Commonwealth v. Mixer
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
93 N.E. 249 (1910)
Erving Mixer (defendant) worked for a common carrier that delivered packages to homes. In that jurisdiction, common carriers were generally prohibited from forcing customers to disclose a package’s contents if no reason existed to believe that the package contained anything illegal or dangerous. A customer gave Mixer a sugar barrel to deliver to the city of Lynn. The barrel did not contain any markings or indications that it contained anything illegal, and Mixer had no knowledge of the barrel’s contents. However, the barrel contained liquor, and it was illegal to transport the liquor into the city of Lynn. Mixer was criminally charged with violating a statute prohibiting transporting liquor into illegal areas and convicted. On appeal, Mixer argued that he could not be held guilty of a crime because it was undisputed that he had an innocent mind.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rugg, J.)
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