Deckard v. State

Decision Date25 June 1873
Citation38 Md. 186
PartiesJOHN C. DECKARD v. THE STATE OF MARYLAND.
CourtMaryland Court of Appeals

APPEAL from the Circuit Court for Frederick County.

The appellant was indicted for perjury in the Circuit Court for Washington County. The indictment which was transmitted to the Circuit Court for Frederick County for trial, was in the following form:

STATE OF MARYLAND, Washington County, to wit:

The jurors of the State of Maryland, for the body of Washington County, do on their oaths present, that heretofore, to wit on the 11th of July, 1872, the Honorable WILLIAM MOTTER Associate Judge of the Circuit Court for Washington County by the authority vested in him by the Constitution and laws of the said State, upon the petition and application of a certain J. Clarence Mobley, ordered that the State's writ of habeas corpus issue out of the said Circuit Court for Washington County, directed to Robert C. Bamford, the sheriff of the said county, commanding him, the said sheriff to produce the body of the said J. Clarence Mobley, held in confinement by him, together with the cause of the detention of him, the said J. Clarence Mobley, and that the said writ of habeas corpus be returned immediately at the basement of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Hagerstown before the Honorable WILLIAM MOTTER, Associate Judge as aforesaid.

And the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do further present, that the said writ of hubeas corpus did issue as ordered by the said Judge, directed to the said Robert C. Bamford, sheriff as aforesaid; and the said sheriff, according to the exigency of the said writ, did produce the body of the said J. Clarence Mobley, with the cause of his detention and confinement, before the said WILLIAM MOTTER, Associate Judge of the Circuit Court for Washington County as aforesaid, at the basement of the said Methodist Episcopal Church in Hagerstown, on the said 11th of July, 1872.

And the jurors aforesaid upon their oath aforesaid, do further present, that the said J. Clarence Mobley, produced as aforesaid, by the sheriff aforesaid, before the Honorable WILLIAM MOTTER, Associate Judge as aforesaid, did, on his own behalf and by his counsel, plead that he the said J. Clarence Mobley, did commit no offence, and that there was no sufficient legal cause for his detention and confinement by the said sheriff as aforesaid; and that the said Judge did then and there, to wit: on the said 11th of July, 1872, inquire into the legality, cause and propriety of the confinement and detention of the said J. Clarence Mobley as aforesaid.

And the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do further present, that while the said Judge was inquiring into the legality, cause and propriety of the confinement and detention of the said J. Clarence Mobley as aforesaid, one John C. Deckard, late of Washington County aforesaid, yeoman, did then and there, to wit: on the said 11th of July, 1872, at Washington County aforesaid, appear before the said Judge as a witness in support of the legality of the said confinement and detention of the said J. Clarence Mobley, and did then and there, before the said Honorable WILLIAM MOTTER, Associate Judge as aforesaid, in due form of law, solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm, that the evidence that he, the said John C. Deckard, should give in the matter depending before the Court, (the legality and propriety of the confinement and detention of the said J. Clarence Mobley as aforesaid, then and there depending before the said Judge and Court,) should be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; (he, the said Honorable WILLIAM MOTTER, Judge as aforesaid, then and there having sufficient and competent authority to administer the said affirmation to the said John C. Deckard in that behalf.) And the said John C. Deckard having affirmed as aforesaid then and there, to wit, on the said 11th day of July, 1872, at Washington County aforesaid, to prevent the said Judge of the said Court, from knowing the truth, and to continue the imprisonment and detention of the said J. Clarence Mobley, did, upon his affirmation, in answer to the questions propounded to him in the matter then and there depending before the said Judge of the said Court, (the said Judge of the said Court having then and there sufficient and competent authority to administer an affirmation to the said John C. Deckard, and to propound, and to permit to be propounded questions on that behalf to him) then and there wilfully, falsely, corruptly and knowingly, by his own act and consent, commit perjury upon his affirmation, in saying, deposing, affirming and declaring in answer to the questions propounded as aforesaid, (amongst other things) in substance to the effect following, that is to say, that the said J. Clarence Mobley, Daniel Ward, Jacob H. Zook, Joseph Bombarger, Oliver Ridenour, George Dusang, John Wright, John W. Adams and James Pickett, five or six weeks ago, (meaning five or six weeks before the time of making said affirmation,) on one night, about nine or ten o'clock, did enter together into the saloon of Daniel Ward, kept in the house of James Pickett, and having entered the said saloon as aforesaid, some one of the above named persons in the said saloon said, "Let us break down Deckard, let us swear against him;" and that the others of the above named persons agreed and assented to the same, and that they did then and there enter into a conspiracy against him, the said John C. Deckard; whereas, in truth and in fact, the said J. Clarence Mobley, Daniel Ward, Jacob H. Zook, Joseph Bombarger, Oliver Ridenour, George Dusang, John Wright, John W. Adams and James Pickett, did not enter together into the said saloon of Daniel Ward, kept in the house of the said James Pickett, at the time alleged by the said John C. Deckard in his said affirmation, or at any other time; and whereas, in fact and in truth the above named persons were not together in the said saloon, nor did any one of them say to the others, "Let us break Deckard down, let us swear against him;" nor did they or any of them then and there give any assent to the same, or agreed to do the same, or enter into a conspiracy against him, the said John C. Deckard.

