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UNITED STATES v. FLORES

DISTRICT COURT, E.D. PENNSYLVANIA


November 7, 1932

UNITED STATES
v.
FLORES

The opinion of the court was delivered by: DICKINSON

DICKINSON, District Judge.

Sur Motion for Reargument.

When this case was argued and ruled, it was upon the question of whether a vessel tied to a dock extending into a navigable stream, at a place miles above its mouth and far above any taint of salt water, was at the time on the "high seas."

 On the authority of U.S. ex rel. Maro v. Mathues (D.C.) 21 F.2d 533, affirmed in (C.C.A.) 27 F.2d 518, we ruled the question in the negative. This meant that the demurrer interposed should be sustained and the defendant discharged. We are asked to review this ruling because, while the Maro Case is on all fours with this in its fact features, it differs, in this in this case the indictment avers the offense of murder committed on an American vessel out of the jurisdiction of any state but within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the courts of the United States, while the Maro Case was argued and ruled as a case of murder committed on the high seas. The United States, we are told, accepted the ruling in the Maro Case because it did not care to further stand for the proposition that a vessel hundreds of miles from salt water was yet on the high seas. Care was taken in consequence in this case to indict the defendant, not for a murder committed on the high seas, ut for a murder committed on an American vessel out of the jurisdiction of any state, but within the maritime jurisdiction of the courts of the United States. The distinction made is a clear enough, but it takes us into the realm of constitutional law, and raises as well many and delicate questions of international relations, if not of international law.

 Into these very interesting questions we see no need to go. It is agreed that this case and the Maro Case are alike in their facts. The Maro Case arose on habeas corpus. The defendant was open to indictment for any offense which arose out of the facts. He might in consequence have been indicted for the offense charged in this indictment. The Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment which discharged him without day. We must from this conclude that, as he might have been indicted for the offense here charged, such an indictment could not be sustained. It follows that this indictment cannot be sustained. We feel bound by the Maro Case to so rule.

 Motion for reargument denied.

19321107

© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.



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