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Moore v. The People of the State of Illinois.
complain that it has, thus far at least, fulfilled a duty assumed or imposed by its compact as a member of the Union.
But though we are of opinion that such is the character, policy, and intention of the statute in question, and that for this reason alone the power of the State to make and enforce such a law cannot be doubted, yet we would not wish it to be inferred, by any implication from what we have said, that any.legislation of a State to aid and assist the claimant, and which does not directly nor indirectly delay, impede, or frustrate the reclamation of a fugitive, or interfere with the claimant in the prosecution of his other remedies, is necessarily void. This question has not been before the court, and cannot be decided in anticipation of future cases.
It has been urged that this act is void, as it subjects the delinquent to a double punishment for a single offence. But we think that neither the fact assumed in this proposition, nor the inference from it, will be found to be correct. The offences for which the fourth section of the act of 12th February, 1793, subjects the delinquent to a fine of five hundred dollars, are different in many respects from those defined by the statute of Illinois. The act of Congress contemplates recapture and reclamation, and punishes those who interfere with the master in the exercise of this right - first, by obstructing or hindering the claimant in his endeavors to seize and arrest the fugitive; secondly, by rescuing the fugitive when arrested ; and, thirdly, by harboring or concealing him after notice.
But the act of Illinois, having for its object the prevention of the immigration of such persons, punishes the harboring or secreting nego slaves, whether domestic or foreign, and without regard to the master's desire either to reclaim or abandon them. The fine imposed is not given to the master, as the party injured, but to the State, as a penalty for disobedience to its laws. And if the fine inflicted by the act of Congress had been made recoverable by indictment, the offence, as stated in any one of the counts of the bill before us, would not have supported such an indictment. Even the last count, which charges the plaintiff in error with “unlawfully preventing C. D., the lawful owner, from retaking the negro slave," as it does not allege notice, does not describe an offence punishable by the act of Congress.
But admitting that the plaintiff in error may be liable to an action under the act of Congress, for the same acts of harboring and preventing the owner from retaking his slave, it does. not follow that he would be twice punished for the same offence. An offence, in its legal signification, means the transgression of a law. A man may be compelled to make reparation in da
Moore v. The People on the Stato of Illinoi:
mages to the injured party, and be liable also to punishment for a breach of the public peace, in consequence of the same act; and may be said, in common parlance, to be twice punished for the same oitence. Every citizen of the United States is also a citizen of a State or territory. He may be said to owe allegiance to two sovereigns, and may be liable to punishment for an infraction of the laws of either. The same act may be an offence or transgression of the laws of both. Thus, an assault upon the marshal of the United States, and hindering him in the execution of legal process, is a high offence against the United States, for which the perpetrator is liable to punishment; and the same act may be also a gross breach of the peace of the State, a riot, assault, or a murder, and subject the same person to a punishment, under the State laws, for a misdemeanor or felony. That either or both may (if they see fit) punish such an offender, cannot be doubted. Yet it cannot be truly dverred that the offender has been twice punished for the same offence; but only that by one act he has committed two oftences, for each of which he is justly punishable. He could not plead the punishment by one in bar to a conviction by the other; consequently, this court has decided, in the case of Fox v. The State of Ohio, (5 How. 432,) that à State may punish the offence of uttering or passing false coin, as a cheat or fraud practised on its citizens; and, in the case of the United States v. Marigold, (9 How. 560,) that Congress, in the proper exercise of its authority, may punish the same act as an offence against the United States.
It has been urged, in the argume, it on behalf of the plaintiff in error, that an affirmance of the judgment in this case will conflict with the decision of this court in the case of Prigg v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 16 Pet. 540. This, we think, is a mistake.
The questions presented and decided in that case differed entirely from those which affect the present. Prigg, with full power and authority from the owner, had arrested a fugitive slave in Pennsylvania, and taken her to her master in Maryland. For this he was indicted and convicted under a statute of Pennsylvania, making it a felony to take and carry away any negro or mulatto for the purpose of detaining them as slaves.
The following questions were presented by the case and decided by the court :
1. That, under and in virtue of the Constitution of the United States, the owner of a slave is clothed with entire authority, in every State in the Union, to seize and recapture his slave, wherever he can do it without illegal violence or a breach of the peace.
Moore v. The People of the State of Illinois.
2. That the government is clothed with appropriate authority and functions to enforce the delivery, on claim of the owner, and has properly exercised it in the act of Congress of 12th February, 1793.
3. That any State law or regulation which interrupts, im. pedes, limits, embarrasses, delays, or postpones the right of the owner to the immediate possession of the slave, and the immediate command of his service, is void.
