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Criminal Law:
United States v. Sun-Diamond Growers of California

Docket Number: 98-131
Appealed From: U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
Subjects: Gifts to public officials; 18 U.S.C. 201 (1)(A)

Argued: March 2, 1999

Decided: April 27, 1999
Vote: 9-0

At Issue: Is illegal to give gifts or do favors for a public official if the gift or favor was not for a specific favor or action by that official?

Decision: The justices ruled that it is not a crime to provide public officials with gifts or free meals unless they are aimed at rewarding a specific action by the official.

The full text of the United States v. Sun-Diamond Growers of California decision is available at the FindLaw Internet Legal Resources Web site.

The full text of the 1998 decision from the D.C. Circuit court, United States v. Sun-Diamond Growers of California, also is available at FindLaw.

The provision dealing with conflicts of interest and bribes in the U.S. Code (18 U.S.C. 201) is available at the Web site of the U.S. House of Representatives' Office of the Law Revision Counsel.


Background from The Post
Key Stories: The Espy Investigation
Court Narrows Gifts Law in Espy Ruling (April 28, 1999)
Court Shows Reluctance on Strict Gifts Law (March 3, 1999)
High Court To Review Espy Probe Conviction (November 3, 1998)


Sources: The Washington Post, Supreme Court, The United States Law Week (a Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. publication)


© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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