And the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do further present, that it then and there became necessary and material that the said Judge of the said Court should know whether the said J. Clarence Mobley, Daniel Ward, Jacob H. Zook, Joseph Bombarger, Oliver Ridenour, George Dusang, John Wright, John W. Adams and James Pickett, did enter together the said saloon five or six weeks before the making of the said affirmation by the said John C. Deckard, and whether, having entered as aforesaid, they did then and there, in the said saloon, agree to break down Deckard and swear against him, and did then and there enter into a conspiracy against him.

And so the jurors aforesaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do say, that the said John C. Deckard, on the said 11th day of July, 1872, at Washington County aforesaid, before the said Judge of the said Court, (he, the said Judge, then and there having sufficient and competent authority as aforesaid,) upon his solemn affirmation aforesaid, by his own act and consent, and of his own most wicked and corrupt mind, in a matter depending before the said Judge of the Circuit Court for Washington County, did wilfully, corruptly, falsely and knowingly commit perjury, contrary to the form of the Act of Assembly, in such case made and provided, and against the peace, government and dignity of the State.

To the foregoing indictment, the traverser entered a general demurrer, which was overruled by the Court. He thereupon entered his plea of "Not Guilty," and trial being had, the jury rendered a verdict of guilty.

Exception.--On the trial of this cause, it was proved on behalf of the State, that a certain J. Clarence Mobley, was arrested in July, 1872, in Hagerstown, and taken before a justice of the peace for Washington County, who upon a hearing, committed him to the jail of said county; that on the same day the said Mobley caused to be issued out of the Circuit Court for Washington County, the writ of habeas corpus, directing the sheriff of said county to produce said Mobley, with the cause of his commitment, before Judge MOTTER, one of the Associate Judges of the Circuit Court for said county; that in obedience to said writ, the sheriff did produce said Mobley, before the said Judge, on the same day; that the Judge had a hearing before him relative to the detention of said Mobley, and examined witnesses; that the traverser, John C. Deckard, was a witness at said hearing, and deposed that four or five weeks before the time of the hearing then going on; he was taking a walk about nine o'clock at night in Hagerstown: that he saw some parties coming up the street in the direction of Ward's Saloon, and thinking something was wrong, he stopped nearly opposite the saloon, about twenty-five yards therefrom, and whilst there, he saw the said J. Clarence Mobley and Oliver Ridenour, Daniel Ward, Jacob H. Zook, Joseph Bombarger, George Dusang, John Wright, John W. Adams and James Pickett come up the street, and go into the said saloon; that he then crossed the street, and listened at the door of the saloon, when he heard some one of those inside say: "Let's break down Deckard--let's swear against him." After offering other testimony to sustain the indictment, the State closed. The traverser then offered to prove by one ____ Bryan, that some time previous to the time spoken of by the traverser, when he saw said parties go into said saloon, he, (Bryan,) before the arrest of Mobley had a conversation with John W. Adams, one of the parties whom the traverser deposed he saw go into...

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3 cases
  • Hourie v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • November 9, 1982
    ...of the common law to which the inhabitants of Maryland became entitled in 1776 by Art. 5 of our Declaration of Rights. Deckard v. State, 38 Md. 186, 201-202 (1873). As Judge Orth (specially assigned) pointed out for this Court in State v. Levitt, 48 Md.App. 1, 9, 426 A.2d 383 (1981), "In th......
  • State v. Levitt
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • March 3, 1981
    ...of Maryland became entitled by the declaration in Art. 5 of the Declaration of Rights, Constitution of Maryland. Deckard v. State, 38 Md. 186, 201-202 (1873). The Legislature has enacted a Perjury Act which explicitly recognizes common law perjury. Md.Code (1957, 1976 Repl.Vol.) Art. 27, §§......
  • Bright v. State
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • June 13, 1944
    ...Appeals; provided that the counsel for the accused shall make oath that such appeal is not taken for delay * * *.' In the case of Deckard v. State, 38 Md. 186, only matters raised below were an exception to the ruling upon the admissibility of evidence and a judgment overruling a general de......

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