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O'CONNELL V. UNITED STATES, 253 U. S. 142 (1920)

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U.S. Supreme Court

O'Connell v. United States, 253 U.S. 142 (1920)

O'Connell v. United States

No. 221

Argued April 23, 26, 1920

Decided May 17, 1920

253 U.S. 142


A standing rule of a district court extended the term for the purpose of making and filing bills of exceptions, and another provided that the time allowed by the rule might be extended by order made before its expiration, but that no such extension or extensions should exceed thirty days in all, without the consent of the adverse party. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 253 U. S. 143

Held that the court lost its power to receive and settle a bill of exceptions when the term, as extended by rule, had expired, and when a further period of less than thirty days, allowed by order made before such expiration, had also expired, notwithstanding further attempted extensions, each ordered before expiration of its predecessor. P. 253 U. S. 145.

Amendment of assignments of error may be allowed on motion in proper cases. P. 253 U. S. 147.

The constitutionality of the Selective Service and Espionage Acts and the criminality of conspiracies to obstruct recruiting and enlistment by persuasion were settled by decisions of this Court announced since the writ of error herein was sued out. Id.

In a trial on two counts, the verdict, written apparently on a printed form, declared the defendants "guilty on the ___ count of the Indictment and ___ on the ___ count of the Indictment." No objection was made until after the case came to this Court. Held that all parties evidently understood it as a general verdict, and that the informality did not make it fatally defective or the sentence, on both counts, invalid. P. 253 U. S. 148.

That part of § 6 of the Selective Service Act providing

"any person who shall make or be a party to the making of any false statement or certificate as to the fitness or liability of himself or any other person for service under the provisions of this Act, or regulations made by the President thereunder, or otherwise evades or aids another to evade the requirements of this Act or of said regulations,"

applies to persons who are not officers or charged with the duty of carrying the act into effect. Id.


The case is stated in the opinion. The second count charged that the defendants conspired to make and caused to be made false statements and certificates as to their liability and as to the liability of certain other persons, named or unknown, for military service under the Selective Service Law and regulations, and to aid and abet such persons, they being of draft age and liability, to evade the act and regulations, and particularly to aid and counsel them to refuse and fail to present themselves for the physical examinations, and for military service when called, etc., with overt acts. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 253 U. S. 144

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