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Law School Case Brief

United States v. Klein - 247 F.2d 908 (2d Cir. 1957)

Rule:

The generality of allegation now permitted is well settled. The baleful theory-of-the-case doctrine has been repudiated in the civil rules and is said to have no place in criminal procedure. The submission of alternate theories of fact to the jury has been upheld.

Facts:

Defendants were charged with enumerated acts of concealment of income, establishing a conspiracy to defraud the United States by impairing the functions of the Treasury Department. Subsequently, defendants were convicted of the crime charged. Defendants challenged their convictions for conspiracy, arguing that the charge was too vague to afford a proper basis for a trial and conviction.

Issue:

Was the charge against defendants too vague to afford a proper basis for a trial and conviction?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The Court affirmed the convictions, holding that defendants had a rigorously fair trial wherein their rights were guarded and that the convictions were justified. According to the Court, it was clear from the wording of the indictment that it was framed to make a general charge of impeding and obstructing the Treasury Department in its collection of income taxes, and that defendants were fully informed of the nature of the offense. Legally and logically, the specific detail adduced in the evidence supported the broad charge made.

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