HALL V. UNITED STATES, 168 U. S. 632 (1898)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hall v. United States, 168 U.S. 632 (1898)

Hall v. United States

No. 312

Argued November 29, 1897

Decided January 3, 1898

168 U.S. 632


The defendant, who was employed as a postal clerk at Station F in the City of New York, was indicted under Rev.Stat. § 5467. The indictment contained three counts -- the first two under the first part of § 5467, the third count under the last clause of that section. The evidence showed that the government detectives prepared a special delivery letter, designed as a test or decoy letter, containing marked bills, and delivered it, bearing a special delivery stamp, to the night clerk in charge of Branch Station F of the post office in this city. The defendant was not a letter carrier, but a clerk employed at that office, whose duty it was to take charge of special delivery letters, enter them in a book kept for that purpose, and then place them in course of transmission. The letter in question was addressed to Mrs. Susan Metcalf, a fictitious person, 346 E. 24th Street, New York City, fictitious number. The letter was placed by the night clerk with other letters upon the table where such letters were usually placed, and the defendant, entering the office not long after, took this letter, along with the others on the same table, removed them to his desk, and properly entered the other letters, but did not enter this letter. On leaving the office not long after, the omission to enter the letter having been observed, he was arrested, and the money contents of the letter, marked and identified by the officers, were found upon his person. The officers testified upon cross-examination that the address was a fictitious one, that the letter was designed as a test letter,

Page 168 U. S. 633

and that they did not intend that the letter should be delivered to Mrs. Susan Metcalf or to that address and that it could not be delivered to that person at that address. Held that the evidence was sufficient to sustain a conviction under the third count of the indictment.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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