OIL: The Law

2 minute read

Criminal Grand Jury indictments charging bribery, the receiving of bribes, conspiracy to defraud the U. S., had been obtained against Messrs. Doheny, Fall, Sinclair. Last week, the indictments were thrown out of court by Chief Justice Walter I. McCoy of the District of Columbia Supreme Court on a technical point (an assistant to the Attorney General had unlawfully appeared before the investigating Special Grand Jury). Mr. McCoy, a Democrat appointed by President Wilson, is credited with knowing the law well. His technical point will presumably be sus-tained when Messrs. Atlee Pomerene and Owen J. Roberts, Government counsel, appeal to a higher court. The Government will then be left the choice of abandoning criminal proceedings or seeking new indictments. New indictments for bribery they cannot seek, because, under the statute of limitations*, they cannot use evidence more than three years old. And on Nov. 30, 1924, it was three years since Doheny fils was alleged to have made a trip to Mr. Fall, bearing from Doheny père a little black satchel containing $100,000.

The statute of limitations allows six years for conspiracy charges to mature, so Alessrs. Roberts and Pomerene have until some time in 1927 to get a conspiracy indictment.

— Under Federal Statutes, no person may be prosecuted, tried or punished unless an indictment is found within a certain number of years of the alleged offense. This does not extend to any person fleeing from justice. Treason or other capital offense (wilful murder excepted) 3 years

Offenses arising under the Revenue

laws of the U. S 5 years

Other penitentiary offenses 3 years

Non-penitentiary offenses 2 years

The boats of the Admiral Line fly their own flag-a red cross on a white diamond on a blue field.

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