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he made no false entry, he is not guilty of the crime charged, and must be acquitted. But if you should find, within the instructions above given you, that defendant did make any such “false entry" as to the particulars above stated, and within the meaning of the term as I have defined it to you, then you will proceed to consider the second and remaining point, which the government must prove to entitle it to a verdict of guilty, viz.. Did defendant make such false entry or entries, or any of them, with intent to deceive any agent appointed to examine the bank's condition, or to deceive some one or more officers of said bank, or to defraud said bank, or any other corporation or firm or person? And if the jury find such intent, in any manner as charged, is proven against defendant, this finding, in connection with finding defendant made the false entry as above defined, will authorize a verdict of guilty against defendant; but, if the jury do not find proven against defendant any such intent, the defendant must be acquitted.
It is a sound and wise principle of law that a man shall be held to intend the legitimate consequences of his acts; that is, that he intended that which is the naturai and necessary result of his act, freely and knowingly done. If a man, knowing a coin is counterfeit, passes that coin upon another as genuine, he will not be allowed to say that he passed it with innocent intent. From his act of intention. ally passing the coin as genuine, when he knows it to be counterfeit, the law presumes and holds him to the presumption that he passed it with guilty intent. If a man brings to me a horse, and proposes to sell it to me, and affirms to me that he owns the horse, and that his ownership is full and complete, when in fact he knows the horse belongs to another, and that he has not the least right or interest as owner in said horse, and I, relying on his statement, purchase the horse of him, he will not be heard to claim that he sold the horse to me with innocent intent, but the law stamps his act as done with guilty intent, as done with an intent to deceive me, and with fraudulent and false pretenses. In other words, wrongful acts knowingly and intentionally committed can neither be justified nor excused on the ground of innocent intent. The color of the act.determines the complexion of the intent.
If a director of a national bank, in a report to the comptroller of the condition of his bank, makes an entry which is false, which does not contain or state the truth with regard to the condition of the bank upon the date named in this report, and such entry relates to a material matter, and such director, at the time he made such false entry, knew it was false and calculated to deceive, and that it did not give a true and correct statement of said bank's condition at the time with respect to such entry, in such case the law will not permit him to say that he made such false entry with innocent intent, and not expecting to deceive any one thereby. If such a director willfully puts up a report designed to allay any suspicion then existing, designed to induce faith and trust in his institution, and it is proven that the entries in that report are false in fact, and at the time he made them he knew them to be false, it would be a mockery upon justice to allow him to say that he made those entries with innocent intent. In such
a case, gentlemen, the act done is in law stamped with guilty intent on the part of the person doing it.
Notice, gentlemen, that in all the instances I have named I have given prominence to the fact of knowledge in the person doing the act. I do not mean that a man can be convicted of the crime charged in this indictment for merely negligent, careless action. Speaking generally I may say that, if the director making the false entry was in fact ignorant of the condition of the bank, and did not know its resources and liabilities, however recreant he might be to the position he held and the duties devolving upon him, and whatever other liabilities, civil or criminal, he might thereby be subject to, he could not be convicted under the section on which this indictment is based; and yet I ought to add that this does not in any wise justify or authorize a director to purposely, willfully, and knowingly close his eyes and his ears to the facts around him, or which lie directly in his path, for the purpose of making it easier to those engaged in plundering or wrecking a bank. Let me illustrate my meaning: If a director of a national bank, knowing that those in charge of or actively managing the bank are despoiling it, robbing its treasury, knowing that the funds of the bank are being dissipated, improperly withdrawn from the bank, and worthless paper (miscalled “securities”) is being substituted instead thereof,—if, thus knowing, such director refuses to accept the information lying directly across his path, and purposely keeps himself in ig. norance or refrains from taking active part in the bank's management, that he may thereby permit such transactions to go undisturbed or undetected, and he then lends the credit of his name, puts his signature to untrue and false reports connected with the condition of the bank for the purpose of enabling such a fraud to go undetected,-in such a case it will be no shield to him to show that he had no knowl. edge of the truth or falsity of the report he has signed. To hold otherwise would be to make the law go hand in hand with rankest injustice, to legalize robbery, to make our temples of justice modern cities of refuge, and our courts encouragers of what plain people properly call crime.
