Can convict recover the money from bribery?

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Can convict recover the money from bribery?

Postby bbwinston » Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:03 pm

James L. Strickland paid an unsolicited $2,500 bride to Judge Sylvania W. Woods so that the judge would be lenient on a friend of Strickland's who had a case pending before Judge Woods. Paying a bribe to a government official is a crime. Judge Woods reported the incident and turned the money over to the state's attorney general. The state of Maryland indicated Strickland for bribery and sentenced him to four years in prison. Strickland filed a motion to recover the $2,500.00 from the state. Can Strickland recover the money?

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Re: Can convict recover the money from bribery?

Postby sundance95 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:06 pm

Not sure if this is a Ks Q or a crim Q. My Ks prof said that courts will refuse to let unjust enrichment or restitution claims lie in cases where the agreement that the claim arose from was illegal.

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Re: Can convict recover the money from bribery?

Postby buckilaw » Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:20 pm

Under K law the convict can't recover because you can't make a K that is illegal and even quasi-K remedies like unjust enrichment are barred when the act in question is illegal.

I don't know anything about criminal law but I would guess that the convict couldn't get the money back and the judge would need to hand it over to the state.

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Re: Can convict recover the money from bribery?

Postby Renzo » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:35 pm

I see two reasons he potentially can't.

1) chances are there's a state law asset seizure law that may apply

2) as said above, generally no unjust enrichment lies in an illegal contract.

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