Bell v. United States Case Brief

Facts of the Case

Bell pleaded guilty to two counts of violating § 2 of the Mann Act,, by allegedly knowingly transporting in interstate commerce two women for an immoral purpose. Because he transported the women on the same trip and in the same vehicle, he claimed that he committed only a single offense and could not be subjected to cumulative punishment. The federal district court rejected that contention and sentenced Bell to consecutive terms. On appeal from the denial of his motion to correct the sentence, the appellate court affirmed, holding that while the act of transportation was a single one, the unlawful purpose necessarily was personal as to each of the women. Thus, it ruled, Bell had committed two separate offenses. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari review.


Did the Sixth Circuit err in holding that the Michigan Supreme Court failed to apply clearly established U.S. Supreme Court precedent for evaluating whether the jury was comprised of a fair cross-section of the community?



Case Information

Citation: 366 US 393 (1961)
Argued: Jan 11, 1961
Decided: May 22, 1961
Case Brief: 1961