EX PARTE MASON, 105 U. S. 696 (1881)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ex Parte Mason, 105 U.S. 696 (1881)

Ex Parte Mason

105 U.S. 696


1. Where, by a general military court-martial, a person then in the military service of the United States was found guilty of an offense and sentenced to be discharged from that service and be imprisoned at hard labor in the penitentiary, held that he cannot, under a habeas corpus, be discharged from imprisonment if the court had jurisdiction to try him for the offense and was authorized to render the sentence whereof he complains. Sed quaere can this Court order in his behalf the issue of that writ?

2. A., a soldier of the army, while on duty in 1882 at the jail in Washington City, maliciously attempted to kill a prisoner who was, by the authority of the United States, there confined. No application was made for the delivery of A. to the civil authorities, but he was, on a charge of having violated the sixty-second Article of War, tried by a general court-martial and sentenced to be imprisoned in the penitentiary for the term of eight years, and to be dishonorably discharged from the service, with the forfeiture of his pay and allowance due and to become due. Held:

1. That the fifty-eighth and fifty-ninth Articles of War have no application to the case.

2. That the act being a breach of military discipline as well as a crime against society, the court-martial had jurisdiction to try A. and to pronounce the sentence inasmuch as he was, by the statute in force in the District of Columbia, subject, on conviction, to imprisonment for that period in the penitentiary, and the court could, in its discretion, inflict the other penalties.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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