Coffin v. United States
Annotate this Case
162 U.S. 664 (1896)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Coffin v. United States, 162 U.S. 664 (1896)
Coffin v. United States
Argued March 5-6, 1896
Decided May 4, 1896
162 U.S. 664
Coffin v. United States, 166 U. S. 432, affirmed on the following points:
(1) That the offense of aiding or abetting an officer of a national bank in committing one or more of the offenses set forth in Rev.Stat. § 0209, may be committed by persons who are not officers or agents of the bank, and consequently it is not necessary to aver in an indictment against such an alder or abettor that he was an officer of the bank, or occupied any specific relation to it when committing the offense.
(2) That the plain and unmistakable statement of the indictment in that case and this, as a whole, is that the acts charged against Haughey were done by him as president of the bank, and that the aiding and abetting was also done by assisting him in the official capacity in which alone it is charged that he misapplied the funds.
Instructions requested may be properly refused when fully covered by the general charge of the court.
When the charge as a whole correctly conveys to the jury the rule by which they are to determine from all the evidence the question of intent, there is no error in refusing the request of the defendant to single out the absence of one of the several possible motives for the commission of the offense and instruct the jury as to the weight to be given to this particular fact independent of the other proof in the case.
The refusal to give, when requested, a correct legal proposition does not constitute error unless there be evidence rendering the legal theory applicable to the case.
When it is impossible to determine whether there was evidence tending to show a state of facts adequate to make a refused instruction pertinent, and there is nothing else in the bill of exceptions to which the stated principle could apply, there is no error in refusing it.
Several other exceptions are examined and held to be without merit.
A bank president, not acting in good faith, has no right to permit overdrafts when he does not believe, and has no reasonable ground to believe, that the moneys can be repaid, and if, coupled with such wrongful act, the proof establishes that he intended by the transaction to injure and defraud the bank, the wrongful act becomes a crime.
When the principal offender in the commission of the offense made criminal by Rev.Stat. § 5209 and the aider and abettor were both actuated by the
criminal intent specified in the statute, it is immaterial that the principal offender should be further charged in the indictment with having had other intents.