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BELL V. UNITED STATES, 349 U. S. 81 (1955)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bell v. United States, 349 U.S. 81 (1955)

Bell v. United States

No. 468

Argued April 21, 1955

Decided May 9, 1955

349 U.S. 81


Petitioner was indicted and pleaded guilty on two counts for violation of the Mann Act, each count referring to a different woman. Petitioner had transported the two women on the same trip and in the same vehicle.

Held: Petitioner committed but a single offense, and was not subject to cumulative punishment under the two counts. Pp. 349 U. S. 81-84.

(a) Congress has not made the simultaneous transportation of more than one woman in violation of the Mann Act clearly liable to cumulative punishment for each woman so transported. Pp. 349 U. S. 82-83.

(b) Where Congress has not fixed the punishment for a federal offense clearly, doubt will be resolved against turning a single transaction into multiple offenses. Pp. 349 U. S. 83-84.

213 F.2d 629, reversed.

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