Scott v. United States,
172 U.S. 343 (1899)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Scott v. United States, 172 U.S. 343 (1899)

Scott v. United States

No. 80

Submitted December 5, 1898

Decided January 8, 1899

172 U.S. 343


The plaintiff in error, defendant below, a letter carrier, upon his trial charged with purloining a letter containing money, offered himself as a witness on his own behalf, denying that he had purloined the money.

Page 172 U. S. 344

On cross-examination, he said that he had enemies in the office, and named two persons. The government called both as witnesses, and both denied that they bore ill will to him. Their evidence was objected to on the ground that the defendant's evidence on this point was collateral, brought out by cross-examination, and that the government was bound by the answer. Held that the evidence was admissible.

A decoy letter containing money, addressed to a fictitious person, mailed for the purpose of discovering the frauds of a letter carrier, is to be treated as a real letter, intended to be conveyed by the mail, within the meaning of the statutes on that subject.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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