ALLIS V. UNITED STATES, 155 U. S. 117 (1894)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Allis v. United States, 155 U.S. 117 (1894)

Allis v. United States

No. 661

Argued October 23, 1894

Decided November 12, 1894

155 U.S. 117


When the record in a criminal case brought here by the defendant is meagre, containing only a small portion of the evidence, this Court must assume, as the verdict was sustained by the court below, that the testimony was sufficient to establish defendant's guilt.

When a defendant is tried on an indictment charging false entries at different times running through several months, it is no error to admit evidence of such acts during the whole period, although he may be found guilty of only one such act.

Evidence having been given bearing upon one such alleged false entry, made at a period considerably later than the only one of which the defendant was found guilty, no advantage can be taken by the defendant here of the refusal of the court below to allow a cross-question touching such evidence.

It is common practice and no error to recall a jury, after they have been in deliberation for a length of time, for the purpose of ascertaining what difficulties they have in the consideration of the case, and of making proper efforts to assist them in their solution, and the time at which such recall shall be made must be left to the discretion of the trial court.

There is nothing in the record to show that the court in this case abused this discretion.

Rulings not specifically excepted to below are not reviewable here.

Page 155 U. S. 118

The rule repeated that in a federal court, the presiding judge may express to the jury his opinion as to the weight of evidence.

In making such a statement, he is under no obligation to recapitulate all the items of the evidence, nor even all bearing on a single question.

On May 13, 1893, the grand jury of the United States for the Western Division of the Eastern District of Arkansas presented an indictment against Horace G. Allis under section 5209 of the Revised Statutes. This section, so far as is material to this case, reads as follows:

"Every president . . . of any association . . . who makes any false entry in any book . . . of the association . . . with intent . . . to injure or defraud the association or any other company, body politic or corporate, or any individual person, or to deceive any officer of the association, or any agent appointed to examine the affairs of any such association . . . shall be deemed guilty,"


The indictment consisted of twenty-five counts. The defendant pleaded not guilty, and the case came on for trial on November 27, 1893. This trial resulted in a verdict of guilty on the fourteenth count, upon which verdict the defendant was sentenced to imprisonment for the term of five years. The particular charge in that count was the making of an entry in February, 1892, on the books of the First National Bank of Little Rock, of which defendant was the president, of the sum of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) to the credit of his individual account. To reverse the judgment and sentence against him, the defendant sued out a writ of error from this Court.

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