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U.S. Supreme Court

Bollenbach v. United States, 326 U.S. 607 (1946)

Bollenbach v. United States

No. 41

Argued October 12, 15, 1945

Decided January 28, 1946

326 U.S. 607


1. In a prosecution for conspiracy to commit an offense under the National Stolen Property Act, an instruction to the jury that the possession of property shortly after it had been stolen in another State created a presumption that the possessor had transported the property in interstate commerce constituted reversible error. Pp. 326 U. S. 609, 326 U. S. 611, 326 U. S. 613.

2. The manifest misdirection in the circumstances of this case cannot be treated as a "technical error" not affecting the defendant's substantial rights. P. 326 U. S. 614.

3. Under the Criminal Code, one who aids or abets the commission of a federal offense is punishable as a principal; the offense of an accessory after the fact is distinct, and differently punishable. P. 326 U. S. 611.

4. A conviction ought not to rest on an equivocal direction to the jury on a basic issue. P. 326 U. S. 613.

5. Upon review of a conviction in the federal courts, the question is not whether guilt may be spelt out of the record, but whether guilt has been found by the jury according to the procedure and standards appropriate for criminal trials in the federal courts. P. 326 U. S. 614. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 326 U. S. 608

6. In new of the important place of trial by jury in the Bill of Rights, Congress will not be deemed to have intended to substitute the belief of appellate judges in the guilt of an accused, however justifiably engendered by the record, for ascertainment of guilt by a jury under appropriate judicial guidance, however cumbersome that process may be. P. 326 U. S. 615.

147 F.2d 199, reversed.

Certiorari, 324 U.S. 837, to review the affirmance of a conviction of conspiracy to commit an offense under the National Stolen Property Act.

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