Evans v. United States, 504 U.S. 255, 2 (1992)

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256

EVANS v. UNITED STATES

Opinion of the Court

a public official, it does not necessarily indicate that a transaction must be initiated by the bribe's recipient. Pp. 259-266. (b) Evans' criticisms of the jury instruction—that it did not properly describe the quid pro quo requirement for conviction if the jury found that the payment was a campaign contribution, and that it did not require the jury to find duress—are rejected. The instruction satisfies the quid pro quo requirement of McCormick v. United States, 500 U. S. 257, because the offense is completed when the public official receives payment in return for his agreement to perform specific official acts; fulfillment of the quid pro quo is not an element of the offense. Nor is an affirmative step on the official's part an element of the offense on which an instruction need be given. Pp. 267-268. (c) The conclusion herein is buttressed by the facts that many courts have interpreted the statute in the same way, and that Congress, although aware of this prevailing view, has remained silent. Pp. 268-269. 910 F. 2d 790, affirmed.

Stevens, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which White, Blackmun, and Souter, JJ., joined, in Parts I and II of which O'Connor, J., joined, and in Part III of which Kennedy, J., joined. O'Connor, J., post, p. 272, and Kennedy, J., post, p. 272, filed opinions concurring in part and concurring in the judgment. Thomas, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and Scalia, J., joined, post, p. 278.

C. Michael Abbott, by appointment of the Court, 501 U. S. 1229, argued the cause and filed briefs for petitioner.

Deputy Solicitor General Bryson argued the cause for the United States. With him on the brief were Solicitor General Starr, Assistant Attorney General Mueller, Christopher J. Wright, and Richard A. Friedman.

Justice Stevens delivered the opinion of the Court.

We granted certiorari, 500 U. S. 951 (1991), to resolve a conflict in the Circuits over the question whether an affirmative act of inducement by a public official, such as a demand, is an element of the offense of extortion "under color of official right" prohibited by the Hobbs Act, 18 U. S. C. 1951. We agree with the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit that it is not, and therefore affirm the judgment of the court below.

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