U.S. Supreme Court
Pounds v. United States, 171 U.S. 35 (1898)
Pounds v. United States
Submitted May 6, 1898
Decided May 23, 1898
171 U.S. 35
An indictment under Rev.Stat. § 3296, for the concealment of distilled spirits on which the tax has not been paid, removed to a place other than the distillery warehouse provided by law, which charges the performance of that act at a particular time and place, and in the language of the statute, is sufficiently certain.
When there is nothing in the record to show that the jury in a criminal case separated before the verdict was returned into court, and the record shows that a sealed verdict was returned by the jury by agreement of counsel for both parties in open court and in the presence of the defendant, the verdict was rightly received and recorded.
The indictment under which the defendant (plaintiff in error) was tried contained fifteen counts. He was convicted on the sixth count, which read as follows:
"The grand jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do further present that, at the time and place and within the jurisdiction aforesaid, the said George Pounds unlawfully did conceal and aid in the concealment of distilled spirits on which the tax had not been paid, which said spirits had been removed to a place other than the distillery warehouse provided by law, contrary to the form of the statute in such case made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the United States."
The count was drawn under section 3296 of the Revised Statutes, which provides that:
"Whenever any person removes, or aids or abets in the removal of any distilled spirits on which the tax has not been paid, to a place other than the distillery warehouse provided by law, or conceals, or aids in the concealment of any spirits so removed, or removes, or aids or abets in the removal of any distilled spirits from any distillery warehouse or other warehouse for distilled spirits authorized by law, in any manner other than is provided by law, or conceals, or aids
in the concealment of any spirits so removed, he shall be liable to a penalty of double the tax imposed on such distilled spirits so removed or concealed, and shall be fined not less than two hundred nor more than five thousand dollars, and imprisoned not less than three months nor more than three years."
After the verdict, and before the judgment, the plaintiff in error filed his motion in arrest of judgment, as follows:
"Now comes the defendant, after the rendition of the verdict of the jury finding him guilty as charged in the sixth count of the indictment and before judgment and sentence, and moves the court to arrest the judgment in this case upon the ground that the sixth count of the indictment is too vague and uncertain to authorize a judgment and sentence against the defendant."
Afterwards, an amended motion in arrest of judgment was filed, as follows:
"By leave of the court first had and obtained, the defendant amends his motion in arrest of judgment by adding the following grounds:"
"First. The said sixth count of the indictment fails to show that there was a warehouse provided by law to which the spirits alleged to have been concealed should have been removed."
"Second. That the jury separated before the verdict of the jury was returned into court."
The overruling of this motion is assigned as error.