Ex parte Snow. 1

Citation30 L.Ed. 658,7 S.Ct. 556,120 U.S. 274
PartiesEx parte SNOW. 1
Decision Date07 February 1887
CourtUnited States Supreme Court

F. S. Richards and Geo. Ticknor Curtis, for appellant.

Asst. Atty. Gen. Maury, for respondent.

BLATCHFORD, J.

Section 3 of the act of congress approved March 22, 1882, c. 47, (22 St. 31,) provides as follows:

'Sec. 3. That if any male person, in a territory or other place over which the United States have exclusive jurisdiction, hereafter cohabits with more than one woman, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.'

The grand jury of the United States for November term, 1885, in the district court of the First judicial district in and for the territory of Utah, on the fifth of December, 1885, presented and filed in that court, in open court, three several indictments, in the name of the United States, against Lorenzo Snow, each of them found December 2, 1885, designated as No. 741, No. 742, and No. 743. Each of them was founded on the foregoing statute, and they were alike in all respects, except that each covered a different period of time. No. 741 alleged that Snow, on the first of January, 1883, 'at the county of Box Elder, in the said district, territory aforesaid, and within the jurisdiction of this court, and on divers other days and times thereafter, and continuously between said first day of January, A. D. 1883, and the thirty-first day of December, A. D. 1883, did then and there unlawfully live and cohabit with more than one woman, to-wit, with Adeline Snow, Sarah Snow, Harriet Snow, Eleanor Snow, Mary H. Snow, Phoebe W. Snow, and Minnie Jensen Snow; and during all the period aforesaid, at the county aforesaid, he, the said Lorenzo Snow, did unlawfully claim, live, and cohabit with all of said women as his wives.' No. 742 alleged that Snow, on the first of January, 1885, 'and on divers other days and times thereafter, and continuously between said first day of January, A. D. 1885, and the first day of December, A. D. 1885, did then and there unlawfully live and cohabit with more than one woman, to-wit, with' the seven persons above named, 'and during all the period aforesaid' 'did unlawfully claim, live, and cohabit with all of said women as his wives.' No. 743 alleged that Snow, on the first of January, 1884, 'and on divers other days and times thereafter, and continuously between said first day of January, A. D. 1884, and the thirty-first day of December, A. D. 1884, did then and there unlawfully live and cohabit with more than on woman, to-wit, with' the seven persons above named, 'and during all the period aforesaid' 'did un- lawfully claim, live, and cohabit with all of said women as his wives.'

At the time of filing each indictment it was properly indorsed 'a true bill, etc., and with the names of the witnesses.' The same 16 witnesses were examined before the grand jury, 'on one oath and one examination, as to the alleged offense during the entire time mentioned in all of said three indictments, and' they were found 'upon the testimony of witnesses given on an examination covering the whole time specified in said three indictments.' On the eleventh of December, 1885, the defendant was arraigned on each of the three indictments, and interposed a demurrer to each, which being overruled, he pleaded not guilty to each. Indictment No. 742 was first tried, covering the period from and including January 1, 1885, to December 1, 1885. On the thirty-first of December, 1885, a verdict of guilty was rendered, and the court fixed the sixteenth of January, 1886, as the time for passing sentence.

Indictment No. 743 was next tried, covering the period from and including January 1, 1884, to December 31, 1884. The defendant orally put in an additional plea in bar, setting up his prior conviction on indictment No. 742, and that the offense charged in all of the indictments was one continuous offense, and the same offense, and not divisible. On an oral demurrer to this plea, the demurrer was sustained. On the trial by the jury, a verdict of guilty was rendered on the fifth of January, 1886, and the court fixed the sixteenth of January, 1886, as the time for passing sentence. Indictment No. 741 was next tried, covering the period from and including January 1, 1883, to December 31, 1883. The defendant orally put in an additional plea in bar, setting up his prior convictions on indictments Nos. 742 and 743, and that the offense charged in all of the indictments was one continuous offense, and the same offense, and not divisible. On an oral demurrer to this plea, the demurrer was sustained. On the trial by the jury, a verdict of guilty was rendered on the fifth of January, 1886, and the court fixed the sixteenth of January, 1886, as the time for passing sentence.

