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Chapter one: General provisions.
Chapter two: Crimes against the existence of the Government.

Chapter three: Crimes arising within the maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Chapter four: Crimes against justice.
Chapter five: Crimes against the operations of the Government.
Chapter six: Official misconduct, etc.
Chapter seven: Crimes against the elective franchise and civil rights of citizens.
Chapter eight: The punishment of accessories.
Chapter nine: Prisoners and their treatment.


Chapter one: Offenses against the existence of the Government.
Chapter two: Offenses against neutrality.
Chapter three: Offenses against the elective franchise and civil rights of citizens.
Chapter four: Offenses against the operations of the Government.
Chapter five: Offenses against official duties.
Chapter six: Offenses against public justice.
Chapter seven: Offenses against the currency, coinage, etc.
Chapter eight: Offenses against the postal service.
Chapter nine: Offenses against foreign and interstate commerce.
Chapter ten: The slave trade and peonage.

Chapter eleven: Offenses within the admiralty and maritime and the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Subchapter A: Offenses against the person.
Subchapter B: Offenses against property.
Chapter twelve: Piracy and other offenses upon the seas.
Chapter thirteen: Certain offenses in the Territories.
Chapter fourteen: General and special provisions.
Chapter fifteen: Repealing provisions.

Under the classification “Crimes against operations of the Government," in the present codification, are included offenses against the currency and against the postal service. It has seemed to your committee that to assemble all penal provisions for protection of the currency and coinage under a separate head, and all penal legislation for protection of the postal service under another, will greatly simplify the arrangement and afford readier access to the law in every case. Hence these two new chapters.

The foreign and interstate commerce of this country has assumed proportions so vast, is growing so rapidly, and legislative enactments pertaining thereto are already so numerous that it also seemed proper to collect the penal legislation relative thereto under a distinctive head.

“Chapter 8, The punishment of accessories," Revised Statutes, is unnecessary in the revision reported by your committee, as the subjectmatter thereof (punishment of accessories) is covered by the general provision in chapter 14 hereinafter referred to.

The several sections which now constitute chapter 9, criminal title Revised Statutes, “Prisoners and their treatment,” have been omitted from the penal title, as reported by your committee, for the reason that, in the plan adopted by the Commission, such sections will be distributed to other and more appropriate titles. Most of them will be found under the title “Penal and reformatory institutions," reported by the Commission. As these sections are not penal in character, but are simply enactments relating to the treatment and confinement of prisoners and convicts, it is the judgment of your committee that the plan of the Commission is the more logical and systematic disposition of them.

In the Revised Statutes many sections, penal in character, pertaining to the slave trade do not appear under the crimes title, but are a part of a separate and independent title, namely, “Title LXX, The slave trade, while other sections similar in purpose and character are found in chapters of the crimes title. It has seemed to your committee that the more orderly and systematic arrangement is to include them all in a separate chapter under the penal title. , They will be found in chapter 10 of the bill reported.

Your committee has also included in this title a chapter, viz, Chapter II, under the heading “Neutrality.” The sections constituting this chapter are not included in the criminal title of the Revised Statute, but are provided for in a separate title, viz, Title LXVII. They are penal in character and unquestionably should appear in the penal title.


A more comprehensive and uniform designation of the waters within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States seemed to your committee desirable. In existing law the water or territory within which commission of the act denounced is made criminal is stated at more or less length in each section. The Commission, at page 1829, volume 2, of its report, has undertaken to name specifically every water to which the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction extends, and has then provided that certain acts committed on any such waters shall be crimes, etc. While the plan of the Commission is a great improvement on the existing system, or want of system, it is open to the objection that the list may possibly not include every place within such jurisdiction. Therefore your committee has agreed upon what seems to it to be a brief general description, which comprehends every water to which the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction extends, namely:

Sec. 266. The crimes and offenses defined in this chapter shall be punished as herein prescribed:

First. When committed on the high seas or on any other waters within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any particular State, or when committed within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any particular State, on board any vessel belonging in whole or in part to the United States or any citizen thereof, or to any corporation created by or under the laws of the United States or any State, Territory, or District thereof.

That the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States extends to the high seas and all navigable waters within the territory of the United States will not be questioned. It seems equally clear that it extends to vessels belonging to the United States or to citizens thereof when on a navigable water within the limits of a foreign state, and all cases arising on board such vessel while on any such waters are clearly cases within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States.

