Allen v. State, 7034.

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
Citation88 S.E. 100,18 Ga.App. 1
Docket Number7034.
PartiesALLEN v. STATE.
Decision Date17 April 1916

88 S.E. 100

18 Ga.App. 1


No. 7034.

Court of Appeals of Georgia

April 17, 1916

Syllabus by the Court.

"Prisoner at the bar. An accused person, while on trial before the court, is so called." Black's Law Dictionary, 939. One accused of crime, who is actually on trial, is in legal effect a "prisoner at the bar," notwithstanding he has given bond for his appearance at the trial. He is a "prisoner" if held in custody either under bond or other process of law, or when physically held under arrest, and when actually on trial he is a "prisoner at the bar." The trial judge therefore did not err in referring to the accused, during the progress of the trial and in his charge to the jury, as the "prisoner" and the "prisoner at the bar," notwithstanding the accused was under bond. See, in this connection, 6 Words and Phrases, 5566, 5567.

(a) The description "prisoner at the bar" is altogether as applicable to one on trial for a misdemeanor as for a felony, and the statute providing for the examination of jurors on voir dire in trials for felonies expressly prescribes this form of reference to the accused, regardless of whether the accused be under bond or not. Pen. Code 1910, § 1001.

There is no substantial merit in the second, third, fourth, and fifth grounds of the amendment to the motion for a new trial, complaining of certain excerpts from the charge of the court either as containing intimations of opinion as to what had or had not been proved in the case, or as being argumentative, or as unduly stressing the contentions of the state, or as incorrectly stating the contentions of the state or the defendant. The various charges complained of, when taken all together, were not in violation of section 1058 of the Penal Code of 1910 (Civ. Code 1910, § 4867), and were not harmful to the defendant, but fairly presented the issues involved. The contentions of both the state and the accused were stated with fullness, but with apparent fairness, and those of the state were not unduly stressed. Brown v. State, 6 Ga.App. 356, 64 S.E. 1119.

There was no error in the instruction given the jury as to the weight they might attach to the statement of the defendant, nor was the reference thereto argumentative, nor did the excerpt complained of tend to minimize, disparage, or belittle the statement of the accused to the jury; it placed thereon the value attached to it by the statute itself. Pen. Code 1910, § 1036.

There was no harmful...

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