100 U.S. 13 (1879), Ex Parte Reed

Citation:100 U.S. 13, 25 L.Ed. 538
Case Date:November 10, 1879
Court:United States Supreme Court

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100 U.S. 13 (1879)

25 L.Ed. 538


United States Supreme Court.

November 10, 1879


MR. GEORGE S. BOUTWELL presented the following petition of Alvin R. Reed for a writ of habeas corpus:----

'To the Supreme Court of the United States:

'The petition of Alvin R. Reed, of Medford, in the county of Middlesex and State of Massachusetts, respectfully shows,----

'First, That on or about the twenty-sixth day of June, A.D. 1878, your petitioner was ordered to appear before a naval general court-martial convened by Rear-Admiral Ed. T. Nichols, on board the U.S. ship 'Essex,' then stationed in the waters of Rio Janeiro, South America, to answer to certain charges and specifications of malfeasance in the discharge of his official duties as clerk to George L. Davis, then a paymaster in the navy of the United States.

'Secondly, That in obedience to said order your petitioner appeared before said court-martial, and on the fifth day of July,

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A.D. 1878, pleaded not guilty to the several charges and specifications then made and read to him; and that thereupon, from day to day, the trial proceeded until the sixteenth day of July, A.D. 1878, when the said court-martial found him guilty of certain of the charges and specifications.

'Thirdly, That on the said sixteenth day of July, A.D. 1878, the court passed sentence upon your petitioner, made a record thereof in their proceedings, and transmitted the sentence to Rear-Admiral Nichols after the members of the court had affixed their signatures thereto.

'Fourthly, That on the nineteenth day of July, A.D. 1878, Rear-Admiral Nichols returned the said sentence to the president of the court-martial, with a communication in writing, in which the admiral says that the finding is in accordance with the evidence, but regrets to be compelled to differ with the court as to the adequacy of the sentence.

'Fifthly, That on the twentieth day of July, A.D. 1878, the court-martial proceeded to revise the sentence so returned, and adopted an order that the following sentence be placed on the record in substitution of the former sentence, which is hereby revoked:----

"That the said Alvin R. Reed, paymaster's clerk, U.S. Navy, be imprisoned in such place as the honorable Secretary of the Navy may designate for the term of two years; to lose all pay which may become due him during such confinement, excepting the sum of $10 per month, this loss amounting to $1,960; to be fined in the sum of $500, which fine must be paid before or at the end of the term of confinement. Should such fine not be paid at end of term of confinement, to be detained in confinement without pay until such fine be paid, and at the expiration of term of confinement to be dishonorably dismissed from the naval service of the United States.

"W. S. SCHLEY, Commander U.S. N., President of Court.

H. T. STANCLIFF, Past Assistant Paymaster and member.

'CHAS. H. BLACK, Lieutenant and member.

E. S. HOUSTON, Lieutenant and member.

ASA WALKER, Lieutenant and member.

W. P. DAY, Lieutenant and member.

ROBERT L. MEAD, Captain U.S. M. C., Judge Advocate.'

'Sixthly, That the second sentence, so imposed, was more severe upon your petitioner than the sentence passed upon him on

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the sixteenth day of July, A.D. 1878, and revoked by the court-martial as aforesaid.

'Seventhly, And your petitioner further represents, that in his capacity as paymaster's clerk, as aforesaid, he was not amenable to trial by court-martial, nor subject to the jurisdiction of said court.

'Eighthly, That under said second sentence your petitioner has been for a long time, and now is confined on the U.S. ship 'Wabash,' at the navy yard, Boston, Mass., and under the custody of Capt. S. L. Breese, commander of said ship.

'Ninthly, That on or about the twelfth day of April, A.D. 1879, your petitioner presented his petition to the Hon. John Lowell, Circuit Judge of the United States in the first circuit, praying for a writ of habeas corpus; that a hearing thereupon was had before the Hon. Thomas L. Nelson, Judge of the District Court, sitting in the said Circuit Court, and such proceedings were thereon had that on the twelfth day of June, A.D. 1879, the said Circuit Court, to which said writ was returnable, remanded your petitioner and discharged said writ.

'And your petitioner now is, and ever since the said twelfth day of June, A.D. 1879, has been, a prisoner confined on said ship, at the navy yard, at said Boston, in the custody of said S. L. Breese, under the said illegal sentence pronounced on him on the said twentieth day of July, A.D. 1878, and restrained of his liberty in violation of the Constitution of the United States and of the laws of the country.

'Wherefore your petitioner prays that a writ of habeas corpus issue directed to the said S. L. Breese, commander of the said ship 'Wabash,' commanding him to produce your petitioner before this honorable court, at the city of Washington, at such time as the court shall direct, and that he then and there show the cause of your petitioner's detention, to the end that your petitioner may be discharged from custody.

'And your petitioner also prays that a writ of certiorari may issue to John...

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