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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 169448 Find in a Library
Title: Judicial Restraints
Journal: ABA Journal  Volume:83  Dated:(December 1997)  Pages:38,40-41
Author(s): D O Stewart
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 3
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An overview of the cases the U.S. Supreme Court will consider in the current term focuses on such issues as Federal jurisdiction, false denial of criminal responsibility, and an analysis of criminal intent.
Abstract: United States v. Salinas (No. 96-738) presents both federalism and statutory construction issues. The bribery charges in this case raise the federalism issue; Salinas argues that Section 666 of the Federal Code cannot be applied unless the bribery affected Federal funds or the local government's financial interests. Other cases before the Court focus on the punishment part of the Federal criminal process. In Hudson v. United States (No. 96-676), the Court will confront again the consequences of its ruling in United States v. Halper that civil penalties can be so severe as to constitute punishment for purposes of the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment. Three cases before the Court concern perennials of Federal criminal jurisprudence. In Brogan v. United States (No. 96-1579), the justices will examine for the first time the controversial "exculpatory no" doctrine. This doctrine holds that a defendant's false denial of criminal responsibility cannot be prosecuted as a false statement under 18 U.S.C. Section 1001. Intent is the central issue in Bates v. United States (No. 96-7185), a prosecution for the misapplication of federally insured student aid funds. The question before the Court is the meaning of the standard in Section 1097a that requires proof of a willful misapplication of Federal funds. The justices also will look one more time at the "harmless error" doctrine in Rogers v. United States (No. 96-1279). In this case the trial court failed to instruct the jury that a conviction under the National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. Section 5801 et seq., requires a finding that the defendant knew a silencer was a "firearm."
Main Term(s): US Supreme Court decisions
Index Term(s): Criminal intent; Federal Code; Jurisdiction
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