1 minute read

Martin T. Manton Trial: 1939

"conspiracy Constitutes The Offense"

Considering Manton's claim that the indictment wrongly set forth a number of distinct conspiracies in a single count, the special court found:

that the conspiracy constitutes the offense irrespective of the number or variety of objects which the conspiracy seeks to attain, or whether any of the ultimate objects be attained or not.

Manton's contention, it said, "confuses the conspiracy, which was one, with its aims, which were many." The offense was the single continuing agreement among Manton and his cronies to sell judicial action to all willing to pay the price.

Altogether, the court's review found, Fallon had procured some $186,146 for Manton in 28 "distinct overt acts in pursuance of the conspiracy." In conclusion, the court noted that a mass of canceled checks, promissory notes, and other accounts was "so plainly at variance with the claim of Manton's innocence as to make the verdict of the jury unassailable."

Manton requested review by the U.S. Supreme Court. It denied his petition, and he went to federal prison at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, on March 7, 1940. While eligible for parole after eight months, he served 19 months before he was released on October 13, 1941. He died in 1946.

Bernard Ryan, Jr.

Suggestions for Further Reading

"Ex-Judge Manton of U.S. Bench Here." (obituary) The New York Times (November 18, 1946): 23

"Manton Conviction in Sale of Justice Upheld on Appeal." The New York Times (December 5, 1939): 1.

The New York Times. See Courts, U.S. Federal Inferior, New York Times Index, January-December 1939.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940Martin T. Manton Trial: 1939 - "without Regard To The Merits", "conspiracy Constitutes The Offense"