UNITED STATES V. WYNN.
UNITED STATES V.
(Uircuit Court, E. D. Missouri.
(SuP. REv. ST. c. 176, p. 452.)
March 29, 1882.)
MARCH 8, 1879, · 8,
A!'!'EU.ATE PHOCEDURE-JUDGMENT-SENTENCE-AcT OF
In a criminal case, brought before it on a writ of error, a circuit court may alter the sentence where it affirms the judgment.
The defendant in this case having l)een tried and found guilty in the district court, under an information charging him with having stolen a letter from the mail, moved in arrest of judgment on the ground that the crime charged was infamous, and could only be prosecuted by indictment. The motion having been overruled, (see 9 FED. HEP. 886,) the case was brought before this court by a writ of error. Drummond cJ; Smith, for the United States. Pmtl Bakewell and G. M. Stewart, for defendant. MCCRARY, C. J., (orally.) The case of Louis D. Wynn is before me on an errorfrom the district court. t I do not propose to expr(:,ss any final opinion upon the important question that is involved in this case at this time. It is the question as to what is meant by the phrase "infamous crimes" in the constitution of the United States. Various views have been expressed by different courts upon it. It is a question of very grave importance-one which ought to be determined finally by the supreme court of the United States, and I trust soon will be. It is probable, I think, that, upon a full consideration of it, I should conclude the views expressed by the district judge in his very learned and able opinion are most satisfactory of any that have been expressed by any of the judges; but I do not find it necessary to go into a determination of that question in this case for reasons which I will state. The statute provides that in cases brought before the circuit court on a writ of error, in case of an affirmance of the judgment of the district court, the circuit court shall proceed to pronounce fillal sentence, and to award execution thereon; and it has been held by the circuit judge, in a northern district of Illinois, that that authorizes the circuit court to render its own judgment in case of an affirmance, which need not necessarily be the judgment of the district court. In the present case the sentence was imprisonment
*Reported by B. F. Rex, Esq., of the St. Louis bar. tSee 9 }<'ED. REP. 886.
for one year from the sentence; but the prisoner had been in jail since the third of September, 1881, now neady eight months since his imprisonment, and I think, under all the cireumstances, and in view of the possible doubt of the constitutionality of the question that is. invqlved, that imprisonment for eight months is a sufficient sentence j and, as that will result in a discharge of, the prisoner in a few days, I have determined to enter that as the judgment of the circuit court: that the sentence be Imprisonment at hard labor iIi the city jail for eight months, beginning with the third of Selltember, 1881. '
See BID paru Virginia, 100 U. S. 842.
UNTl'lllD STATES V. PETIT.·
(Olrcuit (Jourt, B. D. Miuourl.
March 29, 1882.)
LAw-INFAMOUS CRnmS-ORIMINAL PRACTICE-'BoND.
Where the judges were divided in opinion all to whether or not the crime ot passing a counterfeit half dollar was an infamous crime which could only be prosecuted by iJldictment, and certified a division. of opinion on that point. to the supreme court, in a case where said crime was attempted to be prosecuted' by information, held, that the prisoner should be put under a bond of $1,000to respond to any indictment that might be found against .him at the next· term court, or the term succeeding, and that, under the circtl-mstances of the of the case, a bond with one surety should be accepted.
Information charging the defendant with passing a counterfeit half dollar. Plea to the jurisdiction on the ground that the crime of passing counterfeit coin cannot be prosecuted by information. William. H. Blis', for the United States. Frank M. Estes, for defendant. MCCRARY, C. J., (orally.) In this case, which involves substantially the same question as the preceding case, and which is before the court upon a motion to quash an indictment, the court will certify a division of opinion in order that the question may go the supreme court of the United States. With regard to the question involved, it is of very much more importance than the case itself, and therefore I am not prepared to announce that I have reached a final and matured decision in opposition to that of the district judge. I am prepared to say that it is a case of so much importance that I think
-Reported by B. F. Rex, Esq., of the St. Louis bar.