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  • Schaffer v. United StatesSchaffer v. United States
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Schaffer v. United States

United States Supreme Court
362 U.S. 511 (1960)


One indictment charged seven people (defendants) with conspiring to transport stolen clothing from New York. All the shipments involved the three Stracuzzas. However, the other defendants were involved in different shipments: the Shafffers in shipments to Pennsylvania, Marco in shipments to West Virginia, and Karp in shipments to Massachusetts. The Stracuzzas pled guilty or had charges dismissed before trial, and the trial court dismissed the conspiracy charge for lack of evidence. As for the remaining defendants, the prosecution (plaintiff) meticulously presented the evidence as to each separately. The defendants requested acquittal at the close of the prosecution’s case without requesting a new trial. The judge denied acquittal and submitted the charges to the jury, carefully instructing the jury not to consider any evidence against one defendant as proof against any other. The jury convicted all four remaining defendants, and they appealed, arguing that the court should not have tried them together after dismissal of the conspiracy count. The appellate court found that no prejudice resulted from trying them together and affirmed the conviction, prompting the defendants to appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Clark, J.)

Dissent (Douglas, J.)

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