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1820.

U, States

V. Pirates.

of April, 1790, c. 36. for a piratical robbery, committed on an American ship. Verdict, guilty. The offence was committed on a vessel of the United States, from a vessel of the United States, which had been run away with by the captain and crew. The prisoner is an English subject. It was moved by the prisoner's counsel, that the judgment be arrested, ok the ground, that the 8th section of the act of 30th of April, 1790, c. 36. on which the indictment is founded, is virtually repealed by the act of the jd of March, 1819, c. 76. entitled,

an act to protect the commerce of the United States, and punish the crime of piracy.” Upon which ground the Judges being divided in opinion, upon the

request of the counsel for the prisoner, it was ordered, that the indictment and proceedings thereon, together with the grounds of the defendant's motion in arrest of judgment, be transcribed by the clerk of the Circuit Court, and certified by him, under the seal of the Court, and sent to this Court for their decision.

The UNITED STATES v. BENJAMIN BRAILSFORD and

JAMES GRIFFEN.

The prisoners were indicted before the Circuit Court of South Carolina, for piracy on an American ship, under the act of Congress of the 30th of April, 1790, c. 36. The Court divided on the following questions:

1st. Whether an American citizen, fitting out a vessel in an American port, really to cruize against a power at peace with the United States, is protected by a commission from a belligerent from punishment

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U. States

V. Pirates.

for any offence committed by him against vessels of the United States.

2d. Whether it is competent for a jury to find, that a vessel within a marine league of the shore, at anchor in an open roadstead, where vessels only ride under shelter of the land at a season when the course of the winds is invariable, is upon the high seas.

3d. Whether the words, out of the jurisdiction of any particular State, in the 8th section of the act of Congress, of the 30th of April, 1790, c. 36. entitled, an act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States, must be construed to mean, out of the jurisdiction of any particular State of the United States.

4th. Whether the said 8th section of the said act is virtually repealed by the 5th section of the act of Congress, of March 3d, 1819, c. 76.

5th. Whether the said 5th section of the said act of March 3d, 1819, c. 76. furnishes any, and what definition of the crime of piracy.

The UNITED STATES v. DAVID BOWERS and HENRY

MATHEWS.

The prisoners were indicted before the Circuit Court of Georgia, under the act of 30th of April, 1790, c. 36, for a piratical robbery committed on an American ship. Verdict, guilty. The prisoners were part of the crew of the Louisa privateer, who rose upon their officers in October, 1818, and putting them out of the ship, proceeded on a piratical cruize. The Louisa was commissioned by the republic of

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U. States

Pirates.

Buenos Ayres, and commanded by Captain Almeida. There is no proof of her being American owned. The prisoners are American citizens, and the piracy for which they are convicted, was committed on the ship Asia, bearing the American flag. The captain asserted himself and vessel to be American; and on her stern was painted “New-York.” The ship Asia, at the time of the robbery, was at anchor in an open roadstead, at the Island of Bonavista. The register of the ship Asia was not produced in evidence. Verdict, guilty.

The prisoner's counsel moved that the judgment be arrested on the following grounds, viz.

Ist. That it is not competent to prove the national character of an American vessel, without evidence of her register.

2d. It is not competent for the jury to find that the piracy was committed on the high seas, when the evidence ascertained the Asia, at the time she was boarded, to have been at anchor in an open roadstead, at the island of Bonavista.

3d. That the prisoners are not punishable under the 8th section of the act of 30th of April, 1790, c. 36. entitled, “ An act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States ;" the same having been virtually repealed by the act of 1819, c. 76. to protect the commerce of the United States, and to punish the crime of piracy.

4th. That there are two counts in the indictment, the first charging the offence to have been committed on the high seas, out of the jurisdiction of any particular State ; the second, charging the offence te

1820.

have been committed in a certain haven, near the island of Bonavista, out of the jurisdiction of any u. States particular State, and that it is not competent for a jury to find a general verdict of guilty on both

V. Pirates.

counts.

Upon which grounds, the Judges being divided in opinion, it was ordered, that the indictment and proceedings thereon, together with the grounds of the motion in arrest of judgment, be transcribed by the clerk of the Circuit Court, and certified by him, under the seal of the Court, and sent to this Court for their decision.

The UNITED STATES v. David Bowers and

HENRY MATHEWS.

The prisoners were indicted before the Circuit Court of Georgia, under the act of the 30th of April, 1790, c. 36. for a piratical robbery committed on a ship, the property of British subjects, and called the Sir Thomas Hardy, upon the high seas. The prisoners were citizens of the United States, and part of the crew of the Louisa privateer, mentioned in the preceding case. The prisoners were found guilty, and their counsel moved that the judgment be arrested upon the following grounds, viz. :

1st. That the act of the 30th of April, 1790, c. 36. eighth section, does not extend to piracy committed by the crew of a foreign vessel on a vessel exclusively owned by persons not citizens of the United States.

2d. That the eighth section of the act of the 30th

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U. States

Pirates.

of April, 1790, c. 36. entitled, “ an act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States,"' has been virtually repealed by the act of the 3d of March, 1819, c. 70. entitled, “an act to protect the commerce of the United States, and to punish the crime of piracy.”

Upon which grounds, the Judges being divided in opinion, it was ordered, that the indictment and proceedings thereon, together with the grounds of the motion in arrest of judgment, be transcribed by the clerk of the Circuit Court, and certified by him, under the seal of the Court, and sent to this Court for their decision.

Feb. 2181.

These causes were argued by the Attorney General for the United States, and by Mr. Webster and Mr. Winder, for the prisoners."

March 1st. Mr. Justice Johnson delivered the opinion of the

Court. A variety of questions have been referred to this Court in these cases, and in the decisions to be certified to the Circuit Court, it will be necessary to notice each question in every case; but in the opinion now to be expressed, the whole may be considered in connexion, as they all depend upon the construc

tion of the same laws. A piracy co:n.

In the two cases of Smith and Klintock, it has has been already adjudged, that the 8th section of the national chun act of 1790 was not repealed by the 5th section of zing piratical that of 1819, and that the decision in Palmer's case ble under the does not apply to the case of a crew, whose conduct 36., whatever might have been the origi

a The substance of their arguments will be found in the nal

national preceding cases of the United States v. Klintock, ante, p. 144. character such vessel. and the United States v. Smith, ante, p. 153.

mitted from on
board a vessel,
which
thrown off her

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