Kremen v. United States

RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Quality Photo Shop

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1957-1958)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 353 US 346 (1957)
ARGUED: Mar 06, 1957
DECIDED: May 13, 1957

Facts of the case


Media for Kremen v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 06, 1957 in Kremen v. United States

Earl Warren:

Number 162, Shirley Kremen, Samuel Irving Coleman and Sidney Steinberg, Petitioners versus United States of America.

Mr. Leonard.

Norman Leonard:

Mr. Chief Justice, members of the Court.

This case is here on certiorari to review the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit which had affirmed judgments of conviction rendered at the jury trial in the District Court in Northern District of California against the three petitioners here.

The petitioners who before the Court are as the Mr. Chief Justice has just indicated, Shirley Kremen, Samuel Coleman and Sidney Steinberg.

Originally, if the Court please, there were five defendants in this case.

These three petitioners and two others, one Patricia Blau who was acquitted at the end of the government's case by the district judge and one Carl Ross who was found guilty, but who being unable to raise the bail that was required of him on appeal has served his sentence and so no longer a party to this proceeding.

In that connection, I might say that some of these other petitioners also have served portions of this sentence because of the difficulties that they had in raising bail, but subsequently, they did raise bail and they are now out but there are still substantial portions of the sentences remaining to be served.

So that no sentence in this case is moot.

But petitioner Kremen was able to raise her bail initially so she still has her full sentence ahead of her.

The indictment which was returned is in four counts and it charged in the first count that when Robert Thompson had been convicted of conspiracy to violate the Smith Act in New York in 1949, parenthetically, I might observed that Thompson was one of the defendants in the Dennis case which was ultimately affirmed in this Court.

And that first count continued to charge that all five of those named defendants, that is three petitioners here and the two others who I mentioned, were accessories after the fact to the Smith Act conviction in 1949 in New York.

It was alleged that they were accessories after the fact in 1953 in California.

I might also say parenthetically here that we do not concede that count one properly stated the offense for which Thompson was convicted.

I will come to that point later.

That's one of the points on certiorari.

Here I simply wish to summarize the indictment with the Court as a prelude to the argument.

The second count of the indictment alleged that all five of those defendants, three petitioners here and the two others, conspired to violate the accessory after the fact statute.

In other words, it was a conspiracy to commit the offense which was importantly described in the first count of the indictment.

The third count of the indictment charged that all of the defendants except Steinberg, that is the remaining four knowing that a warrant had been issued for Steinberg's arrest, harbored and concealed him contrary to the provisions of the harboring statute.

Incidentally, I might observe that the warrant for Steinberg's arrest was in the proceeding in New York which later became known as United States against Flynn which Mr. Justice Harlan sat and the case was in the Second Circuit.

The certiorari was denied here, the so-called the second string Smith Act cases in New York.

There was a warrant up for Steinberg.

He was found to use later in California and was alleged that these people had harbored.

And the fourth count, the last count of the indictment alleged that all four of these defendants conspired to harbor Steinberg.

So it was a conspiracy charge to commit the subsequent offense set forth in the third count of the indictment and in that conspiracy charge, Thompson was named as a co-conspirator but not as a defendant.

After the indictments were returned, various pretrial motions were made attacking their sufficiency, seeking particulars and other forms of pretrial discovery.

Those motions were all denied.

I think more important for the argument today that should be noted.

But after the indictments were returned, motions seeking the suppression of evidence allegedly illegally obtained at the time these petitioners were arrested were also, those motions were supported by affidavit.