Friday, December 27, 2013

United States v. Guest case brief

United States v. Guest case brief summary
383 U.S. 745 (1966)

The government appealed the decision of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, which granted defendants' motion to dismiss the indictment for criminal conspiracy under 18 U.S.C.S. § 241 on the ground that it did not charge an offense under the laws of the United States.

Defendants were indicted by a grand jury for criminal conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 241. The indictment alleged a single conspiracy by defendants to deprive African-American citizens of the free exercise and enjoyment of several specified rights secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Defendants moved to dismiss the indictment on the ground that it did not charge an offense under the laws of the United States. The district court sustained the motion and dismissed the indictment as to all defendants.


  • The Court held that the indictment contained an express allegation of state involvement sufficient at least to require the denial of a motion to dismiss. 
  • The Court found that a criminal conspiracy affecting an individual's right of free interstate passage was within the sanction of § 241, where a specific intent to have interfered with a federal right was required to be proven.
The Court reversed the decision granting defendants' motion to dismiss and remanded the case for further proceedings.

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