The record of the court states that on the last-named day the following proceedings took place, in open court:

'[Title of Court and Cause.]

'The defendant, and his counsel, F. S. Richards and C. C. Richards, Esq'rs, (of counsel,) came into court. The defendant was duly informed of the nature of the indictments found against him on the fifth day of December, 1885, by the grand jury of this court, for the crime of unlawful cohabitation, committed as stated in said indictments, and during the time, as follows, viz.: Indictment No. 741, between the first day of January, A. D. 1883, and the thirty-first day of December, A. D. 1883; indictment No. 742, between the first day of January, A. D. 1885, and the first day of December, A. D. 1885; indictment No. 743, between the first day of January, A. D. 1884, and the thirty-first day of December, A. D. 1884; of his arraignment and plea of not guilty as charged in said three indictments, on the sixteenth day of December, A. D. 1885; of his trial and the verdicts of the juries; indictment No. 742, 'Guilty as charged in the indictment,' on December 31, 1885; indictment No. 743, 'Guilty as charged in the indictment,' on January 5, 1886; indictment No. 741, 'Guilty as charged in the indictment,' on January 5, 1886. The said defendant was then asked if he had any legal cause to show why judgment should not be pronounced against him, to which he replied that he had none; and no sufficient cause being shown or appearing to the court, thereupon the court renders its judgment that, whereas said Lorenzo Snow having been duly convicted in this court of the crime of unlawful cohabitation, it is ordered, adjudged, and decreed that said Lorenzo Snow be imprisoned in the penitentiary of the territory o Utah for a period of six months, and that he do forfeit and pay to the United States a fine of three hundred dollars, and the costs of this prosecution, and that he do stand committed into the custody of the U. S. marshal for said territory until such fine and costs be paid in full. (As to indictment No. 741.)

And it is further ordered, adjudged, and decreed that, at the expiration of the sentence and judgment rendered on said indictment No. 741, said Lorenzo Snow be imprisoned in the penitentiary of Utah territory for a period of six months, and that he do forfeit and pay to the United States the sum of three hundred dollars, and the costs of this prosecution, and that he do stand committed into the custody of the U. S. marshal for said territory until such fine and costs be paid in full. (As to indictment No. 742.) And it is further ordered, adjudged, and decreed that, at the expiration of the sentence and judgment as last above rendered on said indictment No. 742, said Lorenzo Snow be imprisoned in the penitentiary of Utah territory for a period of six months, and that he do forfeit and pay to the United States the sum of three hundred dollars, and the costs of this prosecution, and that he do stand committed into the custody of the U. S. marshal for said territory until such fine and costs be paid in full. (As to indictment No. 743.) The said defendant, Lorenzo Snow, is remanded into the custody of the United States marshal for Utah territory, to be by him delivered into the custody of the warden or other proper officer in charge of said penitentiary; and said warden or other proper officer of said penitentiary is hereby commanded to receive of and from the said United States marshal, him, the said Lorenzo Snow, convicted and sentenced as aforesaid, and him, the said Lorenzo Snow, keep and imprison in said penitentiary for the periods as in this judgment ordered and specified.

'ORLANDO W. POWERS, Judge.'

On the twenty-second of October, 1886, the defendant filed in the district court of the Third judicial district of the territory of Utah a petition setting forth that he is a prisoner confined in the penitentiary of the territory of Utah, 'by virtue of the warrant, judgment, and proceedings of record, including three indictments against your petitioner, his arraignment thereon, and pleas thereto, respectively, as well as demurrers to such pleas, decisions thereof, and verdicts of the jury being the record of said matters in the district court of the First judicial district of the territory of Utah,' copies of all which papers, 16 in number, were annexed to the petition; that, under said judgment, and in execution thereof, he had been imprisoned in said penitentiary for more than six months, to-wit, continuously since the twelfth day of March, 1886, and had paid $300 in satisfaction of the fine adjudged against him, and 'all the costs awarded and assessed against him on said prosecution;' that his imprisonment is illegal in that 'the court had no jurisdiction to pass judgment' against him 'upon more than one of the indictments or records referred to in its said judgment, for the reason that the offense therein set out is the same as that contained and set out in each of the other said indictments and records, and the maximum punishment which...

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