United States v. Daniel - 19 U.S. 542 (1821)
U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. Daniel, 19 U.S. 6 Wheat. 542 542 (1821)
United States v. Daniel
19 U.S. (6 Wheat.) 542
A division of the judges of the circuit court, on a motion for a new trial in a civil or a criminal case is not such a division of opinion as is to be certified to this Court for its decision under the sixth section of the Judiciary Act of 1802, ch. 291.
This was an indictment in the Circuit Court of South Carolina against Lewis Daniel charging him with having knowledge of the actual commission of the crime of willful murder, committed on the high sea by John Furlong and with unlawfully, wickedly, and maliciously, concealing the same, &c.
The indictment set forth at large the indictment and conviction of John Furlong for willful murder on the high seas, and then charged Lewis Daniel with the knowledge and concealment of that murder and with not having disclosed the same in the words of the act of Congress. The prisoner was tried on the plea of not guilty. It was proved that some of the persons present on board when the principal felony was committed had in conversation stated the fact of the murder to the defendant, who advised them to escape, promised secrecy, offered them the means of escape, and actually assisted one of them in escaping, but there was no evidence that the defendant knew of any fact which would have constituted legal evidence on the trial of the principal felon. The judge charged the jury that the concealment, under the circumstances, was sufficient to convict the defendant, and the jury found a verdict
of guilty. The defendant then moved in arrest of judgment and for a new trial on the following grounds. That a person is not liable to be indicted and convicted under the 5th section of the Act of April, 1790, c. 36, for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States unless he has such knowledge of the felony as will enable him to testify in court at the trial of the principal felon, and particularly that in this case the evidence did not prove the defendant guilty of misprision of murder according to the terms of the said act. The motion was also supported by an alleged misdirection of the court to the jury. The judges being divided in opinion on this motion, it was ordered to be certified to this Court.