TINDER V. UNITED STATES, 345 U. S. 565 (1953)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Tinder v. United States, 345 U.S. 565 (1953)

Tinder v. United States

No. 113

Argued April 9-10, 1953

Decided May 25, 1953

345 U.S. 565


As it existed in 1950, 18 U.S.C. § 1708 made it an offense to steal from a mailbox any mail, letter, or "any article or thing contained therein." It provided that an offender shall be fined not more than $2,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both, and provided further that, if the value of "any such article or thing" does not exceed $100, the offender shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

Held: a defendant convicted in 1950 of theft from a mailbox of a letter not shown to have had a value of more than $100 was improperly sentenced to imprisonment for more than one year. Pp. 345 U. S. 566-570.

(a) The words "article or thing" in the concluding proviso included letters; the Section does not distinguish between theft of mail and theft of an article or thing contained in a piece of mail. Pp. 345 U. S. 567-569.

(b) The elimination of the concluding provision of § 1708 by the Act of July 1, 1952, 66 Stat. 314, is inapplicable to a prior conviction under that Section. P. 345 U. S. 569.

193 F.2d 720, reversed.

Petitioner was convicted of mail theft in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1708, and subsequently moved to vacate or correct the sentence. The District Court denied petitioner's motion. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 193 F.2d 720. This Court granted certiorari. 343 U.S. 976. Reversed and remanded to the District Court for correction of sentence, p. 345 U. S. 570.

Page 345 U. S. 566

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