We have in this case assumed the correctness of these doctrines, and it will be found that the grounds on which this case is decided were fully recognized in that. « We entertain,” say the court, (page 625,) " no doubt whatsoever, that the States, in virtue of their general police power, possess full jurisdiction to arrest and restrain runaway slaves, and remove them from their borders, and otherwise to secure themselves against their depredations and evil example, as they certainly may do in cases of idlers, vagabonds, and paupers. The rights of the owners of fugitive slaves are in no just sense interfered with or regulated by such a course; and, in many cases, the operations of the police power, although designed essentially for other purposes, - for the protection, safety, and peace of the State, — may essentially promote and aid the interests of the owners. But such regulations can never be permitted to interfere with or to obstruct the just rights of the owner to reclaim his slave, derived from the Constitution of the United States, or with the remedies prescribed by Congress to aid and enforce the same."
Upon these grounds, we are of opinion that the act of Illinois, upon which this indictment is founded, is constitutional, and therefore affirm the judgment.
Mr. Justice McLEAN.
In the case of Prigg v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the police power of the States was not denied, but admitted. · This court held, in Fox v. The State of Ohio, (5 How. 410;} that a person might be punished under a law of the State for passing counterfeit coin, although the same offence was punishable under the act of Congress, and, consequently, that the conviction and punishment under the State law would be no bar to a prosecution under the law of Congress. In that case I dissented, and gave at large the grounds of my dissent.
As the case now before us involves the same principle as was ruled in that case, I again dissent for the reasons then given, and I deem it unnecessary now to repeat them.
It is contrary to the nature and genius of our government, to panish an individual twice for the same offence. Where the jurisdiction is clearly vested in the Federal Government, and Moore v. The People of the State of Illinois.
an adequate punishment has been provided by it for an offence, no: State, it appears to me, can punish the same act. The assertion of, such a power involves the right of a State to punish all offences punishable under the acts of Congress. This would practically disregard, if it did not destroy, this important branch of criminal justice, clearly vested in the Federal Government. The exercise of such a power by the States would, in effect, be a violation of the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the respective States. They all provide against a second punishment for the same act. It is no satisfactory answer to this, to say that the States and Federal Government constitute different sovereignties, and, consequently, may each punish offenders under its own laws.
It is true, the criminal laws of the Federal and State Governments emanate from different sovereignties; but they operate upon the same people, and should have the same end in view. In this respect, the Federal Government, though sovereign within the limitation of its powers, may, in some sense, be considered as the agent of the States, to provide for the general welfare, by punishing offences under its own laws within its jurisdiction. It is believed that no government, regulated by laws, punishes twice criminally the same act. And I deeply regret that our government should be an exception to a great principle of action, sanctioned by humanity and justice.
It seems to me it would be as unsatisfactory to an indi. vidual as it would be illegal, to say to him that he must submit to a second punishment for the same act; because it is punishable as well under the State laws, as under the laws of the Federal Government. It is true he lives under the agis of both laws; and though he might yield to the power, he would not be sutisfied with the logic or justice of the argument.
Order. This cause came on to be heard on the transcript of the record from the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois, and was argued by counsel. On consideration whereof, it is now here ordered and adjudged by this court, that the judgment of the said Supreme Court in this cause be, and the same is bereby, affirmed, with costs.
Kanouse v. Martin.
CORNELIUS KANOUSE, PLAINTIFF IN ERROR, v. John M. MARTIN.
Where a motion was made, under the 12th section of the Judiciary Act, to remove a
cause from a State Court to the Circuit Court of the United States, notwithstanding which the State Court retained cognizance of the case, and it was ultimately brought to this court under the 25th section of the Judiciary Act, a motion to dismiss it for want of jurisdiction cannot be sustained. The question will remain to be decided upon the full hearing of the case.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Martin, to dismiss this case, which was argued by himself and Mr. Garr.
The circumstances, upon which the motion was based, are stated in the opinion of the court.
Mr. Chief Justice. TANEY delivered the opinion of the court.
This is a writ of error, directed to the Superior Court of the City of New York, and a motion has been made by the defendant in error to dismiss it for want of jurisdiction.
The record shows that a suit was brought by the defendant in error against the plaintiff, in the State Court above mentioned; the former being a citizen of New York, and the latter a citizen of New Jersey. The plaintiff in error, at the time of entering his appearance in the State Court, filed his petition, stating the citizenship of the parties, and praying for the removal of the cause for trial into the next Circuit Court, to be held in the disa trict where the said suit was pending;, and, at the same time, offered good and sufficient security for his entering in such court, on the first day of the session, copies of the process against hirn, and also for his then appearing and entering special bail in the cause,
The State Court, however, refused to permit the cause to be removed; and after the petition was filed and the bond given, proceeded in the case, and finally gave judgment against the plaintiff in error for the sum of money mentioned in the record. Various proceedings, it appears, were afterwards had in the appellate courts of the State, in relation to this judgment, but the decision in these courts was also against the plaintiff in error; and the judgment rendered in the Superior Court of the City of New York, still remains there and is in full force, if that court had jurisdiction of the case after the application to remove it.
The case then, as it stands on the motion, is this: The plaintiff in error claimed the right to remove this cause from the State Court to the Circuit Court of the United States, under the 12th section of the Judiciary Act of 1789. The right claimed was denied by the State Couri, which retained the case, and proceeded to give a final judgment against him.