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U.S. Supreme Court

Yeaton v. The General Pinckney, 9 U.S. 5 Cranch 281 281 (1809)

Yeaton v. The General Pinckney

9 U.S. (5 Cranch) 281


In admiralty cases, an appeal suspends the sentence altogether, and the cause is to be heard in the appellate court as if no sentence had been pronounced.

If the law under which the sentence of condemnation was pronounced be repealed after sentence in the court below, and before final sentence in the appellate court, no sentence of condemnation can be pronounced unless some special provision be made for that purpose by statute.

This was an appeal from the sentence of the Circuit Court for the District of Maryland, which condemned the schooner General Pinkney and cargo, for breach of the act of Congress prohibiting intercourse with certain ports of the Island of St. Domingo, passed February 28, 1806. Vol. 8, p. 11. This act was limited to one year; but by the Act of February 24, 1807, it was continued until the end of the then next session of Congress, when it expired on 26 April, 1808.

The schooner General Pinkney, on 22 August, 1806, was cleared from Alexandria for St. Jago de Cuba with a cargo, but went to Cape Francois in the Island of St. Domingo, one of the prohibited ports. On her return, she was seized on 17 November, 1806, and libeled on 5 January, 1807, and condemned in the district court on 23 July following, which condemnation was affirmed in the circuit court on 7 November, from which sentence the claimants immediately appealed in open court to the Supreme Court of the United States, then next to be holden on the first Monday of February, 1808, where the cause was continued until the present term.

Page 9 U. S. 282

The only question now argued was whether this Court could now affirm the sentence of condemnation, inasmuch as the law which created the forfeiture, and authorized the condemnation, had expired?

Page 9 U. S. 283

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