144 U.S. 263 (1892), 1235, Logan v. United States

Docket Nº:No. 1235
Citation:144 U.S. 263, 12 S.Ct. 617, 36 L.Ed. 429
Party Name:Logan v. United States
Case Date:April 04, 1892
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 263

144 U.S. 263 (1892)

12 S.Ct. 617, 36 L.Ed. 429

Logan

v.

United States

No. 1235

United States Supreme Court

April 4, 1892

Argued January 26, 27, 1892

ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS

Syllabus

A citizen of the United States, in the custody of a United States Marshall under a lawful commitment to answer for an offense against the United States, has the right to be protected by the United States against lawless violence; this right is a right secured to him by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and a conspiracy to injure or oppress him in its free exercise or enjoyment is punishable under section 5508 of the Revised Statutes.

The consolidation, under section 1024 of the Revised Statutes, of several indictments against different persons for one conspiracy, if not excepted to at the time, cannot be objected to after verdict.

An act of Congress requiring courts to be held at three places in a judicial district and prosecutions for offenses committed in certain counties to be tried, and writs and recognizances to be returned, at each place does not affect the power of the grand jury, sitting at either place, to present indictments for offenses committed anywhere within the district.

A jury in a capital case who, after considering their verdict for forty hours, have announced in open court that they are unable to agree may be discharged by the court of its own motion and at its discretion, and the defendant be put on trial by another jury.

Page 264

A juror summoned in a capital case who states on voir dire that he has conscientious scruples in regard to the infliction of the death penalty for crime may be challenged by the Government for cause.

The provision of section 858 of the Revised Statutes that

the laws of the State in which the court is held shall be the rules of decision as to the competency of witnesses in the courts of the United States in trials at common law, and in equity and admiralty,

has no application to criminal trials.

Unless by express statute, the competency of a witness to testify in one State is not affected by his conviction and sentence for felony in another State.

A pardon of a convict, although granted after he has served out his sentence, restores his competency to testify to any facts within his knowledge.

Under section 1033 of the Revised Statutes, any person indicted of a capital offense has the right to have delivered to him, at least two days before the trial, a list of the witnesses to be produced on the trial for proving the indictment, and if he seasonably claims this right, it is error to put him on trial, and to allow witnesses to testify against him, without having previously delivered to him such a list; and it seems that the error is not cured by his acquittal of the capital offense and conviction of a lesser offense charged in the same indictment.

Upon an indictment for conspiracy, acts or declarations of one conspirator, made after the conspiracy has ended or not in furtherance of the conspiracy, are not admissible in evidence against the other conspirators.

Four indictments, numbered in the record 33, 34, 35, and 36, on sections 5508 and 5509 of the Revised Statutes, (copied in the margin *) were returned by the grand jury at January Term,

Page 265

1890, of the District Court for the Northern District of Texas, sitting at Dallas, in that District, against Eugene Logan, William Williams, Verna Wilkerson, and Clinton Rutherford, for conspiracy to injure and oppress citizens of the United States in the free exercise of a right secured to them by the constitution and laws of the United States, and for murder committed in the prosecution of the conspiracy, and were forthwith transmitted to the Circuit Court.

Indictment 34 averred, in the first count, that, on January 19, 1889, at Graham, in the County of Young, and that district, Charles Marlow, Epp Marlow, Alfred Marlow, George W. Marlow, William D. Burkhardt, and Louis Clift were citizens of the United States, and in the power, custody, and control of Edward W. Johnson, a deputy United States Marshal for that District, by virtue of writs of commitment from a commissioner of the Circuit Court of the United States for the District, in default of bail, to answer to indictments for an offense against the laws of the United States, to-wit, larceny in the Indian country, within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States; and that, while said Johnson held them in his power, custody, and control, in pursuance of said writs, the defendants,

