Donnelley v. United States
276 U.S. 505 (1928)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Donnelley v. United States, 276 U.S. 505 (1928)

Donnelley v. United States

No. 110

Argued November 22, 1927

Reargued January 19, 1928

Decided April 9, 1928

276 U.S. 505

Syllabus

1. After certification of a question by the circuit court of appeals, the entire record was ordered up. Plaintiff in error filed no statement

Page 276 U. S. 506

of points or specification of errors to be relied on, nor any brief other than one filed after the certification, dealing with the question certified. Held that review would be confined to that question. Rule 25, Par. 2(e), Par. 4; Rule 11, Par. 9. P. 511.

2. The general clause of § 29, Title II of the Prohibition Act providing that any person who

"violates any of the provisions of this Title for which offense a special penalty is not prescribed shall be fined for the first offense not more than $50,"

etc., applies to a prohibition director who, having knowledge that a person has possessed and transported intoxicating liquor contrary to the Act, violates his duty under § 2 by intentionally failing to report the case to the United States Attorney. P. 276 U. S. 511.

3. The rule that penal statutes are to be strictly construed in favor of persons accused is not violated by allowing the language to have its full meaning where that construction is in harmony with the context and supports the policy and purposes of the enactment. P. 276 U. S. 512.

4. Public officers are not attended by any special presumption that general language in disciplinary measures does not extend to them. P. 276 U. S. 516.

District court affirmed.

Review of a judgment of the District Court for the District of Nevada sentencing Donnelley, a prohibition director, for willful failure to report a violation of the Prohibition Act. The case came here first on a question certified by the circuit court of appeals. The whole record was then ordered up.

Page 276 U. S. 510

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