Mortensen v. United States - 322 U.S. 369 (1944)


U.S. Supreme Court

Mortensen v. United States, 322 U.S. 369 (1944)

Mortensen v. United States

No. 559

Argued March 9, 10, 1944

Decided May 15, 1944

322 U.S. 369

Syllabus

1. In the exercise of its supervisory appellate power, this Court treats the transcript of the evidence in this case as part of the record before it and considers the case on its merits. P. 322 U. S. 371.

2. Upon review of a conviction in a federal court, this Court may examine the record to determine whether there was any competent and substantial evidence fairly tending to support the verdict. P. 322 U. S. 374.

3. Petitioners, man and wife, operated a house of prostitution in Nebraska. They took with them on a trip to Utah, which was planned and consummated purely as a vacation, two girls who had been living at their house as prostitutes. Upon their return, the girls resumed prostitution at petitioners' house. Held that a conviction of the petitioners for transporting the girls from Utah to Nebraska (the return trip) "for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery," in violation of 2 of the Mann Act, was not supported by any relevant evidence. Pp. 322 U. S. 372, 322 U. S. 376.

4. To punish those who transport inmates of a house of prostitution on an innocent vacation trip in no way related to the practice of their commercial vice is consistent neither with the purpose nor the language of the Mann Act. P. 322 U. S. 377.

139 F.2d 967 reversed.

Certiorari, 321 U.S. 757, to review the affirmance of a conviction for violation of the Mann Act.

Page 322 U. S. 370



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