77 S.E. 731 (S.C. 1913), State v. Seigler

Citation:77 S.E. 731, 94 S.C. 117
Opinion Judge:GARY, C.J.
Party Name:STATE v. SEIGLER.
Attorney:Thurmond & Nicholson, of Edgefield, and J. B. Salley and John F. Williams, of Aiken, for appellant. R. L. Gunter, of Aiken, Geo. Bell Timmerman, of Lexington, and T. G. Croft, of Aiken, for the State.
Case Date:March 21, 1913
Court:Supreme Court of South Carolina
 
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Page 731

77 S.E. 731 (S.C. 1913)

94 S.C. 117

STATE

v.

SEIGLER.

Supreme Court of South Carolina

March 21, 1913

         Appeal from General Sessions Circuit Court of Aiken County; Hayne F. Rice, Judge.

         James Seigler was convicted of manslaughter, and he appeals. Affirmed.

         The exceptions were as follows:

         "(1) The presiding judge erred in standing aside juror J. M. Rosier, after he had been examined on his voir dire, for the reason that the said examination did not show that the said juror was not a fair, competent,

Page 732

and impartial juror, and it was therefore an abuse of discretion on the part of the presiding judge to stand him aside, and was prejudicial and harmful to the rights of the defendant.

         "(2) The presiding judge erred in admitting in evidence over defendant's objections, the ordinance purporting to be the code of laws of the city of Aiken, for the reason that the said ordinance or code of laws was null and void on its face, as the city council of the city of Aiken had no authority under its charter or under the Constitution of this state, or under the general municipal laws of South Carolina, to pass a single ordinance embodying all offenses made unlawful and prohibited by it, and covering all the subjects, rules, resolutions, and ordinances regulating the various departments of its city government, and, as the said ordinance appears on its face to be null and void, it was error and harmful to the defendant to admit the same in evidence.

         "(3) The presiding judge erred in charging the jury on the subject of what provocation would reduce a killing from murder to manslaughter as follows: 'Now, Mr. Foreman and gentlemen of the jury, what is a legal provocation? *** It must be of such nature, Mr. Foreman and gentlemen, that it will arouse in an ordinary man an intense degree of heat and passion in his mind against the party who commits the deed.' For the reason that the said charge instructed the jury that it would take a higher degree of heat and passion, to wit, 'an intense degree,' to reduce a killing from murder to manslaughter than required by the law, as it is respectfully submitted, the law only requires that the heat and passion shall only be of such a degree as to dethrone reason, and render the defendant incapable of cool and deliberate [94 S.C. 119]reflection, and therefore the defendant was prejudiced by the said charge.

         "(4) The presiding judge erred in charging the jury on the subject of manslaughter as follows: 'Now, Mr. Foreman and gentlemen of the jury, in manslaughter, as I have told you, done in sudden heat and passion, in order for the killing to be reduced from murder to manslaughter, in addition to what I have already charged, I charge you this: That a man must be without fault in bringing about the difficulty. A man cannot go and pick a row or fuss with another man and cause him to insult him in the manner in which I have described, then suddenly fly into a rage and passion and kill him, and claim that it was only manslaughter. He must be without fault in bringing about the killing.' The error being that the presiding judge confused the law of manslaughter with the law of self-defense, and it is respectfully submitted that under the law a man may even provoke a difficulty and kill his adversary, and still the killing may be manslaughter, and the...

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