CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT.
Warren, Black, Frankfurter, Douglas, Burton, Clark, Harlan, Brennan, Whittaker
MR. JUSTICE WHITTAKER delivered the opinion of the Court.
This case involves the legality of convictions of petitioner, an alien previously ordered deported, for (1) willful failure to depart from the United States, and (2) willful failure to make timely application in good faith for travel or other documents necessary to his departure, within six months from the date of the final order of deportation.
Section 20 (c) of the Immigration Act of 1917, 39 Stat. 890, as amended, 57 Stat. 553, 64 Stat. 1012, 8 U. S. C. (1946 ed., Supp. IV) § 156 (c), provided, in pertinent part, that "any alien against whom an order of deportation is outstanding . . . who shall willfully fail or refuse to depart from the United States within a period of six months from the date of such order of deportation, or from the date of the enactment of the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950, whichever is the later, or shall willfully fail or refuse to make timely application in good faith for travel or other documents necessary to his departure, . . . shall upon conviction be guilty of a felony, and shall be imprisoned not more than ten years . . . ." It is the above-quoted provisions of § 20 (c) that are involved here.
Petitioner, a native of Finland, went to Canada in 1910 and later acquired Canadian citizenship. He entered the United States in 1916 and, except for several foreign trips, has since resided here. A final order of deportation was entered against him on April 9, 1952, under the Act of October 16, 1918, 40 Stat. 1012, as amended, 41 Stat. 1008, 54 Stat. 673, 64 Stat. 1006, 1008, 8 U. S. C. (1946 ed., Supp. IV) § 137,*fn1 by reason of his membership in the
Communist Party of the United States from 1923 to 1930.*fn2
On November 10, 1953, petitioner was indicted, in two counts, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. The first count charged him with willful failure to depart from the United States within six months from the date of the deportation order. The second count charged him with willful failure to make timely application in good faith for travel or other documents necessary to his departure from the United States within six months from the date of the deportation order. Upon a trial before a jury he was convicted on both counts. He was sentenced to imprisonment for a term of five years on Count 1, and imposition of sentence on Count 2 was suspended until completion of service of the sentence on Count 1. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 240 F.2d 94. We granted certiorari. 353 U.S. 935.
Petitioner challenges the judgments of conviction on a number of grounds, but in the view we take of the case it is necessary to consider only the first ground, namely, that the evidence is insufficient to support the verdict on either count.
This is a criminal case. It is therefore necessary that the prosecution adduce evidence sufficient to support a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is no less true when the defendant is an alien. Harisiades v. Shaughnessy, 342 U.S. 580, 586. The crucial element of the crime charged in the first count is that petitioner "did willfully fail to depart from the United States" within six months from the deportation order of April 9, 1952. (Emphasis supplied.) A thorough review of the record discloses no evidence that any country was willing, in that period, to receive petitioner.*fn3 There can be no willful failure to depart until "the country willing to receive the alien is identified." United States v. Spector, 343 U.S. 169, 171. It therefore cannot be said that there was any evidence to support the jury's finding that petitioner ...