Caesar v. State

CourtSupreme Court of Georgia
Writing for the CourtCOBB
Citation57 S.E. 66,127 Ga. 710
PartiesCAESAR v. STATE.
Decision Date18 February 1907

57 S.E. 66
127 Ga. 710

CAESAR
v.
STATE.

Supreme Court of Georgia.

Feb. 18, 1907.


1. Homicide — Writ of Error — Appellate Jurisdiction.

When a person on trial for murder is found guilty of that offense, but with a recommendation by the jury that he be imprisoned for life in the penitentiary, he is convicted of a capital felony, and a writ of error sued out to review a judgment overruling a motion for a new trial in such a case is properly returnable to the Supreme Court.

2. Criminal Law—Parties Entitled to Allege Error—Estoppel—Error Invited by Party Complaining.

In the trial of one charged with the offense of murder, the failure of the judge to charge upon the law of voluntary manslaughter will be no reason for reversing the judgment, when the counsel for the accused, in response to a statement by the judge, addressed to him, that he did not think it necessary to charge the law of voluntary manslaughter, replied to the judge in such a manner as to indicate that he concurred in this view. A party cannot complain of an error which his own conduct induced.

[Ed. Note.—For cases in point, see Cent. Dig. vol. 15, Criminal Law, §§ 3007-3010.]

3. Same — Trial — Instructions — Requests—Necessity.

Failure to give instructions upon the subject of impeachment of witnesses, in the absence of a pertinent and proper request is not cause for a new trial.

[Ed. Note.—For cases in point see Cent Dig. vol. 14, Criminal Law, §§ 1996, 2005.]

4. Same—Statement of Accused—Credibility.

It has been repeatedly held by this court that it would be better, in charging on the effect to be given the statement of the accused, to follow the statute and there leave the matter.

[Ed. Note.—For cases in point see Cent Dig. vol. 14, Criminal Law, §§ 1895-1901.]

[57 S.E. 67]

5. Writ op Error—Record—Review—Harmless Error—Exclusion of Evidence.

The charges complained of were not erroneous for any reasons assigned. The rulings on the admission of testimony do not present any error so prejudicial in its nature as to authorize a reversal of the judgment.

The evidence, though conflicting, fully supported the verdict, and the discretion of the judge in overruling the motion for a new trial will not be interfered with.

(Syllabus by the Court.)

Error from Superior Court, Twiggs County; J. H. Martin, Judge.

Gus Caesar was convicted of murder, and brings error. Affirmed.

Gus Caesar was arraigned upon an indictment charging him with the offense of murder, in that he killed Charles Rivers with a gun. The jury returned a verdict finding him guilty of the offense charged, with a recommendation that he be imprisoned in the penitentiary for life. He filed a motion for a new trial, upon the general grounds, which was amended by the addition of certain special grounds. The fourth special ground was in the following words: "Because the court erred in ruling out the testimony of Joe Phillips, as set out in the tenth and eleventh pages of the brief of evidence, as follows: 'I run to Charles, and called him two or three times, and turned to Gus and said: "Gus, you have killed that boy for nothing." Gus said: "Mens, as many as you believe that I shot this man intentionally, here is my gun —"' And, before completing what defendant had said, objection was made by state's counsel that it was a self-serving declaration, and because it was relating to a past event The court remarking, 'What did you do when the gun fired?' Answer: 'I run right to Charles and called him two or three times. He failed to answer, and I turned to Gus—it wasn't two minutes; I got up right away; deceased failed to answer——and spoke to Gus.' The ruled a case right direct. They say half a minute afterwards. I rule it out again.' 'When I asked him for the gun he replied: "Mens, here is my gun, you can take it" ' And, on objection made, the court said, 'Any of his sayings after that would not be admissible, ' and ruled it all out, and refused to allow witness to conclude what he had to say. This was error because it was admissible as a part of the res gestae, and should have been admitted. The witness would have testified: 'Mens, here is my gun. You can take it, and, if you believe I shot him intentionally, take my gun and shoot me now and here.' " Note by the Court: "it was not stated what the witness would swear, but the court would have ruled it out if it had been stated." The motion for a new trial was overruled, and the accused excepted.

