in such case made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the United States,' it is sufficient to say that such allegation, which is one of a mere conclusion of law, is not of the substance of the charge, emphasis mine and the omission is of a matter of form, which does not tend to the prejudice of the defendant, * * *."

A similar matter was presented to the District Court of Massachusetts, United States v. Brogren, 63 F.Supp. 702, loc. cit. 704. Judge Healey of the District Court upheld the indictment under the authority of the Frisbie case, supra.

2. Earnest counsel has devoted much time to the evidentiary matter regarding a passport obtained by the defendant immediately preceding the commission of the alleged crimes. The passport was offered as evidence of flight. Such evidence is competent in the light of all the circumstances. It is succinctly stated in 22 C.J.S., Criminal Law, § 625, p. 956, that the "Evidence tending to show flight of accused after commission of the offense, and the attending circumstances, is admissible as bearing on the consciousness of guilt." And, in Strom v. United States, 50 F.2d 547, 548, the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said in respect of the same subject matter:

"Flight is always an evidence of guilt and evidence thereof is received in the trial of criminal cases as some evidence tending to support a criminal charge."

In Shelton v. United States, 83 U.S.App. D.C. 257, 169 F.2d 665, 668, the court said: "Evidence of the flight was properly introduced".

Counsel's brief is devoted to this matter and that involving the charge of the court and the argument of counsel for the government. If the evidence was properly admitted (and it was)...

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2 cases
  • State v. Medley
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • 14 Agosto 1979
    ...363 S.W.2d 711, 715 (Mo.1963). The underlying theory is that unexplained flight indicates a consciousness of guilt, U. S. v. Gicinto, 114 F.Supp. 204, 205 (W.D.Mo.1953), and a desire to avoid trial. It is true, as defense counsel points out in his brief, there could be a number of other rea......
  • Reich v. National Union Fire Ins. Co.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Texas
    • 20 Julio 1953
    ... ... 202 ... NATIONAL UNION FIRE INS. CO ... Civ. A. No. 701 ... United States District Court N. D. Texas, Wichita Falls Division ... July 20, ... ...

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