Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

UNITED STATES v. COCKERILL

December 5, 1973

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
VERNON L. COCKERILL.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Harlington Wood, Jr., District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

The Defendant, Vernon L. Cockerill, D.V.M., was charged and tried pursuant to an eight count information alleging violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 331(a). At the conclusion of the Government's case, the Court granted the Defendant's Motion for a Judgment of Acquittal made pursuant to Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, as to Counts I, II, V, VI, VII, and VIII, but denied the motion as to Counts III and IV. The Motion was renewed at the close of all the evidence as to Counts III and IV and the Court reserved its decision. The case was then submitted to the jury which found the Defendant guilty of the violations charged in Counts III and IV.

On a Motion for a Judgment of Acquittal, the sole duty of the trial judge is to determine whether substantial evidence taken in the light most favorable to the Government tends to show the Defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. United States v. McCall, 148 U.S.App.D.C. 444, 460 F.2d 952 (1972), United States v. Andrews, 431 F.2d 952 (5th Cir. 1970).

It is also well settled that the Court must not permit the jury to rely on conjecture or speculation in arriving at their decision. In referring to the test which must be applied by the trial judge in considering whether the evidence has proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stated:

    "Should the judge determine that prudent jurors
  might have no such doubt, or might disagree as to
  its existence, the matter lies within the jury's
  province and the motion must be denied. But, very
  importantly,
    `Guilt, according to a basic principle in our
    jurisprudence, must be established beyond a
    reasonable doubt. And, unless that result is
    possible on the evidence, the judge must not
    let the jury act; he must not let it act on
    what would necessarily be only surmise and
    conjecture, without evidence.'"
  Bailey v. United States, 135 U.S.App. D.C. 95,
  416 F.2d 1110, 1113 (1969) quoting Cooper v.
  United States, 94 U.S.App.D.C. 343, 218 F.2d 39,
  42 (1954).

The relevant instruction given in the present case, No. 20, is as follows:

    "In order to find the defendant guilty on
  either count, you must find beyond a reasonable
  doubt for that count:

"1. . . .

"2. . . .

"3. . . .

"4. . . .

"5. . ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.