Upon an indictment for putting goods on board a carriage with
intent to transport them out of the United States contrary to the
Act of January 9, 1809, the punishment of which offense is a fine
of four times the value of the goods, it is not necessary that the
jury should find the value of the goods.
LIVINGSTON, J. delivered the opinion of the Court as
The defendant was indicted under the act to enforce the embargo
laws passed 9 January, 1809, for loading on carriages within the
District of Vermont nineteen barrels of pearl ashes with intent to
transport the same without the United States, to-wit into the
Province of Canada.
On a plea of not guilty, the jury returned the following written
verdict, which was recorded.
"The jury find that the said John Tyler is guilty of the charge
alleged against him in said indictment, and that the said pot ashes
were worth two hundred and eighty dollars."
The defendant moved in arrest of judgment because the verdict
was not sufficiently certain as to the value of the property
charged in the indictment, the same having found the value of pot
ashes, whereas the defendant was indicted for the intention of
exporting pearl ashes.
Upon this motion, the judges being opposed in opinion, the same
has been certified unto this Court for its direction in the
The law which creates this offense provides that the party
shall, upon conviction, be adjudged guilty of a high misdemeanor
and fined a sum by the court before which the conviction is had
equal to four times the value of the property so intended to be
exported. The Court, then, is of opinion that, under this law, no
valuation by the jury was necessary to enable the circuit court to
impose the proper fine, and therefore
Page 11 U. S. 286
that that part of the verdict which is objected to is regarded
as surplusage, and cannot deprive the United States of the judgment
to which it became entitled by the defendant's conviction of the
offense laid in the indictment.
It must accordingly be certified to the court below that it
proceed to render judgment for the United States on the verdict