An intent to commit a crime is not indictable; and, although the intent is, in general, of the very essence of a crime, some overt act is the only sufficient evidence of the criminal intent.
Defendant was convicted under Okla. Stat. tit. 26, § 4 (1913) of keeping a place with intent and for the purpose of unlawfully selling, bartering, and giving away intoxicating liquors. Defendant sought review, contending that the statute was unconstitutional and that defendant's demurrer to the information was improperly overruled.
Was the statute constitutional?
The court found that the purpose of the legislature in the enactment of the statute was not clear, since it made the intent to do the forbidden act a felony but did not attempt to repeal another statute which made it a misdemeanor to keep a place for the sale of intoxicating liquors, the evil presumably intended to be suppressed. The court held that the statute under consideration did not define a crime and that the information in the instant case did not charge an offense. The demurrer, therefore, was well taken and should have been sustained.