In the case of the Eagle (8 Wall., 15) the court, after stating the fact that the case of the Genesee Chief (12 Howard, 443) had established the doctrine that the navigability of a water and not the ebb and flow of the tide is the test of admiralty jurisdiction, said:

It follows, as a necessary consequence of this interpretation of the grant in that instrument, the district courts, upon whom the admiralty jurisdiction was exclusively conferred by the judiciary act of 1789, can take cognizance of all civil causes of admiralty jurisdiction upon the Lakes and waters connecting them the same as upon


the high seas, bays, and rivers navigable from the sea. These waters fall within the same category and are subject to the same jurisdiction, and hence the circumstance that a portion of them lie within the limits of another sovereignty constitutes no objection to the exercise of this power. Before the limit of tide water was removed by the judgment in the case of the Genesee Chief this jurisdiction was constantly exercised in cases of marine torts upon the high seas, bays, and rivers in which the tide ebbed and flowed occurring in any part of the world, and in respect to which an American ship was concerned, and, since that judgment, occurring upon any bay or public river as far as navigable, irrespective of the tide.

Since the recent acts of Parliament in England removing the ancient restrictions by the common-law courts upon the admiralty jurisdiction it seems to be exercised as freely and broadly as in this country. The case of the Diana arose out of a collision on the great Holland Canal in 1862. An exception was taken to that jurisdiction, founded upon the old objection, but was overruled by Doctor Lushington. So in the case of the Courier, which was a collision on the Rio Grande in foreign waters; and the Griefswald the same.

In United States v. Rodgers (150 U. S., 249) the court, at pages 263, 264, 265, and 276, said:

The Detroit River from shore to shore is within the admiralty jurisdiction of the United States and connects with the open waters of the Lakes-high seas, as we hold them to be within the meaning of the statute. From the boundary line near its center to the Canadian shore is out of the jurisdiction of the State of Michigan. It is true *

* that, as a general principle, the criminal laws of a nation do not operate beyond its territorial limits and that to give any government or its judicial tribunals the right to punish any act or transaction as a crime it must have occurred within those limits. We accept the doctrine as a general rule, but there are exceptions to it, as fully recognized in the doctrine itself. One of those exceptions is that offenses committed upon vessels belonging to citizens of the United States, within their admiralty jurisdiction (that is, within navigable waters), though out of the territorial limits of the United States, may be judicially considered when the vessel and parties are brought within their territorial jurisdiction. As we have before stated, a vessel is deemed part of the territory of the country to which she belongs. Upon that subject we quote the language of Mr. Webster, while Secretary of State, in his letter to Lord Ashburton of August, 1842. Speaking for the Government of the United States, he stated, with great clearness and force, the doctrine which is now recognized by all countries. He said:

“It is natural to consider the vessels of a nation as parts of its territory though at sea, as the state retains its jurisdiction over them, and according to the commonly received custom this jurisdiction is preserved over the vessels even in parts of the sea subject to a foreign dominion. This is the doctrine of the law of nations, clearly laid down by writers of received authority and entirely conformable, as it is supposed, with the practice of modern nations. If a murder be committed on board of an American vessel by one of the crew upon another or upon a passenger, or by a passenger on one of the crew or another passenger, wbile such vessel is lying in a port within the jurisdiction of a foreign state or sovereignty, the offense is cognizable and punishable by the proper court of the United States in the same manner as if such offense had been committed on board the vessel on the high seas.

“The law of England is supposed to be the same. It is true that the jurisdiction of a nation over a vessel belonging to it while lying in the port of another is not necessarily wholly exclusive. We do not consider or so assert it. For any unlawful acts done by her while thus lying in port, and for all contracts entered into while there by her master or owners, she and they must, doubtless, be answerable to the laws of the place. Nor if her master or crew, while on board in such port, break the peace of the community by the commission of crimes, can exemption be claimed for them. But nevertheless the law of nations, as I have stated it, and the statutes of governments founded on that law, as I have referred to them, show that enlightened nations in modern times do clearly hold that the jurisdiction and laws of a nation accompany her ships not only over the high seas, but into ports and harbors or wheresoever else they may be water borne, for the general purpose of governing and regulating the rights, duties, and obligations of those on board thereof, and that, to the extent of the exercise of this jurisdiction, they are considered as parts of the territory of the nation herself." (6 Webster's Works, 306, 307.)

The place in the Detroit River within the territorial limits of the Dominion of Canada where this offense is alleged to have been committed was doubtless “within the admiralty jurisdiction of the l'ited States,” under the decision in the Genese Chief, and was “out of the jurisdiction of any particular State," under the decision

in United States v. Brailsford (5 Wheat., 184, 189, 200), already cited. Nor is there any doubt of the power of Congress to punish crimes committed on American vessels, wherever they may be afloat. (United States v. Furlong, 5 Wheat., 184, 194; Crapo v. Kelly, 16 Wall., 610, 624-626.)

