United States v. Knight (336 U.S. 505)/Dissent Frankfurter

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Opinion of the Court
Dissenting Opinion

United States Supreme Court

336 U.S. 505

United States  v.  Knight (336 U.S. 505)

 Argued: March 4, 1949. --- Decided: April 4, 1949

Mr. Justice FRANKFURTER, dissenting.

The Court of Appeals, speaking through one of the most conscientious and experienced of judges, thus summarized the problem of the case:

'The whole transaction was highly reprehensible and it may well have involved the commission of a criminal offense. Indeed under another indictment defendant Michael pleaded guilty to another charge growing out of these occurrences. The question before us, however, is not whether the defendant Knight committed any crime but only whether he aided and abetted Michael to violate Section 29, sub. a, in the manner described in the indictment.' 169 F.2d 1001, 1005.

The court concluded that the evidence did not support the charges made in the indictment and that the motion for a directed verdict should have been granted. At the bar of this Court the Government disavowed the presence of any question of law in the case except the question whether the record warranted submission of the case to the jury as the District Court thought, and as the Court of Appeals thought not. The Government conceded unreservedly that the correctness of this decision turns entirely on the facts of this particular case. We ought not to be called upon to canvass a record of 870 pages to determine whether the District Court properly viewed the facts in relation to the charge, or whether the appraisal made by the Court of Appeals was right. I do not propose to do so. One appellate review of the facts should suffice, even when the review goes against the Government.

It having appeared, after the writ of certiorari was granted, that the case merely involves weighing evidence, I think the writ should be dismissed as having been improvidently granted.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).