together with divers other evil-disposed persons, whose names to the grand jurors aforesaid are unknown, did then and there combine, conspire, and confederate by and between themselves, with force and arms, to injure and oppress them, the said Charles Marlow, Epp Marlow, Alfred Marlow, George W. Marlow, William D. Burkhardt, and Louis Clift, then and there citizens of the United States of America, in the free exercise and enjoyment of a right, and because they were then and there exercising and enjoying said right, then and there secured to them . . . by the Constitution and laws of the United States, to-wit, the right to then and there be protected by said Deputy United States Marshal from the assault of

the defendants and other evil-disposed persons,

and the right then and

Page 266

there to be held in the power, custody, and control of said Deputy United States Marshal under and by virtue of said writs heretofore set forth, and the further right, while in said custody, to be secure in their persons from bodily harm and injury and assaults and cruelties until they . . . had been discharged by due process of the laws of the United States;

and that the defendants, in pursuance of such combination and conspiracy, and in the prosecution thereof, on January 19, 1889, and in the night-time, went upon the highway in disguise, and waylaid and assaulted the said prisoners, while in the power, custody, and control of said Deputy United States Marshal, with loaded shotguns, revolvers, and Winchester rifles, and, in pursuance and prosecution of the conspiracy, feloniously, willfully, and of their malice aforethought, and from a deliberate and premeditated design to effect his death, did with those weapons kill and murder Epp Marlow, then and there in the peace of the United States being (charging the murder in due technical form) "contrary to the form of the statute in such case made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the United States of America."

The other counts in this indictment were substantially similar, except that some of them alleged the prisoners to have been in the custody of Thomas Collier, Sheriff and Jailer of Young county, under the writs of commitment from the United States Commissioner; or alleged Alfred Marlow to have been the person murdered; or charged one of the defendants as principal and the others as accessories in the murder.

Indictments 33 and 36 were substantially like 34. Indictment 35 added John Levell and Phlete A. Martin as defendants, and (besides counts like those in the other indictments, omitting, however, the charge of murder) contained counts alleging a conspiracy to obstruct the Deputy Marshal and the Jailer in the execution of the writs of commitment, and, in pursuance thereof, an attempt to take the prisoners from the jail on January 17th, and a murder of some of them on the highway on January 19, 1889.

Five other indictments had been returned by the grand jury in February and March, 1889, and transmitted to the Circuit

Page 267

Court, against Logan, Martin, and other persons (some of whom were not the same as in the other four indictments) containing charges, in various forms, like those in the added counts in indictment 35.

At October Term, 1890, held at Graham, the following proceedings took place:

On October 21, 1890, the District Attorney moved that the nine indictments be consolidated and be tried together, because they charged cognate and kindred crimes, and presented parts and phases [12 S.Ct. 619] of the same transaction. The defendants opposed the motion because the indictments set forth offenses of different grades, and were framed under different sections of the statutes, with different penalties and procedures. The motion was granted, and the indictments were all consolidated with No. 34, under the title "No. 34 consolidated;" and the defendants excepted.

On October 22, 1890, the defendants,

excepting to the several indictments presented against them, and by order of this court consolidated, and now being prosecuted under case No. 34 on the docket of said court, charging said defendants with a conspiracy to injure and oppress Charles Marlow and others in the free exercise and enjoyment of rights secured to them by the Constitution and laws of the United States, move the court to quash said indictments and dismiss this prosecution, for the following reasons:

1st. The said indictments are found and presented by a grand jury at the January Term of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, holding session at Dallas, and the allegations of said indictments show that the offenses therein charged were committed, if at all, in the subdivision of said District, offenses committed in which are cognizable alone at the term of the District and Circuit Court to be held at Graham in said Young County; therefore this court is without jurisdiction.

2d. Said indictments charge these defendants with a conspiracy to injure and oppress Charles Marlow and others named in said indictments in the free exercise and enjoyment of their right secured to them by the Constitution and laws of the

Pa...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP