Ebeling v. Morgan,
237 U.S. 625 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ebeling v. Morgan, 237 U.S. 625 (1915)

Ebeling v. Morgan

No. 736

Argued April 7, 1915

Decided June 1, 1915

237 U.S. 625


Section 189, Criminal Code, makes an offender of anyone cutting, tearing, or otherwise injuring any mail bag with felonious intent, and, as the wording plainly indicates that it was the intent of Congress to protect every bag from felonious injury each time any one mail bag is torn or injured, the offense is complete irrespective of any attack upon, or mutilation of, any other bag.

Under § 189, Criminal Code, successive cuttings of different mail bags, with criminal intent, constitute separate offenses.

The same course of conduct, and upon the same occasion, may amount to separate offenses and be separately punished. Gavieres v. United States, 220 U. S. 338.

Where, as in this case, proof of cutting and opening one sack completed the offense, and although the defendant continued the operation of cutting into other sacks, proof of cutting one would not have supported the counts as to the other sacks, there was not one continuous offense punishable by a single penalty, but the cutting into each of the several sacks constituted a separate crime for which the defendant could be separately punished.

The facts, which involve the construction of § 189, Penal Code, and the validity of separate convictions thereunder for separate offenses of cutting open more than one mail bag are stated in the opinion.

Page 237 U. S. 627

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