Anderson v. State

CourtUnited States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
Writing for the CourtFURMAN, P.J. (after stating the facts as above).
Citation126 P. 840,8 Okla.Crim. 90,1912 OK CR 384
Decision Date14 September 1912

Syllabus by the Court.

(a) In re McNaught, 1 Okl. Cr. 528, 99 P. 241, approved and reaffirmed.

(b) The Criminal Court of Appeals never presumes error in the proceedings of a court of record. Two things must be shown by an appellant in a criminal case before a conviction will be reversed, viz., that error was committed during the trial and that this error, unless jurisdictional, deprived the appellant of some substantial right to his material injury.

(c) It is the duty of counsel for an appellant, upon appeal, to file a brief in this court, stating clearly the grounds upon which they rely for a reversal. This brief must also contain an argument showing wherein the proceedings of the lower court were erroneous and how appellant was injured thereby, and should also contain a citation of the authorities upon which counsel rely.

(d) In cases where the extreme penalty of the law is pronounced against the appellant, this court will thoroughly investigate the record and give to appellant the benefit of any material error, which may have been committed, which operated to his injury, whether the same was excepted to at the trial, or properly presented in the brief of his counsel.

(e) Where two or more defendants are jointly indicted and a severance is obtained, it is within the discretion of the trial court as to which defendant shall be tried first.

(f) The term "due process of law" is synonymous with "the law of the land"; and in criminal cases "the law of the land" necessarily means the law of the state where the offense is committed, and where the trial takes place.

(g) In criminal cases in a state court, "due process of law" means a trial in a court of competent jurisdiction before an impartial judge and jury, or judge without a jury upon an accusation, either by indictment or information, as the state may provide, charging the accused with the violation of some state law, of which accusation the accused must have notice in time to enable him to prepare for trial. This trial must proceed according to the established procedure or rules of practice in such state applicable to all such cases. In other words, the defendant must have his day in court. The admission of evidence for or against the accused must be according to the established rules in such state in all such cases, and the punishment inflicted must be authorized by law.

(h) The sixth amendment to the Constitution of the United States does not limit or control prosecutions in state courts; but it operates alone on prosecutions in United States courts.

(i) The provision in our Constitution, giving a defendant the right to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his behalf, has nothing to do with the competency of such witnesses when presented in court.

The fact that a prisoner may be under arrest and in jail, and was not warned that any statement made by him might be used against him, will not in any manner affect the admissibility of any voluntary statement made by him which would otherwise be competent.

Where a defendant is upon trial and offers the testimony of a codefendant jointly indicted with him for the same offense, it is not error for the trial court to refuse to compel such witness to answer any question, when the witness claims that such answer will incriminate him, and declines to answer upon this ground.

(a) The question of the sufficiency of the instructions and the action of the court in refusing to give special instructions requested must always be considered and determined by the facts of each case in which they arise.

(b) For testimony which sustains a verdict for capital punishment, see statement in this case.

Appeal from District Court, Wagoner County; R. P. De Graffenried, Judge.

Dan Anderson was convicted of murder and sentenced to death, and appeals. Affirmed.

Where a defendant offers the testimony of a codefendant jointly indicted with him, it is not error to refuse to compel the witness to answer any question which the witness claims will incriminate him, and which he declines to answer on that ground.

The following is a statement of the material testimony in this case:

