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UNITED STATES v. SCARBECK

November 18, 1963

UNITED STATES of America
v.
Irvin C. SCARBECK



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WALSH

This matter comes before the Court on defendant's motion for a reduction in sentence.

In October 1961 Irvin C. Scarbeck was tried and found guilty by the jury on three counts of violation of Title 50, section 783(b) of the United States Code, which makes it unlawful for any officer or employee of the United States to communicate to an agent or representative of a foreign nation any information which has been 'classified' as affecting the security of the United States.

 The Code further provides that a penalty of 10 years may be imposed as a sentence for each such violation.

 In this case the Court, on November 9, 1961, imposed a sentence of 10 years for each of the counts, said sentences to run consecutively, that is, for a total of 30 years. Defendant appealed.

 In an opinion dated December 31, 1962, Scarbeck v. United States, D.C.Cir., 317 F.2d 546, at page 569, the Circuit Court affirmed the judgment of conviction and the order denying a new trial, and stated:

 'However, in view of the extent of appellant's cooperation with the authorities during the investigation, we think the District Court should seriously consider exercising its power, under Fed.R.Crim.P. 35, to reduce the sentences which have been imposed, as for example, by making them run concurrently.'

 Petition for rehearing en banc was denied.

 The defendant made application for certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, 375 U.S. 874, 84 S. Ct. 35, 11 L. Ed. 2d 105 and this was denied on June 17, 1963. Application for rehearing was denied on October 14, 1963. The Defendant has therefore exhausted all judicial review.

 At the time of sentencing on November 9, 1961, the trial court stated no reasons for imposition of the maximum penalty in each count nor for ordering that the three sentences run consecutively for a total of thirty years. It was the opinion of this Court that the reasons were self-evident.

 The Court was obliged to recognize that by reason of his training and experience the defendant was well aware of the need for security measures and the inherent danger in becoming involved with nationals behind the Iron Curtain.

 Irvin Scarbeck had been engaged for approximately twenty years in work in which national security was a major concern, and at the time of the offenses was no novice or inexperienced in security matters. On the contrary, he had every reason to be familiar with espionage and counter-espionage tactics and the efforts of other nations to secure information.

 The documents involved in this case had been classified by the proper authorities as affecting the security of the United States.

 The imposition of the sentences here was in the nature of recognition of the many employees of our Government assigned to security work who are loyal to our Government and their positions of trust.

 This Court has no confidential information concerning security matters; that is a matter for the executive and legislative departments, ...


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