In re Lane,
135 U.S. 443 (1890)

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U.S. Supreme Court

In re Lane, 135 U.S. 443 (1890)

In re Lane, 135 U.S. 443 (1890)

No. 12, Original

Argued April 15, 1890

Decided April 28, 1890

135 U.S. 443



This Court can issue a writ of habeas corpus in the exercise of its original jurisdiction only when the inferior court has acted without jurisdiction, or when it has exceeded its powers to the prejudice of the party seeking relief.

At the time when the indictment in this case was found, Oklahoma was not a territory with an organized system of government, in the sense in which the word "territories" is used in the Act of February 9, 1889, 25 Stat. 658, § 120.

An indictment was so framed as to permit it to be construed as charging the common law offense of rape (as it alleged the carnal knowledge to have been without the consent of the woman), or the statutory offense (Act of Feb. 9, 1889, 25 Stat. 658, c. 120) of carnally and unlawfully knowing a female under sixteen years of age (as it alleged that the woman was under sixteen years of age). It was not signed by the District Attorney of the United States. No motion was made to compel the prosecuting attorney to elect on which charge he world try the prisoner. The court instructed the jury that the allegations respecting the will of the woman might be rejected as surplusage and the rest of the indictment be good under the statute. The jury found the prisoner guilty of the statutory offense, and judgment was entered accordingly.

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