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Blockburger v. United States

United States Supreme Court
284 U.S. 299 (1932)


Facts

Blockburger (defendant) was indicted under the Harrison Narcotic Act on five counts for selling prescription drugs. The jury convicted him on the second, third and fifth counts. The second count charged Blockburger with selling morphine on a specified day. The third count charged Blockburger with selling morphine, not in or from the original stamped package, to the same purchaser on the following day. The fifth count charged Blockburger with having made this second sale to the same purchaser not in pursuance of a written order by the purchaser. Blackburger argued that the second and third counts constitute the same crime because the sales were made to the same person only a day apart. He also argued that the third and fifth counts constitute the same offense because the prohibition against selling narcotics not in its original packaging, and against selling to a purchaser not in pursuance of a written order by the purchaser, are found in the same statute. The court of appeals affirmed Blockburger’s conviction.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Sutherland, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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