Therefore I have to say to you, gentlemen, as the law of the case upon this point, that if the defendant, at the date named in the re ports to the comptroller named in the indictment, as submitted to you, knowingly inserted in a report of the resources and liabilities of his bank a false entry as heretofore defined to you, and as charged in the indictment submitted to you, of such a nature that the ordinary, natural, and legitimate result thereof would be to deceive the other officers of the bank, or any one of them, or any agent then or thereafter appointed to examine affairs of said bank, or to defraud the bank or any other company, body politic, or corporation, or any individual person whatever, then, in the absence of contravening proof, you are authorized and justified to find that defendant made such false entry with the intent to deceive or to defraud, within the meaning of the statute, and to find against the defendant as to the second and remaining point as above stated.
You may have noticed, as I stated to you the section under which defendant has been brought to trial, thać the statute does not require
that any person should have been in fact defrauded or actually deceived by the false entry in order to make the crime complete; and so it is not necessary, in order to complete the proof of a violation of this section, that it shall be shown to you that any officer of the bank, or any agent appointed to examine into the condition of the bank, has in fact been deceived by a false entry in the report, nor that in fact any company, corporation, or individual person has been defrauded by the false entry. The attempt to deceive or to defraud may not have been adroitly planned or skillfully performed,-it may have been so bunglingly carried into execution as that every officer of the bank and the bank examiner could, upon referring to the bank records, . readily detect the entry to be a false entry; yet if there was any attempt to deceive, if the false entry was knowingly entered, and was a false entry which was naturally and necessarily calculated to mislead, this would be sufficient, in the absence of contravening proof, to authorize the finding that the person making it made such false entry with intent to deceive. The law might have made it otherwise, but it has not. The law wisely was framed to meet the criminal on the very threshold of his crime, and before he had consummated such crime. The policy of the law was by congress wisely established, so that one reading the report should have the right to rely thereon as being a true report; and a depositor or bank dealing with the bank making the report is not required to investigate the books of the reporting bank to see if the report is honest and true. The bank official, at his peril, must make it truthful according to his knowledge when he signs his name to the report as being correct; and, if he intentionally made it otherwise, he must answer to the law in any attempted or intended deceit he has practiced. And therefore if the evidence shall prove to you that any “false entry,” as I have defined it, submitted to you for your consideration, has been knowingly made by the defendant. with the intent to defraud or to deceive any of the parties named in the indictment, that is sufficient to constitute the crime charged against the defendant, even though none of said named parties have actually and in fact been deceived or defrauded thereby. The gist of the crime is in making the false entry with intent to deceive or defraud any of said parties.
Your verdict, gentlemen, must be found upon the evidence introduced before yon, and be considered by you under the law as given by the court. As I have heretofore said to you, this trial commences before you with the presumption of innocence in favor of defendant, and your verdict must be for defendant, unless you find the evidence overthrows this presumption, and brings your minds beyond a reasonable doubt to a verdict of guilty.
I have to say to you further, gentlemen, and this statement is to be understood as affecting the entire charge given you, that, if you can reconcile the evidence before you upon any reasonable hypothesis of the defendant's innocence, it is your duty to do so. And, before you can find the defendant guilty of the crime charged in the indictment, you must find such guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This reasonable doubt relates to the defendant's guilt under all the evidence. You will take up the evidence bearing on each proposition of fact, and de
termine whether that fact has been proven; and you must find the defendant's guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt before you are authorized to return a verdict of guilty. And after considering all the evidence, if you have a reasonable doubt of the guilt of the defendant, you must acquit him; but if, upon such consideration, you do not have a reasonable doubt of his guilt, it is your duty to return a verdict of guilty. A “reasonable doubt," as I have used the term, is what the term indicates. It is a doubt based on reason, and which is reasonable in view of all the evidence. It is an honest, substantial misgiving, generated by insufficiency of proof. It is not a captious doubt, nor a doubt suggested by ingenuity of counsel or jury, and not warranted by the testimony; nor is it a doubt born of a merciful inclination to permit the defendant to escape conviction, nor prompted by sympathy for him or those connected with him. But if, on impartial comparison and consideration of all the evidence, you can candidly say that you are not satisfied of the defendant's guilt, you have a reasonable doubt. If, however, on an impartial comparison and consideration of all the evidence, you have an abiding conviction of the guilt of defendant,--such a conviction as you would be willing to act upon in the more weighty and important matters relating to your own affairs,--then you have no reasonable doubt.
