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Shaw v. Director of Public Prosecutions

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    Bloomberg Law

    Brief Fact Summary. Defendant was convicted on an indictment for conspiracy to corrupt public morals and appealed on the ground that the law does not recognize the crime charged.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. The majority upheld the conviction, holding that the law does recognize the crime of conspiracy to corrupt public morals regardless of the fact that a law prohibiting the behavior was on the books.

    Facts. Defendant was convicted by a unanimous jury on an indictment for conspiracy to corrupt public morals. Defendant appeals based on the fact that there was no crime of conspiracy to corrupt public morals on the books.

    Issue. Can a conviction be upheld under a judicially created law where such law did not exist in the criminal statute?

    Held. Yes. Appeal dismissed and conviction affirmed.
    Viscound Simonds advances his opinion that it is the court’s job to preserve the public welfare and supports the holding that the law recognizes an offense of conspiracy to corrupt public morals


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