Alleged Bookmakers Not Guilty: Brooklyn Magistrate Discharges Men Arrested at Gravesend Gives Reasons, Daily Racing Form, 1908-10-27


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ALLEGED BOOKMAKERS NOT GUILTY. Brooklyn Magistrate Discharges Men Arrested at Gravesend and Gives Good Reasons. New York. October 20. The race track men who were arrested during the Gravesend meeting in September for alleged violation of the nart-Aguew anti-betting law. charged technically with book-making, were tried and discharged by Judge Geis-mar in the Adams Street Police Court. Brooklyn, today. A number of formerly prominent layers, including Sol Lichtenstein. Orlando A. Jones. Thomas Shaw. Bichard Brown and James Beatty. were among those exonerated by the court. Hon. John B. Stanchfield. counsel for the defendants, made a motion to .dismiss the complaints because the facts alleged did not constitute book-making. He argued the matter orally after having submitted briefs in accordance with the wishes of the court at the last hearing. Assistant District Attorney Elder employed similar procedure. Judge Gelsmar upheld the plea of the defendants counsel after a two-weeks consideration of the briefs. The judge said: ... . , The depositions of the detectives who made tae arrests alleged as follows: "That on a specified day each defendant attended a, certain race track where horse races were in progress: that each defendant spoke to many persons, stating the terms or odds on which lie was willing to bet against certain horses and that in several instances a bet was actually made against a horse, the terms of the wager being stated in full." As a conclusion the district attorney said that this is laying or publishing odds on the races, which is bookmaking. He concedes that the text of the law Section o51 of the penal code! consists of very apt. precise and carefully chosen language, but to bolster his argument he now contends for the use of most inapt nnd Inappropriate language. He declares for a meaning of the word bookmaking so occult and unusual that it may bo spelled out only by strained and laborious Ingenuity. "The distinguishing features of bookmaking." proceeded the magistrate, "are the having of a place or stand, the public posting of odds, the exchange of money and the making of memoranda and records all In such a way as to conduct a public gambling business. , " After lengthy search for all data and authorities accessible on this subject and by no means confining myself to the. perhaps necessarily, meager briefs submitted to me. I am unable to find tho slightest warrant for the proposition that the defendants before me were engaged in bookmaking or even one of the Incidents of bookmaking. They did what is technically known as peripatetic betting, or betting ambulande. They walked about talking to people to obtain bets, they bet with each other, therefore acting both as layers and backers. An oral proposal of any bet on any terms is. not the same as a bookmakers public Tiostlng or advertising of odds." Magistrate Gelsmar concluded his statement by supporting Mr. Stanchfields contention that criminal statutes must he explicit "so that .all men subject to their penalties may know what acts it is theic duty to avoid."

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