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SEXTON v. CALIFORNIA.

decided: April 6, 1903.

SEXTON
v.
CALIFORNIA.



ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA.

Author: PECKHAM

[ 189 U.S. Page 320]

 MR. JUSTICE PECKHAM, after making the foregoing statement of facts, delivered the opinion of the court.

The record now before us raises but a single question for our determination, and that is whether the state court upon the facts alleged in the indictment had any jurisdiction over the subject matter.

The plaintiff in error contends that the right of the general government to exercise jurisdiction over the crime of which he was convicted is exclusive, and therefore the state court had no right to try him upon the indictment found in that court.

The act of which the plaintiff in error is alleged to have threatened to accuse Greenwald of committing is mentioned in section 3392 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, which makes it an offence to sell cigars unless in new boxes, with the

[ 189 U.S. Page 321]

     exception therein detailed. Having created the offence above described, Congress also provided for the punishment of the offence of extortion by threats to accuse an individual of a violation of the provisions of that, among other sections of the internal revenue law.

Section 5484, Revised Statutes, provides that --

"Every person who shall receive any money or other valuable thing under a threat of informing, or as a consideration for not informing against any violation of any internal revenue law, shall, on conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both, at the discretion of the court, with costs of prosecution."

The provision prohibiting the sale of cigars in any but new boxes is part of the internal revenue law.

By the twentieth subdivision of section 629, Revised Statutes, there is given to the United States Circuit Courts --

"Exclusive cognizance of all crimes and offences cognizable under the authority of the United States, except where it is or may be otherwise provided by law, and concurrent jurisdiction with the ...


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