Brief Fact Summary. This case arises when Russell, among a group of other Petitioners, sought to have an indictment dismissed before trial because it did not properly charge him.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. An indictment must do more than repeat the language of a criminal statute; rather, it must inform the defendant what it is that he has in fact done.
Issue. Whether, in order to be upheld as valid, an indictment must state a cause of action.
Held. An indictment must outline what petitioners are accused of withholding (when being accused of refusing to answer questions before a congressional subcommittee) in order to be considered valid. Otherwise Petitioners cannot adequately prepare themselves for the grand jury process.
An indictment may not be amended except by resubmission to the grand jury, unless the change is merely a matter of form.View Full Point of Law