The defendant has testified in his own behalf. This he had a right to do under the laws of the United States. And he has the same right to place himself on the witness stand that the law gives him to have any other person sworn as a witness in his behalf. But it is the duty of the court to state that the law sends his testimony to you charged with whatever may properly attach to or affect that testimony because of his interest in the result of the case. It has been but a few years, comparatively, since a defendant charged with crime was by law denied the privilege of testifying for himself. The theory of the law which refused to accept a man as a witness in his own defense, when arraigned in court and on trial upon a criminal charge, was that the interest of the defendant in the case was necessarily so great, and so great the temptation to testify falsely in order to acquit himself, that the law refused to permit testimony so liable to be tainted with perjury to be placed before the jury; and therefore the mouth of defendant was closed by operation of law. But, as I heartily believe, a wiser policy or theory of law now prevails, and I had the pleasure of casting my vote in favor of a statute which, in the state courts of Iowa, has opened to a defendant in a criminal trial the full privileges of the witness stand; and the statutes of the United States award him the same privileges. The government, however, cannot compel him to testify on his own trial. Possibly in some cases the evidence necessary to complete proof of guilt is alone in defendant's possession, yet the district attorney, with all the power of this great nation behind him to compel witnesses to testify to the teuth. is powerless to open the mouth of such defendant. The nation itself is not strong enough to force from a defendant, and against his will, even a single word of testimony, or to compel such unwilling defendant to submit to the jury a paper or line of writing. But he may, if he will, testify in his own interest; and, when he does so testify, the
law sends his testimony to you charged with this interest, and you are to examine and test it accordingly. The defendant may testify as truly, and his testimony be in fact entitled to as much weight at the hands of the jury, as that of any other witness. You are to determine that fact in the case, as you may consider it under all the circumstances of the case, and with reference to its consistency in itself, or as it may be corroborated by evidence deemed by you to be credible. A defendant's testimony may be so manifestly tinctured and tainted witn his interest, and with a desire to thereby acquit himself, as that the jury will feel compelled to cast it aside, and wholly reject it. You are to determine in this case what, if any, weight the defendant's testimony shall have at your hands; and when you have considered it in the lines I have suggested, and compared it with the other evidence in the case, and the facts and circumstances you may find proven, give to the defendant's testimony such weight as you may find it is rightly entitled to receive at your hands.
You are the sole judges of the testimony. Under the oaths you have taken you are to receive, as the law applicable to this case, the instructions given you by the court, and you are to be governed by them; but it is your sole province to determine the weight to be given to the testimony which has been introduced. Consider the de. meanor of the witnesses on the witness stand; their relation to the defendant in any way, business or otherwise; their interest or lack of interest in the case, or their connection with any case which might be in any wise affected or influenced by the verdict to be rendered in this case; any bias or prejudice shown by them; the consistency or inconsistency of their statements; whether their testimony is corroborated or contradicted by other testimony regarded by you as credible and worthy of belief; and, having considered the testimony in the light of all the circumstances in the case, give to the testimony of each witness that weight to which you find it is entitled. Wherever you can consistently reconcile conflicting testimony, it is your duty to do so; but, where you find any conflict of testimony you cannot reconcile, do not hesitate to cast aside that which you deem incorrect and untrue, and accept and hold fast to the truth as you find it estab. lished in the evidence.
Gentlemen, take this case, determined to do justice both to the government and to the defendant. The government is in no wise entitled to, nor does it ask, the conviction of any man who is not proven guilty of the crime with which he is charged, nor should your verdict declare the guilt of such a one; but if defendant is proven guilty, within the terms of the instructions I have given you, it is your duty to say so by your verdict. Thus innocence is protected by our courts, and guilt is brought to its just punishment.