Badders v. United States - 240 U.S. 391 (1916)


U.S. Supreme Court

Badders v. United States, 240 U.S. 391 (1916)

Badders v. United States

No. 521

Argued February 23, 24, 1916

Decided March 6, 1916

240 U.S. 391

Syllabus

Congress has power to regulate the overt act of putting a letter into the post office of the United States, and may prohibit, under penalty, such an act when done in furtherance of a scheme which it regards as contrary to public policy, whether it can forbid the scheme or not, and so held as to Criminal Code § 215.

Intent may make criminal an act, otherwise innocent, if it is a step in a plot.

Congress may enact that each putting of a letter in a post office is a separate offense.

The punishment imposed in this case on each of five counts, of five years, the periods being concurrent and not cumulative, and a fine of $1,000 on each of seven counts, held not to be cruel and unusual within the prohibition of the federal Constitution.

This Court condemns the extravagant and unnecessary multiplication of exceptions and assignments of error.

The facts, which involve the construction and constitutionality of § 215, Criminal Code, and the validity of a conviction and sentence thereunder, are stated in the opinion.

Page 240 U. S. 393



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