Matter of Gregory - 219 U.S. 210 (1911)
U.S. Supreme Court
Matter of Gregory, 219 U.S. 210 (1911)
No. 17, Original
Argued December 5, 1910
Decided January 3, 1911
219 U.S. 210
Habeas corpus cannot be made to perform the functions of a writ of error, and this court is concerned only with the questions of whether the information is sufficient, or whether the committing court properly applied the law if that court had jurisdiction to try the issues and render the judgment. Harlan v. McGourin, 218 U. S. 442.
The provisions and prohibitions of § 1176 of the Revised Statutes relating to the District of Columbia are not limited to transactions previously licensed by the Act of August 23, 1871, but expressly include gift enterprises conducted in any manner, whether defined in said act or otherwise.
Section 1177 of the Revised Statutes relating to the District of Columbia punishes a recognized category of offenses within the power of Congress to punish, and is not controlled or rendered invalid by a definition of the prohibited crime in an earlier statute which has been repealed.
Where the statute defining the crime is valid, it is within the range of judicial consideration to determine whether the acts of the accused are within the definition, and if the court has jurisdiction, its judgment cannot be reviewed on habeas corpus.
The Police Court of the District of Columbia has jurisdiction to try persons charged on information of violating § 1177 of the Revised Statutes relating to the District of Columbia prohibiting engaging in gift enterprises, and the judgment of that court determining that the acts of accused fell within the definition of gift enterprise is not reviewable on habeas corpus proceedings.
The facts, which involve the constitutionality and construction of §§ 1176, 1177 of the Revised Statutes relating to the District of Columbia prohibiting and punishing gift enterprises, and the validity of a conviction thereunder, are stated in the opinion.