18 S.W. 994 (Mo. 1892), State v. Kingsley

Citation:18 S.W. 994, 108 Mo. 135
Opinion Judge:Thomas, J.
Party Name:The State v. Kingsley, Appellant
Attorney:Adams & Rowland and E. W. Bannister for appellant. John M. Wood, Attorney General, Bernard Dierkes, Prosecuting Attorney, and Thomas B. Harvey for the State.
Case Date:February 02, 1892
Court:Supreme Court of Missouri

Page 994

18 S.W. 994 (Mo. 1892)

108 Mo. 135

The State


Kingsley, Appellant

Supreme Court of Missouri, Second Division

February 2, 1892

Appeal from St. Louis Court of Criminal Correction. Hon. Jas. R. Claiborne, Judge.


Adams & Rowland and E. W. Bannister for appellant.

The act of the legislature under which defendant was prosecuted is unconstitutional and void. First. Because it is in conflict with section 22 of article 2, constitution of Missouri, and denies defendant a trial by jury as contemplated by said section. Potter's Dwarris, pp. 437, 469; Wynehamer v. People, 13 N.Y. 378; 2 Story on Const. [4 Ed.] sec. 1943. The legislature has no power to pass any act by which the defendant could be deprived of her liberty without a trial, according to the course of the common law, of every element of the offense charged. At common law intent was an essential element of crime. 3 Greenl. Ev., sec. 13. The legislature could not declare what is conclusive evidence of a fact, and thus dispense with the submission of such question to the jury. Wantlan v. White, 19 Ind. 470; Railroad v. Payne, 33 Ark. 816. In criminal cases, the legislature cannot even prescribe what shall be prima facie evidence of a crime or misdemeanor; the utmost it can do is to prescribe rules for the admission of evidence, leaving the jury to determine its value and weight. Cooley's Con. Lim., p. 207. Second. The act is unconstitutional, because it denies the defendant equal protection of the law. Section 3564 provides a penalty for obtaining money, goods or other valuable thing by false pretenses. By this section the intent with which the act is committed is distinctly made an element of the offense to be submitted to the jury. The act under which defendant was prosecuted attempts to dispense with the question of intent. The act entitled an act to protect "hotel and innkeepers" also discriminates against persons obtaining board and lodging at a hotel or boarding house under certain circumstances, and makes the rules of evidence of the offense of obtaining such board or lodging by false pretenses much less stringent than in any other cases. Third. The subject of the act is not clearly expressed in its title inasmuch as the title of the act is "An act to protect hotel and innkeepers," whereas the purpose of the act as declared therein is to protect hotel and boarding-house keepers. A boarding house is distinctly different from a hotel or inn. Fourth. The evidence was wholly insufficient to support a conviction.

John M. Wood, Attorney General, Bernard Dierkes, Prosecuting Attorney, and Thomas B. Harvey for the State.

(1) The evidence was entirely sufficient to justify the verdict. The testimony introduced by the state under the rulings of the court made out a very clear...

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