People v. Weiss
Court of Appeals of New York
12 N.E.2d 514 (1938)
During the investigation of the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby in New Jersey, a man named Wendel became a wanted suspect. Weiss (defendant) and others assisted a New Jersey detective in apprehending and detaining Wendel in New York. Prior to appending Wendel, Weiss and the others were led to believe by the detective that he had the authority to make the arrest and that Weiss and the others were authorized to assist. Weiss and the others were charged with seizing, confining or kidnapping Wendel, with intent, to cause him to be confined within the state without authority of law. At trial, the judge refused to instruct the jury that a good faith belief on the part of Weiss that he and the others were authorized to apprehend Wendel was a defense warranting acquittal. There, the trial judge said “even if they did believe it, it is no defense in this case.” Weiss and the others were convicted and they appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (O'Brien, J.)
Dissent (Crane, C.J.)
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