Ruff Gossett testified in behalf of the state: That he resided in the town of Coweta, in Wagoner county, Okl. That at the time of the homicide he was sitting on the north side of the door of his house. The first thing that attracted his attention was when the deceased, John Vannoy, attempted to enter his house. At the same time he saw appellant with a pistol in his hand, trying to shoot at deceased. Appellant fired the first shot just as deceased was attempting to enter the house. Deceased said, "Don't shoot me about my wife." Appellant made no reply to this. Just after the first shot was fired, appellant passed the door of the house of witness, accompanied by his codefendant, Arbelle Vannoy. Witness then testified as follows: "Q. Will you please describe how he came into your door? A. Yes, sir; he came in grabbing hold of the left side of the door, and hollowing and jumping, and the shot was made as he entered the door, and he wheeled around the door facing toward the north side, toward where I was sitting, and I jumped up and told Anderson not to shoot in my house; and he passed on down the street and got about 20 yards, and Vannoy went out, following him. He was going to get his wife, to get her to go home with him, and Anderson shot at him again about 20 steps; and when he drawed his pistol down Vannoy fell, and he missed him, and went on about 40 yards and got to a ravine and made another shot, and Vannoy dropped down in the ditch, and he missed him again. Vannoy tried to get out of the ditch, and Anderson started to shoot again, and he ducked under a little bridge crossing the ravine, and as he ducked under there Anderson shot at him and hit him in the leg, and as he came out from under the bridge he shot at him twice and missed him." Witness knows the first shot fired by appellant hit the deceased just as the deceased entered the house of witness, as blood ran down on the floor. After appellant and Arbelle Vannoy passed the house of witness, deceased went out, saying that he wanted to get his wife to go home with him. Neither appellant nor Arbelle Vannoy made any answer to the request of deceased to have his wife go home with him, except that appellant shot at deceased a second time, when he was about 20 yards from the door. During the shooting Arbelle Vannoy was standing by the side of Anderson. Witness did not see any weapon in the hands of deceased at the time appellant was shooting at the deceased.

J. B. Fletcher testified: That he was a practicing physician residing in the town of Coweta. That just after the shooting he saw the deceased, and found him suffering from gunshot wounds. One bullet entered at the first floating rib and ranged across his body to the top of the hip bone on the right side. The other bullet went through the left leg of deceased. Deceased died from hemorrhage, caused from the gunshot wound through his body. Deceased was shot between 6 and 7 o'clock one afternoon, and died at 7 o'clock next morning.

Dave Scott testified: That he was a barber in Joe Henderson's shop in the town of Coweta. That he remembers the occasion of the shooting of John Vannoy. That deceased passed the barber shop with his wife, Arbelle Vannoy. That appellant, Dan Anderson, was in the barber shop having his hair cut. That appellant went out to a ball game and came back to the shop about 9 o'clock, and said that some one had got shot. Witness quit work about 10:15, and went to the place and found deceased shot and suffering from a wound. Witness stayed around there a good while, and then came back to the jail and found appellant in jail. Appellant then requested witness to go back and bring Arbelle Vannoy to jail to see him. Witness went and brought Arbelle Vannoy to jail, as requested by appellant. Arbelle Vannoy asked appellant how he was feeling. Appellant answered he was feeling very well. She then asked him if he needed any money. He replied: "No; I have the dollar you gave me. I don't need any more." She then said to him: "Don't worry; I will get a lawyer and get you out in the morning." She then said, "Do you need anything else?" He replied, "No, except a half pint of whisky," and she asked witness if he would go and get it for him.

Asburry Lee testified: That he resided in Coweta. That he got acquainted with deceased a few weeks before the shooting. Witness saw four shots and heard one. The first shot attracted his attention. On looking, the first thing he saw was the appellant shooting at the deceased. He saw Arbelle Vannoy with the appellant. He heard deceased say she was his wife. Witness described the shots he saw as follows: "A. All I saw was the shots he made. When he turned, he made a shot, and this old gentleman fell; and when he fell he got up again, and then he made another shot at him. He shot again and then he made on and crossed the bridge south somewhere, and then he made another shot. Q. Who ran across the bridge? A. This gentleman here. Q. Call his name? A. Dan Anderson. Q. What happened after that? A. After he went across the bridge there, this old gentleman went down to the bridge, and as he started to make to the south he jumped into the ditch. Q. Who? A. John Vannoy. And when he jumped into the ditch he made another fire, and as he shot that shot the old gentleman fell, and he went to shoot down upon him again, and that was the last shot. Q. After that last shot, what did the defendant, Dan Anderson, do? A. Started like he was going south, running, and came back to me, toward my house, and...

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