United States v. Lombardo,
241 U.S. 73 (1916)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Lombardo, 241 U.S. 73 (1916)

United States v. Lombardo

No. 830

Submitted April 10, 1916

Decided April 2, 1916

241 U.S. 73


Where a criminal statute does not define a word used therein, its etymology must be considered and its ordinary meaning applied.

The word "file" means to deliver to the office indicated and to send to such office through the mail.

Under § 6 of the White Slave Traffic Act, the required certificate must be filed in the office of the Commissioner of Immigration, and the offense of not filing is not committed in another district where the person is harbored, nor has the District Court of the United States for that district jurisdiction of the offense.

Such an offense is not a continuing offense which, under § 42 of the Judicial Code (§ 731, Rev.Stats.), can be punished in either of more than one district.

This Court will not, in order to accommodate the venue of a particular offense, introduce confusion into the law.

Page 241 U. S. 74

The proper and reasonable construction of a criminal statute must not be refused for fear of delay in prosecution of offenders; if the statute as so construed might embarrass prosecutions, it may be corrected by legislation.

The facts, which involve the construction and application of § 6 of the White Slave Traffic Act, are stated in the opinion.

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