While it is true that a vessel is deemed a part of the territory of the country to which she belongs, a case arising on board of her or growing out of the manner in which she is sailed is a case “of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction," and hence within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the country to which she belongs.

Thus, Mr. Benedict, in his work on Admiralty, third edition, page

99, says:

Admiralty, a court having cognizance of all maritime affairs, civil as well as criminal. Maritime, relating to the sea.

And on page 100: If we examine the etymology or received use of the words admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, we shall find that they include the judicial jurisdiction of the admiral and of all maritime causes or causes arising from things done upon and relating to the sea.

It was held in the case of the Genesee Chief, supra, and affirmed in the Eagle, supra, “that the admiralty jurisdiction over all navigable waters depends upon the Constitution and not upon any act of Congress."


Under existing law there is no statutory definition of the crimes of murder or manslaughter. The Commission reported sections defining such crimes, and the committee has changed them in some respects.

Section 5339, Revised Statutes, provides that whoever “upon the high seas or in any arm of the sea," etc., “maliciously strikes, stabs, wounds, poisons, or shoots at another, of which striking, stabbing, wounding, poisoning, or shooting such other person dies either on land or sea within or without the jurisdiction of the United States, shall suffer death."

It is not improbable that were the question squarely presented to the Supreme Court it would be held that in the absence of statute providing otherwise the crime is committed at the place where the mortal injury is inflicted. We believe such is the weight of authority. Nevertheless there is authority to the contrary, and the Supreme Court of the United States, in one case at least, has held that an averment in the indictment of the place of death is an essential allegation. (Ball v. United States, 140 U. S., 133-136; U. S. v. Collier, 79 Fed., 59; Tyler v. The People, 8 Mich., 320; Commonwealth v. Macloon, 101 Mass., 1.)

Your committee, therefore, has deemed it wise to insert a section providing that the crimes of murder and manslaughter shall be deemed to have been committed where the mortal injury was inflicted, regardless of the place where death occurs. (See sec. 336.)


Certain features have been embodied in the bill reported that characterize the whole system rather than pertain to any particular part of it. These are

First. The omission from the various sections of the law of the designation of the respective offenses therein denounced, as felonies

or as misdemeanors, and the insertion of a general provision establishing this classification.

Second. The omission from the various sections of the law imposing imprisonment of the added qualification of hard labor.

Third. The classification of accessories before the fact as principals.

Fourth. The establishment of a general principle of maximum penalties only.

Felony as it existed at common law was distinguished as an offense carrying with it forfeiture of land and goods as a part of the punishment. This qualifying distinction disappears altogether from our criminal jurisprudence with the abolition of fines and forfeitures. It remains to-day only as a term intended to designate “infamous crimes,” and as having some relation to certain features of criminal procedure. An examination of our existing statutes will reveal the fact that it is indiscriminately applied, being often affixed to an offense of lesser magnitude than others that are designated as misdemeanors, and has thus become misleading and frequently harmful by its indefinite classification.

More than thirty-five States in the Union have legislated upon this subject and have defined felonies as offenses punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary. The Supreme Court of the United States has held that “infamous crimes” within the meaning of the Constitution are those which are punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary. (Ex parte Wilson, 114 U.S., 417; Mackin v. United States, 117 U. S., 348.) Under existing law it is provided that where “any person convicted of any offense against the United States is sentenced to imprisonment for a period longer than one year, the court by which the sentence is passed may order the same to be executed in any State jail or penitentiary,” and the Supreme Court has held that under the statute only in cases where the imprisonment is for a term exceeding one year can the convict be confined in the penitentiary. (Ex parte Karstendick, 93 U. S., 396.) Your committee has drawn the distinction between felonies and misdemeanors as follows:

All offenses which may be punished by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year shall be deemed felonies. All other offenses shall be deemed misde


The provisions in various sections imposing hard labor as an added punishment to imprisonment have been found in actual practice to be difficult of application because of the fact that the United States Government has no adequate prisons under its own control for the incarceration of all prisoners under sentence, but is obliged to use for this purpose such prisons of the various States as may be designated by the Attorney-General and permitted by the State authorities. The regulation of prison discipline in these various State institutions is necessarily under the direction and control of the respective States, and different regulations respecting hard labor exist in the different States.

We have therefore omitted from the penalties imposed in the various sections the distinction heretofore existing which in some cases added to imprisonment the condition of hard labor and in other instances made no such provision.

Under existing law a convict sentenced to be confined in a State institution is subject to the regulation of hard labor as therein imposed as a part of the prison discipline (Ex parte Karstendick, supra); and inasmuch as all Federal prisons have this disciplinary provision, a con

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