Morgan v. Devine,
237 U.S. 632 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Morgan v. Devine, 237 U.S. 632 (1915)

Morgan v. Devine

No. 685

Submitted April 7, 1915

Decided June 1, 1915

237 U.S. 632


Under §§ 190 and 192 of the Penal Code, two offenses, the one of breaking into a post office and the other of stealing property belonging to the Post Office Department, may be committed and separately charged and punished.

It is within the competency of Congress to say what shall be offenses against the law, and its purpose was manifest, in enacting §§ 190 and 192 of the Penal Code, to create separate offenses under each section.

The test of whether the breaking in and the larceny constitute two separate offenses is not whether the same criminal intent inspires the whole transaction, but whether separate acts have been committed with requisite criminal intent and such as are punishable by the statute. Burton v. United States, 202 U. S. 344.

The test of identity of offenses when double jeopardy is pleaded is whether the same evidence is required to sustain them, and if not, then the fact that both charges relate to and grow out of one transaction does not make a single offense where more than one are defined by the statute. Gavieres v. United States, 220 U. S. 33.

In this case, held that one who broke into a post office and also committed larceny therein, and who was convicted under separate counts of the same indictment for violation of §§ 190 and 192, of the Penal Code, and sentenced separately under each, was not, after having served the sentence under one count, entitled to be released on the ground of double jeopardy, because the several things charged were done at the same time and as a part of one transaction.

The facts, which involve the construction of §§ 190 and 192, Penal Code, and questions of separate offenses and punishment for breaking into a post office and committing larceny of property of the Post Office Department under

Page 237 U. S. 633

the double jeopardy provision of the Fifth Amendment, are stated in the opinion.

Page 237 U. S. 636

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