WILLIAMS V. UNITED STATES, 168 U. S. 382 (1897)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Williams v. United States, 168 U.S. 382 (1897)

Williams v. United States

Nos. 266, 267

Argued October 27, 1897

Decided November 29, 1897

168 U.S. 382


The illegal acts described in subdivisions 1 and 2 of Rev.Stat. § 3169, for the alleged violation of which the plaintiff in error was prosecuted, refer to offenses committed by officers or agents acting under authority of revenue laws.

The Chinese Exclusion Acts have no reference to the subject of revenue, but are designed to exclude persons of a particular race from the United States, and an officer employed in their execution has no connection with the government revenue system.

When an indictment properly charges an offense under laws of the United States, that is sufficient to sustain it, although the prosecuting representative of the United States may have supposed that the offense charged was covered by a different statute.

The transactions referred to in the two indictments were of the same class of crimes or offenses, and there was no error in consolidating them at the trial.

The affidavit and the bank book referred to in the opinion of the court were not admissible in evidence against the accused, as, on the face of the transactions, there was no necessary connection between them and the charges against him.

The estimate placed upon the character of a government employee by the community cannot be shown by proof only of the estimate in which he is held by his co-employees.

It was highly improper for the prosecuting officer to say in open court in the presence of the jury, under circumstances described in the opinion of the Court, that while Mr. Williams was investigating the Chinese female cases, there were more females sent back to China than were ever sent back, before or after.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 168 U. S. 383

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