Bussey v. State

Decision Date09 October 1883
Citation71 Ga. 100
CourtGeorgia Supreme Court

September Term, 1883.

Threats of prosecution alone do not amount to that violence which constitutes robbery, except where the threat is to prosecute for an unnatural crime; but if such threats or accusations are accompanied by force, and the property or money is given up in consequence of this force, the transaction is robbery.

Criminal Law. Robbery. Before Judge BOWER. Decatur Superior Court. November Adjourned Term, 1882.

Reported in the decision.

GURLEY & GURLEY, for plaintiff in error.

J. W WALTERS, solicitor general, for the state.

JACKSON Chief Justice.

The defendant was convicted of the offence of robbery and sentenced to two years imprisonment in the penitentiary. He moved for a new trial, on the ground that the verdict is contrary to law and the evidence; the court refused to grant the motion, and he excepted, making the single point that the evidence does not support the verdict, and therefore it is unlawful.

The facts are, when analyzed, that the defendant pretended that he was marshal of the town, had on a star designating the office, seized the prosecutor, to whom another was showing a trick at cards, and upon the exclamation of that other " there's the marshall," pushed him against the wall, threatened to take him to jail unless he paid him money, and thus extorted from him eight dollars, which he said he paid " to keep from going to jail, and he did not want to be bothered."

The question is, do these facts, in any view which the jury could take of them, amount to robbery? No exception is taken to the judge's charge; therefore he charged the exact law of the case.

This law is the same as the English or common law in substance " intimidation" being substituted for " fear," in our penal code. See page 315 of 12th Ga. R., the case of Long vs. The State, where this court holds that the Code makes no alteration in the common law.

In the same case, this court fully expounds the law of this case thus, on pages 318 and 319, in divisions marked 6 and 7, and which expositions is a close and correct summary of the common law: " Again, threats of a prosecution amount to that violence, by construction, which constitutes robbery only in one instance, and that is when the threat is to prosecute for an unnatural crime; and it will be robbery, whether the party is guilty or not. So abominable is the crime, and so destructive is even the accusation of it of all social right and privilege, that the law considers that the accusation is a coercion which men cannot resist. This seems to...

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