8 A.2d 533 (Conn. 1939), State v. Cantwell
|Citation:||8 A.2d 533, 126 Conn. 1|
|Opinion Judge:||HINMAN, Judge.|
|Party Name:||STATE v. CANTWELL et al.|
|Attorney:||Olin R. Moyle, of Brooklyn, N. Y., and Otto H. LaMacchia and Margaret E. Connors, both of Bridgeport, for appellants. Edwin S. Pickett, Pros. Atty., and Luke H. Stapleton, both of New Haven, for appellee.|
|Judge Panel:||MALTBIE, C.J., and BROWN, J., dissenting in part. Argued Before MALTBIE, C.J., and HINMAN, AVERY, BROWN, and JENNINGS, JJ. MALTBIE, C.J., and BROWN, J.|
|Case Date:||June 26, 1939|
|Court:||Supreme Court of Connecticut|
Rehearing Denied Oct. 13, 1939.
Appeal from Court of Common Pleas, New Haven County; Walter M. Pickett, Judge.
Information charging Russell Cantwell and others with the crime of soliciting money for an alleged charitable cause without said cause having been approved by the secretary of the public welfare council in the third count and of breach of the peace in the fifth count, brought to the Court of Common Pleas for New Haven County, where demurrers to said counts were overruled and the issues were tried to the court, judgment of guilty and appeal by the defendants.
Error in part and new trial ordered.
[126 Conn. 2]
The defendants were tried and convicted upon the third and fifth counts of an information, the third charging them with violation of § 6294 of the General Statutes as amended by § 860d of the 1937 Supplement, quoted in the footnote1, and the [126 Conn. 3] fifth that they ‘ did disturb the public tranquility by certain acts or conduct inciting to violence or tending to provoke or excite others * * * to break the peace.’ Assignments of error pertaining to correction of the finding having been abandoned, this appeal is to be determined upon the facts as found, without the resort to the evidence which is invited in brief and argument.
The defendants, a father (Newton) and his two minor sons, aged sixteen and eighteen years, are members of a religious organization known as Jehovah's Witnesses and possessed credentials attesting that they are ordained ministers to preach the gospel. Each was equipped with a bag containing books and pamphlets in several different languages, a portable phonograph, and a set of records each of which when played introduced and was a sales talk for one of the books. Their mode of operation was to go singly from house to house and ask permission to play one of the records. ‘ They would then ask the prospects to buy the book and if not they would accept any contribution they could make. If the prospect was in a position to do this a pamphlet was left on the condition it would be read.’ On April 26, 1938, they were working in this manner on Cassius Street, in New Haven, which is a thickly-settled neighborhood where about 90 per cent. of the residents are Roman Catholics. A phonograph record giving a sales talk on one of the books, entitled ‘ Enemies,’ was played in court and was an attack on the Catholic religion. None of the persons solicited were members of Jehovah's Witnesses; the defendants had not secured the permit provided by [126 Conn. 4] § 6294 of the General Statutes and the trial court concluded that they were guilty of violating it. They claim that none of their activities come within the scope of...
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