Andrews v. Swartz

Decision Date04 February 1895
Docket NumberNo. 710,710
Citation39 L.Ed. 422,156 U.S. 272,15 S.Ct. 389
PartiesANDREWS v. SWARTZ, Sheriff
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

Geo. M. Shipman, for appellant.

Wm. A. Stryker, for respondent.

Mr. Justice HARLAN delivered the opinion of the court.

Andrews, the appellant, was convicted in the court of oyer and terminer for the county of Warren, N. J., of the crime of murder in the first degree, and sentenced to suffer the punishment of death.

He applied to the chancellor of the state for a writ of error, under a statute of New Jersey providing that 'writs of error in all criminal cases not punishable with death, shall be considered as writs of right, and issue of course; and in criminal cases punishable with death, writs of error shall be considered as writs of grace, and shall not issue but by the order of the chancellor for the time being, made upon motion or petition, notice whereof shall always be given to the attorney general or the prosecutor for the state.' Revision N. J. p. 283 (section 83, Cr. Proc.). This application was denied on the 6th of March, 1894.

On the 17th day of April, 1894, two days preceding that fixed for the execution of the sentence of death, the accused presented to the circuit court of the United States for the district of New Jersey a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, alleging that he was restrained of his liberty in violation of the constitution and laws of the United States.

The petition alleged that there was no sufficient cause for the restraint of his liberty, and that his detention in custody was illegal, for the following reasons:

'First. He is of African race, and black in color. That all persons of his race and color were excluded in the drawing of the grand jury which indicted him, and from the petit jury which were summoned to try him, and that the sheriff of Warren county, N. J., who, by the law of said state, has sole power to select said jurors, purposely excluded such citizens of African descent.

'Second. That, by reason of such exclusion, petitioner was denied the equal protection of the laws, and did not have the full and equal benefit thereof, in the pro-ceedings for the security of his life and liberty, as is enjoyed by white persons, and to which he is justly entitled.

'Third. That all persons of African race and of color were excluded from the grand jury by which the indictment against the defendant was found, and upon which he was tried, and consequently said indictment was illegal and void, and petitioner ought not to have been put to trial upon said indictment, and the trial court was without jurisdiction, and that said persons were qualified in all respects to act both as jurors and grand jurors, but were purposely excluded, and always have been, by the sheriff of Warren county.

'Your petitioner therefore prays that the court will grant to him the writ of habeas corpus, according to the statute in such case made and provided, and will inquire into the cause of said imprisonment, and vacate and set aside the said verdict of guilty, and stay the judgment of conviction, and that the petitioner may have a new trial, and that he may be dis- charged from the said imprisonment, and, further, will grant a writ of certiorari to the court of oyer and terminer of the county of Warren, commanding them to certify to this court true copies of the lists of grand and petit jurors for the term of December, 1893, and of the indictment and other proceedings in said cause of The State v. George Andrews, under and by virtue of which petitioner is held in custody.'

It was also alleged in the petition that when the accused was arraigned 'he called the attention of the court to the manner of selecting jurors, and to the fact that citizens of African descent were purposely excluded by the sheriff of Warren county from the grand jury which found the indictment, and from the petit jury summoned to try petitioner, and asked for an order of the court to take testimony to prove his allegations, and that, according to the law and practice of the court, petitioner's application should have been entertained, and decided upon the merits, and he should have been permitted to take testimony to show the unjust and illegal action of the said sheriff of Warren county, but that the court absolutely refused his motion, and refused to hear the proof which petitioner offered himself ready to make and produce, and compelled him to go to trial.'

There was annexed to the petition what purported to be a copy of the proceedings before the state court, as reported by a stenographer, and the petitioner averred that, by reason of the action of the court in permitting him 'to be tried by a...

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    ...847 (1937); Murphy v. Massachusetts, 177 U.S. 155, 158, 20 S.Ct. 639, 640, 44 L.Ed. 711, 713 (1900); Andrews v. Swartz, 156 U.S. 272, 275, 15 S.Ct. 389, 391, 39 L.Ed. 422, 423 (1895). Although the Constitution of this Commonwealth provides an absolute right of appeal, 6 the State neverthele......
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    • March 22, 2022
    ...(1895) (refusing to examine the constitutionality of a federal statute permitting a defendant to waive a jury trial); Andrews v. Swartz, 156 U.S. 272, 275 76 (1895) (refusing to allow a defendant to challenge on federal habeas corpus a state conviction on the ground that the state had unlaw......
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    ...on prisoners’ rights claims. Federman / WHO HAS THE BODY? 335 REFERENCES Allgeyer v. Louisiana, 165 U.S. 578 (1897). Andrews v. Swarts, 156 U.S. 272 Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Pub. No. 100-690, 102 Stat. 4181 (1988). Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 ......

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