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Page:United States Reports, Volume 2.djvu/359

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Cmcmr Coorr, Pmryylvzmiu Dillriét. 353 cife law, or to compel the ollieer’s"relignation; and even the I']95. .faé't itfelf is only proved by one witnefs. Belides, the conduit *·/VV ofthe committee, however culpable, will· not be fumcient to in- _ volve the whole affembly in the guilt of Treafon. It is true, that the prifoner expreffed his willingnefs to reconnoitre Gen. Nwilllr houfe; but this exprellion, likewife, is only proved byi one witnefs; and even if it were proved bylifty witnelles, it does not amount to an overt aft of Treafon by legying war; nor does it appear that he ever did reeonnoitre, or urmlh intelli- - genee to the committee. The proof againft Perm (ant. [:.345-) was as Rrong, and yet he was acquitted. _ Upon the whole, if the proceedings at Caucbis Fort and Gen. Neu£!le’: houfe, mult be conlidered as one aélion, that aélion mull: take its colour, quality, and eharaéter, from what was done at the latter place ; and as there are not two witnelfesto the overt ae} committed there, it is immaterial what was the condu& of the prifoner at Combi: Fort. _ The perpetration is the gill of the crime; and he only isto be adjudged guilty, who joined in the a&ual per- petration. . The Attorney General of the United States (Brmfml) iu reply. lt is elfential to the feeurity of life, liberty, and property, that the powers of government lhould exill under fome modification; and under whatever modification -they exill, an attempt to defeat or dehroy them, mult be '1`reafon. lf, however, the principles alferted in the courfe of the pril`oner’s defence lhould prevail, a. flagrant attempt to obllruél the legitimate operations of the go- vernment, to prevent the execution of its laws, and to coerce its ollicers into a dercliflion of their trull, mult no longer be regarded as High Treafon; every man engaged in the admini- itration of the public aifairs has erred in conlidering the infur- reétion as any thing more than a common, contemptible, riot ; Wgsl, who has been convicted, ought to have been acquitted; and all the prifoners committed upon the fame charge, ought inllantly to be relcafed l But this doélrine and its confequences will not be found compatible with our Conllitution; and can- not receive the countenance of a Court of ]uftice. '.[`o proceed, however, in a more minute analylis of the de- fence; it has been argued, that Congrefs has provided a fpecilic punilhment, for the ollence of refilling or obllruéling the {er- vice of procefs, obvioully dillinguilhing it from '1`rea on ; and that it is as much Treafon to_relilt the execution of one law as another; to relilt the Marlhall of a Court, as much as the Su- pervifor of a Dillriél. The analogy- is, in a great meafure, juli: In either cafe, if the reliftance is made by a few perfons, in a particular inllance, and under the impulfe of a particular in- terelt, the oll·`en<·e would not amount to High Treafon; but. il} in either cafe, there is a general tiling of a whole County, to Yy prevent