Braverman v. United States
317 U.S. 49 (1942)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Braverman v. United States, 317 U.S. 49 (1942)

Braverman v. United States

No. 43

Argued October 21, 1942

Decided November 9, 1942*

317 U.S. 49

Syllabus

1. A conviction upon several counts of an indictment, each charging conspiracy to violate a different penal provision of the Internal Revenue laws, where the jury's verdict is supported by evidence of but a single conspiracy to commit those offenses, will not sustain a sentence of more than two years' imprisonment, the maximum penalty for a single violation of the conspiracy statute. P. 317 U. S. 52.

2. The limitation applicable to a prosecution for violation of § 37 of the Criminal Code, where the object of the conspiracy is to evade or defeat the payment of a federal tax, is not the three-year period applicable generally to criminal offenses, but the six-year period specifically prescribed by § 3748(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. P. 317 U. S. 54.

3. A contention of the petitioner that his plea of former jeopardy should have been sustained is not passed upon here, since the earlier indictment to which he pleaded guilty, and which he argues charged the same offense as that of which he was convicted in this case, is not a part of the record. P. 317 U. S. 55.

125 F.2d 283 reversed.

Page 317 U. S. 50

Certiorari, 316 U.S. 653, to review the affirmance of sentences upon convictions of conspiracy.

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Primary Holding

There is only one conspiracy when several people make a single agreement to violate multiple laws.

Facts

Several individuals, including Braverman, worked together on manufacturing, transporting, and distributing alcohol in ways that violated Internal Revenue laws. They were convicted on several counts of conspiracy, each related to a different law.

Opinions

Majority

  • Harlan Fiske Stone (Author)

If the violation of several statutes is the single object of an agreement, there is only one agreement and one conspiracy. Thus, only one violation of the criminal laws may be charged and only one penalty imposed.

Case Commentary

This case reveals a distinction between conspiracy and attempt, for which each different underlying crime is treated as a separate offense.

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