Commonwealth v. Crossmire

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtMcCOLLUM, J.
Citation27 A. 40,156 Pa.St. 304
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH v. CROSSMIRE.
Decision Date19 July 1893
27 A. 40
156 Pa.St. 304

COMMONWEALTH
v.
CROSSMIRE.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

July 19, 1893.


27 A. 41

Appeal from court of oyer and terminer, McKean county; T. A. Morrison, Judge.

Ralph Crossmire was convicted of murder, and appeals Affirmed.

Eugene Mullin and T. F. Mullin, for appellant.

J. W. Bouton, Dist. Atty., and P. R. Cotter, for the Commonwealth.

McCOLLUM, J. Ralph Crossmire, the appellant, was accused and convicted in the court of oyer and terminer of McKean county of having, on the night of the 19th of November last, murdered his mother, Lucetta Crossmire. That the conviction was fully justified by the evidence is not denied, but it is claimed that the learned judge of the court below erred in passing upon the qualifications of certain jurors who were challenged for cause, and in his rulings upon certain offers of evidence which were objected to by the appellant. It is also claimed that the charge was inadequate, because it did not define voluntary manslaughter, or refer in detail to the testimony of the defense.

The first and second specifications of error call in question the qualification of Jurors Paul and Brennan, who, upon the appellant's challenge for cause, were examined on their voir dire as to the opinions they had formed respecting the guilt or innocence of the accused. It appears from this examination that the jurors had impressions or opinions on the subject, based on what they had heard and read about the murder, but the opinions thus formed were not deliberate and fixed opinions, or such as would prevent a just decision of the case upon the evidence. It is true that some of the questions addressed to the jurors elicited answers which, if standing alone and unexplained, might disqualify them. But their competency was not determined by a single answer. It was ascertained, and properly so, from the examination as a whole. Clark v. Com., 123 Pa. St. 555, 16 Atl. Rep. 795. Opinions formed as above stated are not disqualifying if they do not deny to legal evidence its legitimate effect Intelligent men receive impressions as to the nature and character of any transaction from what they hear and read of it, and it is not unusual to speak of these as opinions. If the mere existence of such opinions constituted a bar to the performance of jury duty by the persons entertaining them, it would be well nigh impossible in the judicial investigation of a murder to draw from a panel composed of sober, intelligent, and judicious persons of the county the name of a person qualified to serve as a juror. Hence, if from the examination of the juror it appears that he has the ability and disposition to render a verdict on the evidence alone, the law adjudges him to be...

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28 practice notes
  • U.S. ex rel. Matthews v. Johnson, No. 73-1424
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • January 15, 1974
    ...(failure to charge); Commonwealth v. Sutton, 205 Pa. 605, 55 A. 781 (1903) (refusal to charge); Commonwealth v. Crossmire, 156 Pa. 304, 27 A. 40 (1893) (failure to charge); Brown v. Commonwealth, 76 Pa. 319 (1874) (failure to 4 Sparf ruled with respect to the then extant Section 1035, R.S.,......
  • United States v. Handy, No. 257.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Pennsylvania
    • June 9, 1955
    ...what they hear and read of it, and it is not unusual to speak of these as opinions." Com. v. Crossmire, 1893, 156 Pa. 304, at page 308, 27 A. 40, at page 41. "We have held repeatedly * * * that the test of the competency of a juror in a capital case is his ability to render a verd......
  • Com. v. Richardson
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • May 2, 1958
    ...and will make up his mind solely from the evidence which will be presented at the trial of the case. Com. v. Crossmire, 156 Pa. 304, 308, 27 A. 40; Com. v. Nye, 240 Pa. 359, 370, 87 A. 585; Com. v. Eagan, 190 Pa. 10, 42 A. 374; Com. v. DePalma, 268 Pa. 25, 110 A. We find no abuse of discret......
  • Com. v. Cain
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • January 28, 1977
    ...Commonwealth v. Buccieri, 153 Pa. 535, 553, 26 A. 228, 235 (1893) (no citation to authority). Commonwealth v. Crosmire, 156 Pa. 304, 27 A. 40 (1893); Clark v. Commonwealth, 123 Pa. 555, 16 A. 795 (1889) and Brown v. Commonwealth, 76 Pa. 319 (1874), have been cited for the proposition that a......
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28 cases
  • U.S. ex rel. Matthews v. Johnson, No. 73-1424
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • January 15, 1974
    ...(failure to charge); Commonwealth v. Sutton, 205 Pa. 605, 55 A. 781 (1903) (refusal to charge); Commonwealth v. Crossmire, 156 Pa. 304, 27 A. 40 (1893) (failure to charge); Brown v. Commonwealth, 76 Pa. 319 (1874) (failure to 4 Sparf ruled with respect to the then extant Section 1035, R.S.,......
  • United States v. Handy, No. 257.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Pennsylvania
    • June 9, 1955
    ...what they hear and read of it, and it is not unusual to speak of these as opinions." Com. v. Crossmire, 1893, 156 Pa. 304, at page 308, 27 A. 40, at page 41. "We have held repeatedly * * * that the test of the competency of a juror in a capital case is his ability to render a verd......
  • Com. v. Richardson
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • May 2, 1958
    ...and will make up his mind solely from the evidence which will be presented at the trial of the case. Com. v. Crossmire, 156 Pa. 304, 308, 27 A. 40; Com. v. Nye, 240 Pa. 359, 370, 87 A. 585; Com. v. Eagan, 190 Pa. 10, 42 A. 374; Com. v. DePalma, 268 Pa. 25, 110 A. We find no abuse of discret......
  • Com. v. Cain
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • January 28, 1977
    ...Commonwealth v. Buccieri, 153 Pa. 535, 553, 26 A. 228, 235 (1893) (no citation to authority). Commonwealth v. Crosmire, 156 Pa. 304, 27 A. 40 (1893); Clark v. Commonwealth, 123 Pa. 555, 16 A. 795 (1889) and Brown v. Commonwealth, 76 Pa. 319 (1874), have been cited for the proposition that a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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