Criminal Law Keyed to Kadish
Morissette v. United States
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
Defendant, a junk dealer, openly entered an Air Force practice bombing range and took from the range old bomb castings that had been lying unused for years. Defendant flattened the casings and sold them for a profit. Defendant was subsequently indicted and convicted of violating a statute that criminalized the act of “knowingly converting” government property. At trial, Defendant’s defense was that he believed the casings had been abandoned. The Act made no mention of intent and at the trial; the Judge instructed the Jury that the question of intent was whether or not Defendant had intended to take the property. D’s conviction was affirmed on appeal and the Supreme Court of the United States granted review.
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