Parkinson v. United States - 121 U.S. 281 (1887)
U.S. Supreme Court
Parkinson v. United States, 121 U.S. 281 (1887)
Parkinson v. United States
Submitted April 15, 1887
Decided April 18, 1887
121 U.S. 281
CERTIFICATE OF DIVISION OF OPINION FROM THE CIRCUIT
COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEVADA
Offenders against the provisions of §§ 5511 and 5512 Rev.Stat. must he prosecuted by indictment and not by information, as the nature of the punishment makes the crime "infamous" within the meaning of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE delivered the opinion of the Court.
This case comes here on a certificate by the judges of the Circuit Court of the United States for the District of Nevada that they were opposed in opinion on certain questions which arose at the hearing of a writ of error for the review of the rulings of the district court of the district at the trial of Richard R. Parkinson on an information by the district attorney for unlawfully, fraudulently, and feloniously voting at an election for a representative in Congress from Nevada, and for unlawfully, fraudulently, and feloniously registering his name as an elector qualified to vote at such election. The prosecution was under §§ 5511 and 5512 of the Revised Statutes, which made the offenses charged punishable by a fine of not more than $500, or by imprisonment not more than three years, or both. As the imprisonment may be "for a period longer than one year," the court can order that it shall be in the penitentiary. Rev.Stat. § 5541. This makes the crime "infamous," within the meaning of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, and the prosecution should have been by indictment, and not by information.
It was so decided by this Court, after this case was certified up by the circuit court, in Ex Parte Wilson, 114 U. S. 417, and Mackin v. United States, 117 U. S. 348. As the judgment of the district court must be reversed for this cause, the questions certified have become immaterial and their determination unnecessary in the final disposition of the case. We therefore remand the case without answering them.