R. V. Hardeman, for plaintiff in error.

E. D. Graham, Sol. Gen., and John C Hart Atty. Gen., for the State.

COBB, P. J. (after stating the facts). 1. The first question for determination is whether this case is within the jurisdiction of this court, or whether it should be transferred to the Court of Appeals. The constitutional amendment which made the changes in the jurisdiction of this court and created the Court of Appeals provides that "the Supreme Court shall have no original jurisdiction, but shall be a court alone for the trial and correction of errors in law and equity from the superior courts in all civil cases, whether legal or equitable, originating therein, or carried thereto from the court of ordinary, and in all cases of conviction of a capital felony, and for the determination of questions certified to it by the Court of Appeals." Acts 1906, p. 24. The jury having recommended that the accused be imprisoned for life, instead of being sentenced to death, the question arises whether, after such a verdict, it can be said that there has been a "conviction of a capital felony" within the meaning of the Constitution. If there has been, the case is within the jurisdiction of this court. If there has been no such conviction, the ease must be transferred to the Court of Appeals. Lexicographers define "capital" as "affecting the head or life; incurring or involving the forfeiture of life, punishable with death; as treason or murder are capital offenses or crimes; capital trials; capital punishment" Century Dictionary and Webster's International Dictionary. If the statute imposes death as a punishment, and provides for no other...

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31 practice notes
  • State v. Ameer, S-1-SC-36395
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • April 23, 2018
    ...of murder in the second degree is punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life, and is not a capital crime."); Caesar v. State , 127 Ga. 710, 57 S.E. 66, 67 (1907) ("If under any circumstances the penalty of death can be inflicted, the offense is capital.... If under no circumstanc......
  • Lee v. State, 6 Div. 942.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Appeals
    • March 2, 1943
    ...97 Mo. 504, 11 S.W. 217; State v. Johnston, 83 Wash. 1, 144 P. 944, 945; Kerley v. State, 89 Tex.Cr.R. 199, 230 S.W. 163; Caesar v. State, 127 Ga. 710, 57 S.E. 66. A capital offense exists where the penalty of death may be inflicted, regardless of whether it is inflicted. State v. Dabon, 16......
  • Ex parte Berry, 27464.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • March 21, 1939
    ...P. 820, 19 A.L.R. 805; State v. [88 P.2d 431] Dabon, 162 La. 1075, 111 So. 461; Ex parte Lamb, 89 Fla. 481, 104 So. 855; Caesar v. State, 127 Ga. 710, 57 S.E. 66; In re Baronne, 97 N.J.L. 249, 117 A. 163; State v. Barone, 98 N.J.L. 292, 118 A. 927; (See, also, State v. Barone, 96 N.J.L. 374......
  • Thomas v. State, 1570.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • May 18, 1920
    ...where there is no timely written request, is not cause for a new trial. Watts v. State, 120 Ga. 496, 48 S.E. 142; Caesar v. State, 127 Ga. 710, 57 S.E. 66 (3); Dean v. State, 139 Ga. 591, 77 S.E. 874. 5. Complaint is made in the sixth [103 S.E. 248.] ground that the court erred in failing t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
31 cases
  • State v. Ameer, S-1-SC-36395
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • April 23, 2018
    ...of murder in the second degree is punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life, and is not a capital crime."); Caesar v. State , 127 Ga. 710, 57 S.E. 66, 67 (1907) ("If under any circumstances the penalty of death can be inflicted, the offense is capital.... If under no circumstanc......
  • Lee v. State, 6 Div. 942.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Appeals
    • March 2, 1943
    ...97 Mo. 504, 11 S.W. 217; State v. Johnston, 83 Wash. 1, 144 P. 944, 945; Kerley v. State, 89 Tex.Cr.R. 199, 230 S.W. 163; Caesar v. State, 127 Ga. 710, 57 S.E. 66. A capital offense exists where the penalty of death may be inflicted, regardless of whether it is inflicted. State v. Dabon, 16......
  • Ex parte Berry, 27464.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • March 21, 1939
    ...P. 820, 19 A.L.R. 805; State v. [88 P.2d 431] Dabon, 162 La. 1075, 111 So. 461; Ex parte Lamb, 89 Fla. 481, 104 So. 855; Caesar v. State, 127 Ga. 710, 57 S.E. 66; In re Baronne, 97 N.J.L. 249, 117 A. 163; State v. Barone, 98 N.J.L. 292, 118 A. 927; (See, also, State v. Barone, 96 N.J.L. 374......
  • Thomas v. State, 1570.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • May 18, 1920
    ...where there is no timely written request, is not cause for a new trial. Watts v. State, 120 Ga. 496, 48 S.E. 142; Caesar v. State, 127 Ga. 710, 57 S.E. 66 (3); Dean v. State, 139 Ga. 591, 77 S.E. 874. 5. Complaint is made in the sixth [103 S.E. 248.] ground that the court erred in failing t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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