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VACHON V. NEW HAMPSHIRE, 414 U. S. 478 (1974)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Vachon v. New Hampshire, 414 U.S. 478 (1974)

Vachon v. New Hampshire

No. 73-573

Decided January 14, 1974

414 U.S. 478

APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

On the basis of evidence that a 14-year-old girl bought a button inscribed "Copulation Not Masturbation" at a store operated by him, appellant was convicted of "willfully" contributing to the delinquency of a minor in violation of a New Hampshire statute. The New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed.

Held: An independent examination of the trial record pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 40(1)(d)(2) discloses that evidence is completely lacking that appellant personally sold the girl the button, or that he was aware of the sale or present in the store at the time, a fatal void in the State's case that was not filled by appellant's concession at trial that he "controlled the premises" at the time. A conviction based on a record completely lacking any relevant evidence as to a crucial element of the offense charged violates due process.

113 N.H. 239, 306 A.2d 781, reversed and remanded.

PER CURIAM.


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