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FETTERS V. CUNNINGHAM, 283 U. S. 638 (1931)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Fetters v. Cunningham, 283 U.S. 638 (1931)

Fetters v. Cunningham

No. 720

Argued April 16, 1931

Decided May 25, 1931

283 U.S. 638


1. In proceedings under § 1014, R.S., the inquiry is limited to the question whether there is probable cause to believe the prisoner guilty, so as to justify his commitment and removal for trial. P. 283 U. S. 641.

2. When the indictment is produced before the committing magistrate, it is received not as a pleading, but as evidence establishing or tending to establish the commission of an offense, and the magistrate has authority to pass upon it only in that aspect. He has no authority to determine it sufficiency as a pleading. P. 283 U. S. 641.

3. The magistrate in removal proceedings has no power to hold the facts pleaded in an indictment insufficient to charge an offense, when that question is reasonably open to a difference of opinion. Doubtful questions of law relating to the sufficiency of the indictment or the validity of the statute upon which the indictment is based, as well as all doubtful questions of fact, are matters to be left for the trial court to determine. P. 283 U. S. 641.

District Court reversed.

Certiorari, post, p. 812, to review an order of the district court discharging the relator Cunningham in habeas corpus. The relator was in custody of a U.S. Marshal for removal for trial under an indictment in the District of Columbia. See also 26 F.2d 272; 33 id. 261; 279 U. S. 597; 282 id. 802. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 283 U. S. 639

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