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Case Basics
Docket No. 
David Whitfield
United States
Haywood Eudon Hall, aka Don Hall v. United States, No. 03-1294
(argued the cause for Respondent)
(argued the cause for Petitioners)
Facts of the Case 

Federal district courts convicted David Whitfield and Haywood Hall of conspiracy to commit money laundering. They appealed and argued the federal money laundering law required the jury to have found proof of an "overt act" furthering the conspiracy. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected this argument, reasoning that the law lacked any language requiring proof of an overt act. Other federal appeals courts had ruled the law did require an overt act.


Did a conviction for conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1956(h), require proof of an overt act furthering the conspiracy?

Decision: 9 votes for U.S., 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: 18 U.S.C. 1956

No. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor delivered the Court's unanimous ruling that because the federal money laundering law's text did not expressly make committing an overt act an element of the conspiracy offense, the government did not need to prove such an act.

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WHITFIELD v. U.S.. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 August 2015. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2004/2004_03_1293>.
WHITFIELD v. U.S., The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2004/2004_03_1293 (last visited August 25, 2015).
"WHITFIELD v. U.S.," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 25, 2015, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2004/2004_03_1293.