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It would seem, therefore, upon principle and authority, that there is no difficulty about the legislatures of the several states remedying the defect by uniform state legislation.
As a suggestion for state legislation, I commend to your attention the sections enacted by the legislature of Wisconsin (Chap. 559, Laws of 1919). A part of the act reads:
“1. The governor of this state may demand of the executive authority of any other state, territory or of the District of Columbia the delivery over of any person charged in this state with the commission of any crime under the laws of this state, and whenever a demand is made for that purpose the same proceeding, so far as applicable, shall be had as if such demand was made for the return of a fugitive from justice.
“2. Whenever the chief executive of any other state, territory or of the District of Columbia shall demand of the governor of this state the delivery over of any person charged in such state, territory or district with the commission of any crime therein, it shall be the duty of the governor to deliver over the person demanded as provided in section 4847 of the statutes, the same as if said person were a fugitive from justice.”
This act might probably be made a little clearer by inserting in the fifth line of each paragraph, after the word “person," the words "not a fugitive from justice."
There is still another remedy which might be provided by uniform state legislation. Without taking time here to present authority upon the question, or to elaborate the foundations for it, there seems to the writer no lack of authority on the part of any state to enact, in effect, that any acts committed within such state, which result in the commission of an extra-territorial crime, shall pari passu constitute a crime within the state where the acts are committed, and thus, without extradition, provide for punishment of the offender at the place where he is.
The Wisconsin Legislature, by the same act to which I have referred, provided sections to effectuate this purpose. I think, however, they are not as well framed as they might be, and I suggest as a better, a more efficient form, for a uniform state act, the following:
“Any person, who while within this state, wilfully does, or omits to do, any act or duty, the doing or omission of which results in consummation of a crime in another state or district, and any person, who, while within this state, wilfully sets in motion, or in course of transportation, any weapon, missile, or
any destructive agency or substance, which results in the consummation of a crime in another state or district, shall be guilty in this state of an attempt to commit such crime and be subject to prosecution and punishment, in this state, in the same manner and degree as if the consummation of the crime had been wholly effected in this state; and the county in which the act or omission shall occur shall be the proper place of trial therefor.”
Some courts and law writers have recognized the fact that the same criminal act may constitute a consummated crime in one state and an attempt to commit such crime in another, and may be punishable in both states, provided the statutes are so framed. (See State v. Hall, 19 S. E. 602, 604, and cases mentioned.)
I do not, however, have much faith in the efficacy of such a statute as the one I have last proposed. In the case of a grave offence, wherein, for any reason, extradition could not be obtained, prosecution might be instituted in the state where the accused was corporeally present, but in case of minor offences, the complaining witness or witnesses and those more directly interested in the prosecution of the offence, would be generally so far distant as to be discouraged by the difficulties of prosecution in a neighboring state. To my notion, the only efficient method is to provide for extradition to the state in which the principal offence is consummated, to the locality wherein the evil has been effectuated, and where the victim and his witnesses may be readily produced.
However, in case we were seeking to obtain a uniform act by the legislatures of all the states providing for extradition in case of extra-territorial crimes, it would be quite as easy, and undoubtedly advisable, to include in the act a provision for punishing the defendant in the state of his residence for an attempt to commit a crime.
I have now pointed out as fully as I planned, what I regard as a very grave defect in the powers of courts and executives in relation to extra-territorial crimes. I marvel only that this has been permitted to exist so long. I appreciate the difficulties of getting the necessary constitutional and statutory amendments to remedy it, but I should regard every one of us as derelict to our duty as American citizens and members of the American Bar if we did not make the necessary effort to remedy the defect.
After the organization of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology, a state branch thereof was organized in the State of Wisconsin, and this branch devoted itself for a number of years to securing legislation from each succeeding legislature, to remedy just such defects in the criminal procedure as I have here pointed out. The result has been a great improvement of administration in Wisconsin, and it is a difficult, if not an impossible, thing for one guilty of crime in Wisconsin, who is within reach of its courts, to escape punishment because of any defect or technicality in the law of criminal procedure. The Criminal Law Section of the American Bar Association ought to perform, so far as it can, a similar service within its field.
SECTION OF PUBLIC UTILITY LAW
The Third Annual Meeting of the Section of Public Utility Law of the American Bar Association was held in the Daniel Boone Room of the Statler Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, on Tuesday, August 24, 1920. There were three sessions, 10 A. M., 2 P. M. and 8 P. M., respectively.
Bentley W. Warren, of Massachusetts, Vice-Chairman of the Section, presided.
Upon calling the meeting to order the Vice-Chairman stated that William C. Niblack, of Illinois, the Chairman of the Section, died on the sixth day of May, 1920, and called upon Stephen S. Gregory, of Illinois, a life-long friend, who followed this with the reading of a memorial tribute prepared by him.
(See Report of Committee on Memorials, page 304.) Stephen S. Gregory then read a paper entitled “ Some Phases of Public Utility Law.”
(The Address follows these minutes, page 447.) The report of the Secretary was read containing a plea for the recognition of the value of the service as the basis for a reasonable rate.
The Committee on Nominations was appointed, consisting of L. D. H. Gilmour, of New Jersey, Francis B. James, of the District of Columbia, and R. F. Davidson, of Indiana.
The Vice-Chairman of the Section delivered an address on what he termed “A Form of Creeping Confiscation,” which was very interesting and considerably discussed.
Proposed By-Laws for the Section were presented and adopted.
The open forum inaugurated at the last meeting was then opened and several questions submitted by members for discussion at the sessions.
William G. Busby delivered an address on “State vs. Municipal Regulation."
(The Address follows these minutes, page 457.) Very full and free discussion, participated in by a great number of members of the Section, as well as of the papers presented, was had at the open forum, and it was decided to make this an outstanding feature of the meetings of this Section.
The Committee on Nominations presented the following report:
For Chairman, Bentley W. Warren, of Boston, Massachusetts. For Vice-Chairman, Edgar A. Bancroft, of Chicago, Illinois. For Secretary, Edward A. Armstrong, of Newark, New Jersey. For Treasurer, John Randolph Tucker, of Richmond, Virginia.
For Council, Charles R. Brock, of Denver, Colorado; Robert E. L. Saner, of Dallas, Texas; John B. Sanborn, of Madison, Wisconsin; David A. Frank, of St. Louis, Missouri; Richard T. Higgins, of Hartford, Connecticut; S. S. Gregory, of Chicago, Illinois; Julius Henry Cohen, of New York, New York; and Horace D. Pillsbury, of San Francisco, California.
They were unanimously elected.
E. A. ARMSTRONG, Secretary.